Gardening Advice

  • Modular retaining walls - the benefits of using WoodBlocX

    WoodBlocX is ideal for building modular retaining walls, making it a great alternative to bricks, stone and railway sleepers. We’ve provided a rundown of the materials you can use to build retaining walls in your garden and how the WoodBlocX retaining wall stacks up against them.

    WoodBlocX modular retaining walls

    Lets start with our versatile modular timber system. WoodBlocX retaining walls make a fantastic alternative to brick, stone, gabions and railway sleepers they are ideal for landscaping your garden and they can be built easily by you, without the need for concrete foundations, substantial groundworks or cutting lengths of wood.

    Made from sustainably harvested Scots pine, the BlocX themselves are lightweight, easy to handle and building requires no heavy lifting. The structures are held together a series of strong dowels that fit into pre-drilled holes which have been pressure treated with our water-based preservative to ensure 100% off the wood is treated, making them extra strong, we even guarantee our structures for 15 years but they're expected to last around 30 years.

    How much can they retain?
    Each dowel can withstand a tension force of up to 0.9 tonnes. A single WoodBlocX modular garden wall can retain earth up to one metre (approx. 3”). For customers that require higher walls we recommend using a terrace design, which looks great and creates additional planting areas.

    All of our structures are made to measure so there's cutting or waste during your build and we supply steps by step instructions and links to helpful videos ahead of your delivery to ensure you have everything you need for building. We provide step-by-step instructions for building all of our structures and you can find out how easy it is to build a WoodBlocX modular retaining wall click here.

    Garden design ideas - WoodBlocX retaining wall ideas
    WoodBlocX retaining wall and step ideas

    Brick retaining walls

    Brick retaining walls are a common choice, but these materials can prove expensive and need regular maintenance. You will need to include foundations to build on to create a stable structure. To build a wall yourself could prove to be challenging as you need to ensure the bricks are laid straight and level and the mortar mix is correct. If you’re not experienced in bricklaying it is best to enlist the help of a skilled tradesperson. This can be costly and is another added expense you wouldn't get with a DIY product. 

    Gabion retaining walls

    Gabion retaining walls are made using gabion baskets and cages. They provide a more industrial look and are generally used for retaining earth where water is close by and for extremely high retaining walls. No foundations are needed with gabions as they are super strong, you can buy them pre-filled or you can by the baskets and the stone separately, this option is generally cheaper but it is important to seek information about filling them correctly to ensure an even weight distribution.

    Railway Sleeper retaining walls

    Railway sleeper retaining walls are popular and single lengths of railway sleepers can be used to build a wood retaining wall for the garden; but the individual pieces can be very large and heavy. To secure the lengths in place you will need reinforcing bars and a large drill bit to create the holes for the bars. The old treated sleepers contain harmful chemicals too, which can have an unpleasant odour and leach into the soil. New untreated versions are available, but they will become susceptible to rot after only a few years. You can read more about the pros and cons of using railway sleepers for retaining walls here <add the comparison blog>

    How to make more out of your WoodBlocX retaining wall

    We pride ourselves on offering a versatile system that adapts perfectly to your garden. A WoodBlocX retaining wall never has to be just a retaining wall! We can seamlessly integrate steps, seating and planting areas into the design.

    Bespoke garden furniture
    WoodBlocX retaining wall ideas
    The benefits of using raised beds

    Cost saving

    Our customers find building our structures straightforward and enjoyable and WoodBlocX modular retaining walls are no exception. All of our kits can be built in the same way and we provide step-by-step instructions to guide you through.

    Many of our retaining wall customers have told us that by using our system and building it themselves they have saved a considerable amount of money. Check out Ryan’s story; he originally asked a building company for a quote to build his terraced walls. The cost was way too high, but thankfully he found us! Click here to read the case study.

    What our customers have to say about WoodBlocX retaining walls

    Head to Feefo to read more reviews of products and services

  • Quick garden updates

    Making quick garden updates using our modular system is really straightforward, from ensuring you get exactly what you need, to placing your order and even building the structure.

