From keeping the tracks perfectly aligned on the railways to a bespoke design feature found amongst many British gardens, these heavy duty pieces of timber can be used to serve a multitude of potential purposes. If you would like to add a unique element to your garden's design, you may wish to incorporate a feature that is handcrafted with railway sleepers. Our Manchester landscape gardeners highly recommend the use of railway sleepers as an affordable option when looking to add some personality to a landscape. It is possible to incorporate railway sleepers into a garden's design to serve a variety of purposes, these include: steps, edgings, planters or even for a custom built seating area.

Reasons to use railway sleepers

The use of railway sleepers in landscaping has become increasingly common in recent years. Our landscapers in Manchester are able to integrate sleepers into a garden's design to serve several different purposes. Before discussing their application, let's first establish the reasons why railway sleepers have become so popular.

  • Railway sleepers are an affordable option, perfect for a tight budget.
  • The lifespan of sleepers can be anywhere up to 20 years.
  • Available in different colours and types of timber, there is an option to suit any design.
  • Sleepers are easy to install as they are lightweight.
Railway Sleeper Steps

Railway sleeper steps

If you want your garden to have a split-level design, then you are going to need steps between the different levels. Rather than bland brick or stone steps, you could choose sleeper steps instead; this will definitely be a more aesthetically pleasing option. Our landscapers would recommend sleeper steps because they add a bit of character to any garden design. For an even better finish, we can source railway sleepers in a range of colours, so you can choose a colour to match your design scheme. To increase the lifespan of your steps, our Manchester landscapes highly recommend using treated timber.

*Interesting fact* When a railway sleeper is wet, its weight will drastically increase; even a small sleeper can weigh up to ten stone or more. Taking this into account, perhaps you should leave it to the professionals? Schedule a consultation with one of our landscape gardeners in Manchester to discuss your project.

Edgings with railway sleepers

When designing a garden, railway sleepers can be used to create an edging around the perimeter or between different elements of the design. One example would be where you have an area of paving leading up to a patch of artificial grass, you could create a border between the two aspects of the design with a railway sleeper edging. The inclusion of a thoughtfully placed edging can completely transform the apperance of a garden's design. In many cases, an edging is the finishing touch that completes the design.

Another way railway sleepers can be used is to create a raised vegetable patch. If you fancy growing your own vegetables, a rased bed is perfect for keeping pets away and providing the drainage needed for whatever you plant to grow healthily. For those of you who don't want to grow vegetables, sleepers can even be used to create a raised pond. Whatever your requirements, you will be surprised as to how versatile railway sleepers can be!

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Railway sleeper retaining walls

To implement your chosen design, it may be necessary to install a retaining wall to support the structure of the design. Whilst it is entirely possible to create a retaining wall from brick or stone, you may prefer the appearance of a railway sleeper retaining wall. Our Manchester landscapers regularly use railway sleepers to enhance the structural integrity of a design and to provide functional support, such as keeping earth exactly where it should be. However, please remember that a railway sleeper is timber, over a long period of time, the structural integrity of your landscape will degrade as the wood ages.

Using railway sleepers in your garden design

If you want an affordable feature to add to the overall character of your garden’s design, then you may find that an element created with railway sleepers is right up your street. From edgings to steps, you can’t go too far wrong with trusty railway sleepers! Our Manchester landscape gardeners regularly integrate railway sleepers into their designs and have created many gorgeous landscapes. You can find examples amongst our portfolio, or for further inspiration, you may find a search on Pinterest useful.

Do you want to transform your garden? If you would like to have a conversation with an expert regarding the ways in which railway sleepers could be incorporated into your garden’s design, you can schedule a free design consultation with one of our landscapers in Manchester.