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Sleep-ing on the job - our favourite landscaping solution!

On a recent visit to survey some domestic landscaping work in Renfrewshire our client was looking for some help to repair or improve the appearance of some walls which required some attention. We have suggested a cost-effective, speedy solution but wanted to send some pictures over to illustrate our idea. So what better way to do that, than to write a blog!


The first wall which is acting as retaining wall is showing signs of wear and tear, particularly on the top row of bricks which have not been protected with a coping stone. The rain water has penetrated the bricks causing them to break over time. Our customer is looking for ideas to make the wall look better and for ways of reducing and simplifying the maintenance of the bed above it. As you can see there is quite a steep slope to the bed, so at present any new soil would be most likely to slide down the sloped bed and over the wall.


We have suggested in this instance that we could fit sleepers in front of the existing brick wall. Aesthetically this would enhance the look of the garden, allowing us to hide the worn looking wall. The benefit to using sleepers as opposed to re-building the wall, repairing the wall or rendering the wall is that the process is much quicker and can be carried out during most weather conditions. The sleepers are pre-treated and also don't require regular maintenance.

There is also an issue with the maintenance of the beds beyond the existing wall, and what we have suggested is building the new sleeper wall a little higher than the existing brick wall, and back-filling in behind the sleeper wall to help reduce the slope of the ground, making it easier to maintain. We could then fit weed prevention on the large bed, and top with bark, chips or similar.

The following images show a garden project we carried out with sleepers. Now the slope on this garden was taken out entirely on this project, but the image shows the 'look' of sleeper walls retaining the soil behind them. By fitting the sleeper walls right away there was a feeling of space, with a nice contrast in colour between the timber and the new turf which we laid.

Here are some other examples of sleepers being used in garden projects....

Sleeper tree boxes with bark infill at job at Netherlee Primary

school in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire:

Sleeper stepped-beds build to make better use of the slope at a garden in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire:

Sleeper beds fitted for the children at Carolside Primary in Busby, East Renfrewshire:

Sleeper beds fitted for the children at Carolside Primary in Busby, East Renfrewshire:

It may have come to your attention that we have a bit of a sleeper fetish! And you'd be right. We love sleepers and the impact that they have on gardens. We have used sleepers on a large number of jobs over the years and this is just one of the options that we can confidently make available within our Landscape Gardening services in East Renfewshire, Glasgow and beyond.