    As these updates tend to be very specific to you and your garden we suggest using our free design service and let our experienced designers work out exactly what you need and to help you decide on the best solution. All we need is a few measurements and an idea of what you’re trying to achieve.

    Take a look at what some of the quick garden updates using WoodBlocX that some of our customers have done.

    Garden walls

    WoodBlocX not only makes an attractive facia for walls it is also brilliant at retaining. The combination of our durable pressure treated wood and strong dowels means that they will safely retain earth without the worry of the structure cracking or warping. Plus you don’t need to dig any foundations. Add return sections or steps for a truly integrated design.

    Click here to find out more about WoodBlocX retaining walls.

    garden landscaping ideas


    Our edging is particularly popular for driveways and just a couple of layers of BlocX can make a BIG difference. Use them to separate the driveway from the rest of the garden, line a garden path or get really creative and continue your edging to create a planting area, the design possibilities are endless. Our kerbing is also popular for garden borders, keeping the level of planting low and just adding a little bit of structure and neatness to the garden.

    To find out more about WoodBlocX edging, borders and kerning click here.

    Unused corners

    Shady corners can be a problem, especially if the ground is boggy, raise the level of the planting using one of our corner designs and add fresh soil and shade loving plants for a total transformation. For sunny corners use the space to grow bright blooms, a few edibles or herbs. Our corner raised beds can be any size you like and you can switch things up by adding different sections and planting heights.

    For corner and L-shaped raised beds click here.

    WoodBlovX best selling rectangular raised timber beds
    WoodBlocX best selling raised bed shapes

    Long lasting planters

    Terracotta planters can be damaged by frost if left exposed over winter and the less said about plastic planters the better! Our customers are using our system for permanent wooden planters on patios for a maintenance free, long lasting alternative to your average planter, choose from a range of widths and heights to suit your space. Our structures can be built directly on most surfaces including patios and concrete and we always recommend using a liner.

    Enter your sizes to get an instant price for a bespoke planter.

    To see how easy it is to build with WoodBlocX watch our quick videos.

  • Garden design - How to get a free design for your garden in three simple steps

    Designing an entire garden or even just a certain area can be a daunting prospect which is why we have made our free design service as quick and simple as possible, in just three simple steps.

    Whether you’re a new homeowner, the owner of a new build home with a fresh plot to put your stamp on, or have an established garden that needs a new lease of life, our modular system can help you transform it into a beautiful and functional space.

    In 2020 nearly a quarter of our customers used our bespoke design service for raised beds, planters, ponds, walls, steps, and seating to fit their garden space and lifestyles perfectly.

    Get a design for your garden in three steps

    Step one

    Send us a sketch, some sizes of the space you're looking to update along with any ideas you have. Use our inspiration page or our social media to see what other customers have achieved using our versatile system. You could also send photos, screen-grabs from garden design apps or even a link to your pinterest board.

    Step two

    We will be back in touch with you within 48 hours with any questions. Once we have all of the information we will work on your design, this will be presented in a design pack which includes a 3D model of your structure along with the price.

    Step three

    Once we have discussed and made any changes to your design, we then add it to our website and send you a link. This allows you to select a preferred delivery date and make your payment. Alternatively this can be done over the phone.

    Use our free design service to plan your next garden project

    Recent bespoke designs

    Top garden design considerations

    • Note down the areas that get sunlight at certain times of the day, this is important if you want to include a seating area of if you plan on growing certain types of sun nor shade loving plants or you plan to grow edibles
    • Are you overlooked by other properties and do you have any views you would like to maximise?
    • Think about what you would like to grow and how much you are able to realistically manage
    • What elements you would like to include; grass/lawns, seating, walls, beds and borders, water features, paths, patios, steps etc?
    • Do you want to encourage wildlife into the garden?
    • What style do you want to achieve? Modern, rustic etc
    • Use a garden design planning app such as Veg Plotter to sketch out your ideas

    Free design service review

    "Whatever you ask these guys to do, the answer is always yes and then they suggest more great ideas you hadn't even thought of. One of the best companies I have ever dealt with."

