How To Guides

  • Take a look behind the scenes of our latest video

    WoodBlocX structures are renowned for looking good and are ideal to use in place of railway sleepers, wooden boards and even bricks.

    Looks aside, one of the main benefits that our customers find is our structures are really easy to build, enabling them to update their gardens quickly without having to spend hours with complicated parts and instructions and in order for us to get this across to our customers in the most effective way we have created a brand new short video.

    We found the perfect location to film the guide, not only is the garden stunning, it is also where the majority of the garden and plant photography is shot for magazines and newspapers.

    GAP Gardens in Essex is one of the UK’s leading gardens-and-plants picture agencies, it has a collection of more than 600,000 high-quality images used by magazines and newspapers.


    Our team installed a number of angular and rectangular raised beds to provide the backdrop for the video, being a permanent fixture in the garden now the planters are sure to be featured in new photography from the gardens so keep your eyes peeled for WoodBlocX in your favourite gardening magazines.

    This is us in action below on location at the gardens, we shot the new footage over three days and managed to enjoy a little bit of Essex sunshine too!

  • How easy are modular systems to put together?

    Do you need to spruce up your garden fast? Perhaps you need to make some improvements before a big event? Or do you just want to add some finishing touches to a garden without the hassle of too much work? Plants are by far the easiest and best way to bring a bit of life to a bare outdoor area, and what better way to display them than in a neat, attractive timber bed?

    The simplest and fastest way to incorporate a lot of planting to a paved or decked area is to use large planters or raised beds, and the WoodBlocX system is an ideal choice. The beds can be put on any surface very easily, so there’s no need for extensive preparation, and there is a wide choice of off-the-shelf products that can be delivered to your home in as little as four days.

    The modular beds can be configured to fit almost any space; they can be squarerectangular, hexagonal and circular or pretty much any shape you want. You can also choose from a variety of heights to suit the designated area. There are also raised bed designs that include seating, or you can build and add separate benches. Because all WoodBlocX products use the same materials they can really tie a look together.

    All the materials needed for a WoodBlocX construction are supplied together, on pallets, so you save time on running around different shops trying to find just what you need. WoodBlocX calculate exactly what you need for each bed, making it easy for you. Once they arrive, they couldn’t be simpler to put together. All the specific instructions for each construction are supplied with the materials and there are also online videos. It’s just like building a Lego kit – and once you’re underway the BlocX are really very quick to go together.

    Once the bed is constructed, that’s it – job done, it doesn’t need any treating with varnish or preservatives. It could be painted if you want to add some colour, or leave the natural wood to fade to a soft grey over the years. Fill the beds with topsoil and add plants to transform the area. Just add garden party guests!

  • An easy and effective garden solution

    All too often a great design idea has to be amended beyond recognition because of the practicalities and realities of the garden and the budget. Perhaps all the materials for the garden have to be taken through the house, perhaps there are pets or young children around, or perhaps you’re on a deadline – all these logistical problems and more can mean that the original vision is compromised. However, whether you want to add planters or raised beds, benches or more to a problematic area, the solution can be found in a modular timber system such as WoodBlocX.

    Modular systems, because they are delivered in pieces rather than unwieldy pre-built wholes, can be taken into the garden much more easily. All the WoodBlocX components can be easily carried by one person, so even in the tightest of places there’s space to squeeze them through. They are delivered on pallets, which can be easily moved to get as close to the construction area as possible, saving time and effort in moving things around. This is also helpful when the garden build has to take place around household life – the components do not take up much space, so disruption can be minimised.

    Modular systems built from small components are also light and can be easily carried up steps. This means that it is also possible to build quite large planters on rooftops, and incorporate a rooftop garden to bring some life to a dull area.

    So, WoodBlocX are easy to get onto the site, but they are also easy to work with once the components are there. All the individual pieces are pre-fabricated to exactly the right size, and pre-drilled and mitred as well. Therefore you will not need any power tools to build up the BlocX themselves – no drilling, cutting or sawing is necessary. The BlocX are quick and easy to put together, and there is very little noise created in the process, keeping the disruption to family and neighbours to a minimum. Furthermore, the pre-cut modular system also means there is no dust or mess and virtually no waste to dispose of (and what waste there is can be easily moved and transported to the tip), saving time and money again.

    Modular timber systems like WoodBlocX are the smart choice for any garden, but especially those with access problems. Call our team for a chat about your project and how we can help.

  • What’s the most durable material for your garden?

    When you are building a garden project it’s reassuring to know that it will last for a good number of years, and that’s where using materials from a specific supplier is useful. Whereas it might be difficult to estimate the lifespan of a raised bed or other construction made from timber planking or recycled sleepers, WoodBlocX guarantee their products for 15 years.

    In fact, any raised beds, ponds, edging, terracing or retaining walls, steps and seats built from WoodBlocX will probably last much longer than this, but the company has only been trading since 2001, so they’ve only been tested for that length of time! The modular system not only means that the timber can be put together in many different ways, but it also means that each individual component is as strong and hard-wearing as it can be.

