Sleepers in Garden Landscaping

Sleepers can be used in a wide variety of building and landscaping projects such as steps, planters, edging, terracing, fencing/screens and benches.

A number of different types are available and at Kebur Garden Materials we supply three main types as outlined below:

Reclaimed Sleepers; These are the sleepers that have been on the railway. They provide an attractive rustic look but caution must be taken when handling these as they can be very heavy. Avoid skin contact and don’t use in public or play areas.

New Softwood Sleepers; Lighter in weight and easy to use, these sleepers are pressure treated for long lasting protection.

New Oak Sleepers; A relatively new choice in garden landscaping sleepers, these European Oak Sleepers are surprisingly good value. They provide a neat modern look and have become the most popular choice in our range.

When using sleepers for steps and terracing, concrete the sleepers in on a 100mm deep bed. Haunch at the back end of the sleeper and if possible, the front end too. If using sleepers for a low border or planter it may well be sufficient to fix a wooden post or spike behind the sleepers and fix this into the ground.

There are various ways of connecting sleepers together if building planters or walls. Steel road pins are a good way of securing a higher stack of sleepers.  Long landscaping screws that are counter-sunk into the sleeper is perhaps the most popular method, whilst metal plates and corner braces on the inside of the build also prove useful and help keep the build nice and square.

Sleeper Planter

Oak Sleeper Planter being constructed, using landscaping screws and metal plates

Sleepers can be incredibly versatile and using them vertically can provide an eye-catching option for a wall or even feature. Consider varying the heights of vertical sleepers for added interest. You can butt them up together for a smart solid wall or space them out slightly to create a privacy screen. Create straight or curved walls. Remember to ensure a third of the sleeper is fitted/secured into the ground to make sure the vertical sleeper is well supported.

Consider using railway sleepers on a pathway, space apart at a strides length and infill between with gravel.

You may want to consider covering sleepers with a wire mesh or cutting grip into the surface if you are using sleepers as steps as they can become quite slippery when damp.

A hugely versatile product that has become increasingly popular in garden landscaping and design. With a little imagination, stunning results can be achieved.


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