    Click to read more reviews on our Free Design Service

    If you have a project in mind or you’re just not sure of exactly what you need for your garden click here to start using our free design service 

  • Gardening for better health and wellbeing in 2021

    WoodBlocX timber raised beds

    We asked Annabelle Padwick, the founder of Life at No.27 to share her expert advice on how gardening can improve mental health and is a powerful therapy for positive wellbeing.

    Annabelle is a professional gardener, wellbeing therapist, children’s author of YOU CAN grow your own food, feature writer for Kitchen Garden magazine and potato growing addict. Her therapeutic and educational programmes for children and adults, are proven to build confidence and resilience, teach new skills, help you make new friends and ultimately, have fun….

    How gardneing can improve mental health

    Annabelle says

    Plants are incredible healers and teachers for us all, so getting out in nature amongst them and all the wildlife is great on those blue Mondays or any day! I think many of us have discovered a new or greater appreciation for the outdoors in the last 12 months too thanks to the stay home message, working from home and home schooling.

    How can getting outside and trying your hand at gardening continue to help you to improve your own wellbeing? Sowing little seeds and bulbs teach the power of self-care, love and nurture; give a seed or yourself the right amount of water, food, sunlight, patience, rest and love, then see what happens. You thrive! Plants and humans are very similar, some might just say that we have more complicated emotions. But, through experience with some of my plants, I think I find them very complicated too.

    I recognise that gardening doesn’t always go to plan and isn’t always bright sunflowers, perfect roses and juicy tomatoes. This is exactly why I teach gardening to children and adults though, alongside wellbeing discussions and games. Growing your own food safely teaches patience and resilience; if a seed doesn’t germinate or a plant dies, you can try work out why and just try again. You can make mistakes in a safe environment without pressure or worry of judgement.

    Annabelle's tips for using gardening to improve your mental health in 2021

    Self care

    Gardening for better mental health tip one:

    If you ever need a reminder on how to look after yourself and not just those around you, plant a seed or bulb! Everything they need, you need too! Water, food, patience, love, sunlight, air, rest and space to spread out your roots and feel safe without being disturbed. Can you think of any other similarities?

    Me time

    Gardening for better mental health tip two:

    We definitely aren’t designed to cope with the chaos, demand, expectations and pressures we are facing right now and put on ourselves. In order to cope, let alone thrive mentally and physically, we need to find a way to look after ourselves. Whether you choose to get out in the garden, hide in the bathroom and lock the door for five minutes with headphones in, read a book or watch a movie; we all need to take time to slow down.

    Plants are extra great for this, as many of the processes in gardening are methodical, so you can really break tasks down, focus on your breath and get lost in the actions, colours, smells and tastes of the garden. Use the weeds as a visual opportunity to de-stress, removing all the negative feelings and thoughts in your mind. In turn, making clear space for healthier thoughts, clarity and new plants!

    Grow confidence

    Gardening for better mental health tip three:

    You don’t need to set out to re-design your whole garden for a confidence boost! Start simple by planting up one plant pot, a raised bed or border. As your plants begin to grow, so will your confidence. Take your time with every step and gradually build up to more complicated tasks like pruning and taking cuttings. If you ever get stuck, remember that gardeners love to share their passion, we just do! So, always ask for help in your local garden centre, speak to a friend, or reach out on social media, you'll be surprised how much gardening can improve your own mental health.

    Get active

    Gardening for better mental health tip four:

    We all want to be physically fitter, which in turn can help make us mentally healthier. Gardening gets your body moving at your own pace, boosts your metabolism up a gear and increases your heart rate. What’s great about gardening for fitness is that it is cheaper than the gym (unless you are a plant addict), you get double the rewards and it is adaptable for many abilities and lifestyles! Wooden raised beds are great if moving around and working at ground level isn’t possible. You can sit on the edge or in a chair by the side and still get stuck in. The arms, abs and shoulders are working and your plants are growing. WIN, WIN!

    Eat Healthier

    Gardening for better mental health tip five:

    I love running outside to the containers and raised beds full of vegetables, immediately snacking on the nearest freshly popped pea or tomato… yummy! Growing and storing your own produce keeps the winter stews coming too. The odd takeaway treat or junk cupboard dash is definitely staying I admit, but learning to grow your own food makes delicious goodness easier to grab, cook and eat!

    If Annbelle's tips have given you the urge to grow something, start gardening or just make the most of your own garden then check out some of our other helpful blogs or head to the main website to find out more about beautiful and easy to build raised beds.

    How gardening can improve mental health
    How gardening can improve mental health
    How gardening can improve mental health
    How gardening can improve mental health

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  • Lockdown garden activities for kids

    Lockdown garden activities for kids

    To all of the parents that are homeschooling and juggling working and as well we know how stressed out you are, many of our team are in the same situation and we too shudder at thought of another Joe Wicks workout (sorry Joe)! So with this in mind we have collated four lockdown garden activities for kids to use up an a few hours during the school week, or even at the weekend because who knows what day it is at the moment anyway?!

    Lockdown gardening activities for kids: Build an insect house

    Whilst the garden may look a little bit sad at the moment they are in fact full of materials that can be used to make an insect house. Bug houses can be built out of lots of different materials, pine cones, twigs, bamboo canes, bark, moss, branches, any plants that have dried out, straw and whatever else that can be found found. Raid the shed or garage for some spare pallet wood and/or a few bricks and start designing and building a magnificent home for insects.

    Building a bug hotel in January will give insects such as wild bees, butterflies, moths, lacewings, spiders, ladybirds time to settle in. Build in a sunny spot that is sheltered from wind and rain and by the time spring and summer arrives your hotel will be a hive of activity.

    For those that don't have a garden, collect materials and search for the perfect spot in a local park or woodland. The RSPB has a great step-by-step guide to follow - here.

    We've added some inspiration below from our recent Instagram saves.

    Lockdown garden activities for kids - Build an insect hotel
    Lockdown garden activities for kids - Build an insect hotel
    Lockdown garden activities for kids -Build an insect hotel




    Sow seeds - what to plant in January and February

    As far as lockdown garden activities go planting seeds should be one of them! There's loads of edibles that can be planted now and kept on a warm windowsill where children can keep an eye out for the seeds germinating. Chilli, aubergine, broad beans, lettuces, salad onions, spinach, cauliflower and many more vegetable and salad varieties can be sown in January and February. Sowing plants indoors now will ensure seedlings are ready to transplant into bigger pots or raised beds, vegetable plots of containers in the spring.

    For flowers; plant sweet peas indoors or create a wildflower container that can be stored outdoors in a sheltered area or in a greenhouse. For loads of helpful advice on what vegetables and flowers to sow in January and February head to the RHS website.

    Lockdown garden activities for kids - Seeds to sow during January and February

    Lockdown gardening activities for kids: Build a wooden raised garden bed

    Build a raised bed out using a WoodBlocX easy to build do-it-yourself kit, which kids can help to build with a little supervision from an adult, or use any materials that are available, from wooden boards, to railway sleepers or even bricks.

    Giving kids ownership of their own growing space also means they are more likely to be invested once the seeds you sow are transplanted in the spring. A raised bed can be a great way to do this, being raised off the ground also makes it easier for youngsters to reach.

    Here's three quick-to-build raised beds that children will love.

    Wildlife spotting

    It may not look like a hive of activity but our gardens are still full of life at this time of year. Go on a bug hunt and lift up rocks, look under bushes, on the underside of leaves and try and find and identify as many different creatures as possible.

    The RSPB's Big Bird Watch runs from 29th - 31st January, download a spotters kit to see how many different birds visit your garden over those three days.


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  • How to build a retaining wall

    How to build a WoodBlocX retaining wall

    Here in the UK our gardens comes in all shapes and sizes, if you’re lucky enough to have a flat garden you may not need a retaining wall, garden edging or curbing may be better suited to you, but if your garden slopes up or down retaining walls can help to transform the space by allowing you to level the ground out, or create a series of terraces.

    There are various materials that can be used to build retaining walls including bricks, railway sleepers, natural stone, gabions, breeze blocks and of course WoodBlocX - check out our <what to use for a retaining wall comparison blog> to see the cost for each and also information on materials and any labour required to help you make your decision on which is the best material for you.

    One of the main benefits of WoodBlocX retaining walls is that they can built by you, whether you’re a skilled DIY’er or if you think you have zero DIY skills, the modular nature of the system makes it really straightforward to build, plus you will be armed with step by step instructions and videos to help you with every block.

    WoodBlocX walls are built from numerous individual pieces of timber (rather like bricks), that are pinned together using strong plastic dowels. Each piece of timber – selected to use only the strongest parts of the tree and never the heart – is then pressure treated twice, and because the dowel holes are pre-drilled, the treatment penetrates almost 100% of the wood. The dowels can each withstand 0.9 tonnes of sheer force, making the walls strong under both tension and compression and strong enough to withstand frost and ground movement without distorting or cracking under pressure.

    How to build a WoodBlocX retaining wall

    Tools needed
    Spade or rake for levelling
    Spirit level* or laser level
    Lump hammer*
    String line*
    Gardening gloves*
    Hacksaw or dowel cutters* for the last layer of dowels
    Garden scissors or a stanley knife for the liner

    All starred items are available in our Building Kit

    Materials needed
    Permeable liner
    Building sand
    Subbase or compacted type 1

    To find out more about our recommendations for liners and drainage click here


    Mark out the space using a string line, this will help to ensure you have a perfectly straight edge to work to. There is no need to include concrete foundations for a WoodBlocX retaining wall, simply level the area where you plan to build the wall. We do recommend using a layer of subbase - which is available from most high-street DIY stores or builders merchants - this helps to distribute weight and improve the ground’s ability to carry weight. We also recommend using a layer of compacted building sand or sharp sand which will help to ensure the BlocX are level before they are laid.

    To read more about footings and getting started building your WoodBlocX retaining wall click here


    Base layer
    Once you are happy that the ground is sufficiently levelled and prepped lay out your first layer of BlocX according to your step by step instructions and match up the dowels to the BlocX, fixing the dowels into the BlocX on the base layer before placing them on the ground will help to ensure you don’t knock your base out of level.

    Securing the structure to the ground
    When ordering a retaining wall kit you will have been asked at the point of purchase if you plan to build on grass or soil, if the answer is YES then you will be provided with a series of ground spikes, these are 40mm in length and need to be placed through the dowel holes on the first layer of BlocX and in every buttress to secure the structure to the ground. If you are planning to build WoodBlocX on a hard surface such as tarmac or concrete we would advise you replace our ground spikes with heavy-duty angle brackets. These can be purchased from most DIY stores.

    Build up the layers
    Follow your step by step instructions to build the layers up adding the dowels as you go. We include buttresses in all of our designs to provide added strength to the structure, these are particularly important when building retaining walls as they act as cantilevers with the weight of soil pushing down on them to keep the main structure supported. The buttress will always finish one layer below the main height of the structure and are spaced every 1500mm along the wall.

    Angle plates
    Our angle plates, which are made from hard wearing galvanized steel need to be placed at every point where the buttress meets the main structure to tie the structure together. They also need to be placed on the corners of the last layers of BlocX before the capping is added to the structure.

    Capping and liner
    When you've reached the final layer of BlocX and added the dowels and angle plates use the dowel cutters (provided in our Building Kit) or saw to cut the dowels down by three notches and place your liner (or lengths of liner) to cover the inside of your structure, cutting small incisions to let the dowels through, this will hold it in place, cut off any over hanging liner and secure the capping using a spare block between the capping and your lump hammer to fit it - this will prevent any impact marks being made in the capping.

    For information on lining your WoodBlocX retaining wall and drainage click here


    WoodBlocX retaining walls require zero maintenance, once installed the BlocX can be left to weather naturally, creating a great rustic look, or painted to suit the style of your garden.

    To get an instant price for a retaining wall use our calculator tool, browse our pre-designed walls or get in touch and use our quick free design service, just send us your measurements and any preferences you have and we will create a design and quote for you.

    More helpful retaining wall blogs

  • How to build a raised bed - the complete guide

    Our raised beds are really easy to build because everything you need is included in your kit, here we explain how to build a raised bed in one complete guide.

    The wooden components used to build our DIY raised beds are all pre-cut so there’s no need to saw the wood and there’s no waste, making building quick and straightforward, after all, building raised beds should be fun!

     All of our kits are built in the same way so if you’ve ordered a raised bed, seat, pond or retaining wall kit this same building method applies to all.

    Helpful tools to have to hand before you start your build:
    - Sprit level for checking the surface you’re planning to build on
    - Lump hammer for knocking the BlocX in place
    - Small hand saw to trim the dowels on the final layer of BlocX in order to fit the capping

    Read our six steps to building your WoodBlocX structure below...

    Your delivery will look similar to this. Everything you need here, wooden blocks, capping, dowels and angle plates. All wooden parts are cut exactly to the sizes requested so there’s no waste at the end of the build.

    Once you have decided where your raised bed will sit in the garden carefully set out the bottom layer and make any adjustments to where you’re going to build it if needed. Refer to the instructions to check where the supportive buttresses and angle plates need to be positioned.

    Our clever dowel system holds the structure together, simply knock these into the recess holes, make sure you refer to your instructions to ensure you’re putting them in the correct places.

    When you’ve completed the first and second layers you will be on a roll. Work your way up the layers matching the first to the third, the second to the fourth and repeat.

    Angle plates need to be placed on the supportive buttressed for extra strength and on the corners of the final layer before you add the capping.

    Once you’ve reached the final layer before the capping is added, cut dowels down by three notches using a saw (or dowel cutters if you have ordered a Building Kit) and fit the capping using a protective piece of wood to ensure you don't damage your caps.

    Do raised beds need a liner?

    We always recommend using a liner with our raised beds, this provides extra protection for the wood to ensure you get the maximum lifespan out of your raised beds.

    Use a geotextile or damp-proof membrane (DPM) to cover the inside walls of your raised bed. There is no need to add lining to the base of the structure if you are building it on soil or grass. For raised beds built on patio paving, concrete or tarmac we do recommend lining the bottom and slightly up the walls of the raised bed.

    How much soil do I need for my raised bed?

    If you don’t already have some soil to fill your raised bed and need to order some top soil in, you can work out how much you need using this simple sum: length(m) x width(m) x height(cm), but if you are adding a drainage layer to the bottom subtract the height of the layer from the equation so you don’t over order. Contact your local soil suppliers to compare quotes.

    Need a little more help? No problem

    Watch our quick instructional videos which talk you through how to build a raised bed. You can find them all HERE or click on the most popular videos below.

    Design for your garden

    Watch more helpful videos on how to build a raised bed here.

    Build your own raised bed now!

    If our 'how to build a raised bed' guide has inspired you to build your own, check out these links below.

    Find hundreds of shapes and sizes here

    Use our handy calculator tools and input your own measurements.

    Need a bespoke design? Use of free design service to get exactly what you need for your garden.

    A few of our happy customers' raised beds

    circular raised garden bed
    Creating an accessible garden
    WoodBlovX best selling rectangular raised timber beds
    Raised garden bed on patio
    garden design ideas
  • National Gardening Week Q&A

    We ran a Q&A session over on our social media pages during National Gardening Week 2020 covering anything to do with our products and services. We've compiled them all below.

    Do your products work on uneven surfaces?

    We recommend levelling bumps and lumps out before you build. If you have a sloping garden our system is ideal. Use our free design service for this to ensure you get exactly what you need for your garden.

    Can you paint them?

    Yes! We don't offer the structures pre-painted as there would be too many choices, plus you can test out which shade works best for your garden once you have built your structure.

    Do you deliver to Ireland?

    Yes, we have a website for our Irish customers -

    Why do your ponds only go up to a certain height - 0.65m?

    This is the maximum height we recommend due to water pressure.

    How easy is it to get a customer planter / raised beds / pond priced?

    Very easy! We have easy to use calculator tools for rectangular, square and octagonal raised beds here, L-shaped raised beds here, retaining garden walls here and ponds here. Or you can use our free bespoke design service to find out more click here.

    What are your products made from?

    We use pressure treated Scots pine which is pre-drilled so the treatment generates almost 100% of the wood and our dowels are made from recycled plastic. Kits also include angle plates and ground spikes can be added (if needed for grass/soil builds).

    How long does WoodBlocX last?

    WoodBlocX raised beds, walls, ponds, seats and steps will last up to 15 years if installed to our guidelines, but we expect them to last longer.

    Why are your retaining walls limited to 1.05m?

    We recommend building WoodBlocX retaining walls no higher than 1.05m due to the amount of material that it will retain. Some customers have opted for terracing to increase the height to work with their gardens. Our free design service is ideal for ensuring you something that works perfectly with your space.

    Is it best to build your structures on soil or concrete?

    WoodBlocX structures can be built on any surface - soil, grass, paving, concrete, decking or tarmac.

    Can I jet wash my raised bed?

    Yes! Our structures are maintenance free but, like anything that's outside permanently, they will need a brush...or a jet wash from time to time.

    Do I need to use a liner?

    We recommend lining all of our structures, especially if you are planning on adding manure or organic fertilisers.

  • Planting a raised bed garden

    Building raised beds and other garden structures using our modular system is easy, planting an edible garden is fairly straight forward too, but ornamental planting can be a little bit trickier, how many plants do you need to fill the space? Where should you position them? Will they grow too big? What will provide colour and when?

    We gave stylist Pandora Maxton (Instagram @pandora.maxton) an octagonal raised bed to work her magic on, find out below how she got on with building and planting herWoodBlocX raised bed.

    Octagonal octagon raised bed

    Pandora says: I was asked recently by WoodBlocX if I would like to work with them and build one of their raised beds. I had a little area in the garden that just wasn’t working and I knew straight away that this would be the perfect spot. I was given the choice of various shaped beds but opted for an octagonal one. The garden planter is ideal for making raised flower, shrub or vegetable beds.

    Building the bed was like playing with giant wooden Lego bricks. The blocks arrived stacked on a pallet all wrapped and all I needed was a wooden mallet hammer, no other tools needed. Raised beds are often associated with heavy pieces of timber like railway sleepers with lots of sawing and drilling but here there was none of that.

    Filling the raised bed

    Over the years we have created our own compost. Lots of grass cuttings and general green wasted down. We managed to fill the entire bed with our own compost. It took a few hours but this was a family affair due to lock-down so I was more than happy to delegate the filling to my kids. After an hour or so we were ready to get planting.

    The plant list

    I decided to go for a little colour theme in my new raised bed. I opted for lovely deep purples, bluey greens and mauves.


    For it's structure and lovely purple flowers


    Deep bluey green tones and lovely shaped leaves

    Blue Fescue 

    Amazing blue colours and form


    Gorgeous deep pruple delicate flower

    Cordyline (purple & green) 

    Good all year round plant

    I planned to use Palm (Trachycarpus hardy) as seen on the pallet but ran out of space so it is now sitting pretty on my patio but thought I would share as these would have really worked well tooGood all year round structure and greenery.

    When planting, a good tip is to plant in groups of three or five. I used the large purple Cordyline for the centre piece, then divided the rest of the plants into three around the middle. Three green Coryline and so on so all the plants were divided around the bed evenly. I chose to spend a little more money and buy bigger plants because I am so impatient but you can buy all these plants smaller to make it cheaper. The beauty of these plants is that they will look lovely all year round. The planting took around an hour or so and looks really lovely. In a few months time the lavender will bloom and the other plants will grow and bush out.



  • Raised bed Q&A spring 2020

    Raised bed inspiration

    We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from the last three months, with everything from pest control to watering. If you have a specific question feel free to get in touch via email - [email protected] or phone 0800 389 1420.

    How do I create an accessible garden?

    Raising the height of your garden beds and borders makes gardening instantly more accessible, but you also need to consider the layout of the rest of the garden. Paths and steps can prove troublesome, opt for wider paths if possible, especially between raised beds if you have more than one. Our wooden raised beds can be built at heights between 0.25m - 1.05m and each structure is strong and sturdy enough to sit or lean on.

    Read our accessible gardening blog here.

    Can I build raised beds on a slope?

    Yes! Raised beds can be used to landscape a sloping garden by stepping the structures to follow the incline, this is where our free design service is priceless, we will do all the calculations and design specifications for you, simply tell us a little bit about the space you have, the size of the structures you would like and send a couple of photos so we can build a picture up of the space and we will work out exactly what is needed to landscape your hilly garden.

    Click here to find out more about our Free Design Service.

    How do I keep pests out of my raised bed?

    If you have problems with rabbits we recommend building your raised bed at 0.35m and above to prevent them getting to your prized plants and veggies. Crop protectors can provide some cover, especially from cats, insects can be a little more difficult to control but there are friendly ways to keep them out; adding a bug hotel nearby will help encourage beneficial insects into the garden who can feast on pests such as greenfly and black fly and if you add a bird feeder they will repay you by picking out insects too, bit make sure you add a deterrent to keep them away from seedlings and strawberries!

    Use our raised bed calculator to input your own sizes and get an instant price.

    How much soil do I need to add to my raised bed?

    If you are filling your raised bed completely then a simple way to work out how many litres is length(m) x width(m) x height(cm), but if you are adding a drainage layer to the bottom, subtract the height of the layer from the equation so you don’t over order. We advise customers to use a good topsoil mix and add a soil improver or compost mix to the top layers.

    For 10 reasons why WoodBlocX raised beds are great for your garden click here.

    How often should I water my raised bed?

    This totally depends on there time of year but during warmer weather water twice a day, early morning and in the evening to prevent the sun scorching the plants. Solar or electric watering systems are a really good option if you struggle to lug watering cans around the garden. Raised beds also warm up quicker in the spring and cool down slower when the weather turns cold, which is brilliant for growing in general.

    How do I improve the health of the soil in my raised bed?

    Raised beds are a great solution for gardens with poor soil as you can select the type you use. We advise customers to use a good topsoil mix and add a soil improver or compost mix to the top layers. Sandy soil is the best all-rounder. Using a bought-in topsoil rather than using up any surplus from the garden gives you much more control over weeds. Soils can be made richer through using your own homemade compost or manure, adding mycorrhizal fungi when planting is also a great way to boost soil and plant health in the long-term.

    How do I improve the drainage of my raised bed?

    Raised beds can be accessed without having to walk on them, this prevents soil compaction, which also improves drainage, helping plant roots to grow more freely and take on more nutrients. WoodBlocX raised beds of all sizes allow for drainage through the air gaps between each block, customers building our raised beds directly on patios, tarmac and concrete could benefit from a drainage layer at the bottom if the bed - stones or gravel can be used for this. 

    Can I build a raised bed on a roof or balcony?

    Yes! WoodBlocX is perfectly suited to balconies and roof gardens thanks to the small light weight blocks which can be easily moved around, whereas lengths of timber and heavy railway sleepers can be difficult to get up stairways and into lifts. Our raised beds and planters can be made to fit tight or narrow spaces and will instantly add character to your outdoor space.

    Find out about our free design service here.

    What weedkillers or fertilisers can I use when growing plants in a raised bed?

    This is entirely up to the individual, we recommend using products that are kinder on the soil and environment, check for products that are clearly labelled natural, biological or have the stamp of approval from organic growing organisations such as the Soil Association or Organic Farmers & Growers Association. For weeds you can remove by hand or, if you're keen to use the no dig method, and have a space that you're starting from scratch with you can cover it with a sheet to stop the light getting in and then remove the weeds once they have perished.

    To find out more about our wide range of raised beds and the different shapes and sizes available click here.

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