    WoodBlocX are so durable because of the way the timber is treated. First, they use only the strongest wood – never the heartwood – from the tree. This is either Scottish or Latvian slow-grown pine. Each block is pre-drilled and pressure treated twice using a water-based preservative that fixes in the cells of the timber as it dries (and certified as completely organic by the Soil Association). The BlocX are then dried in a vacuum and pressurised. The result is that the preservative penetrates almost 100% of the wood. Unlike other flimsier timber products on the market, this means that should some of the wood’s surface be worn away by foot traffic or weather, there is no possibility of the timber rotting.

    There are many reasons that built areas of a garden might start to fail over time.

    • Ground movement and frost can push out and distort walls. However, WoodBlocX are built from many individual pieces that together make such a strong and flexible wall that it will not crack or distort under pressure.
    • The weather can erode the face of timber, and mortar joints between stone and bric There is no mortar needed for WoodBlocX and the timber is treated almost all the way through.
    • Pins and nails can rus WoodBlocX are joined together with recycled plastic dowels and fixed to the ground where appropriate using stainless steel plates and ground spikes, so there is no chance of rusting components

    Not only will the BlocX stand up to the weather, they will also stand up to the wear and tear of the everyday. Be they raised beds or benches that get regularly sat upon, steps or retaining walls and terracing, the wood will withstand the erosion very well. The BlocX also fit together seamlessly and the dowels expand within the joints, so there is little chance of annoying cracks appearing.

    The wood does not need varnishing and can either be left to weather naturally (it will fade to a soft grey), or painted. If your garden project will be used by children, or is a seat where a smooth surface would be preferable, you can easily give the BlocX a sand.

    Whatever your garden needs, if you build it from WoodBlocX you can be sure that it will last.

    Not only will the BlocX stand up to the weather, they will stand up to the wear and tear of the everyday. Be they raised beds or benches that get regularly sat on, steps, or retaining walls and terracing, the wood will withstand the erosion very well. The BlocX also fit together seamlessly, and the dowels expand within the joints, so there is little chance of annoying cracks appearing.

    The wood does not need varnishing and can either be left to weather naturally (it will fade to a soft grey), or painted. If your garden project will be used by children, or is a seat where a smooth surface would be preferable, you can give the BlocXs a sand.

    Whatever your garden needs, if you build it from WoodBlocX you can be sure that it will last.

  • Durability of Retaining Walls and Terracing

    When it comes to retaining walls and terracing, safety and durability are the main concerns. Construction in stone may be the obvious first choice, but it is expensive, especially once the cost of the builders has been factored in. The cheapest option is timber boards, but these will warp and distort over time. They’re also often impregnated with nasty preservatives and are not very aesthetically pleasing. However, modular timber constructions, such as the unique WoodBlocX system, have none of these problems.

    The beauty of modular systems is that they can be adapted to suit any size of project and budget, and because they are cheaper than stone or brick and better quality than other timber products, they are an ideal choice. They are also really easy to put together, so it’s possible to do all of the work yourself if you want – which can save thousands of pounds compared with the cost of getting builders or landscapers in to build a stone wall.

    With WoodBlocX, all you need for the wall is supplied to you, so there are no hidden costs, and no need to calculate timber or stone requirements or factor in offcuts because all of that is done for you. Plus there’s no need for foundations or mortar. The BlocX can be left to weather naturally, which is great for a rustic look, or they can be painted if you prefer.

    There are pre-designedoff-the-shelf, terracing and retaining wall options on the website, but if none of them fit the needs of your particular garden, use the online calculator to work out a rough cost for your project. Alternatively, send WoodBlocX the measurements and your requirements and they will design it all for you and work out exactly what you need, all free of charge and with no obligation to buy.

    If you’re still unsure about whether WoodBlocX are for you, here are some facts and statistics:

    • WoodBlocX walls are built with many individual pieces of timber (rather like long bricks), that are pinned together using plastic dowels.
    • Each piece of timber – selected from only the strongest parts of the tree and never the heart - is pressure treated twice and because they are pre-drilled, the treatment penetrates almost 100% of the wood.
    • A WoodBlocX wall can be expected to last for at least 15 years, probably more.
    • The dowels can each withstand 0.9 tonnes of sheer force, and the walls are strong under both tension and compression, so in some cases, they are actually stronger than the stone alternative.
    • The many joints of the BlocX assembly system means that the walls are flexible enough to withstand frosts and ground movement, and won’t distort or crack under pressure.
    • A single wall (each BlocX is 7.5cm wide) will hold earth to a height of 1m, and the narrow BlocX means that there is a lot more planting or path space above and below than there would be with something like bulky railway sleepers.
  • How to Build a Flexible Design

    Are you struggling with a design for a difficult area of your garden or do you just need something a little out of the ordinary? Have you considered using a modular timber system such as WoodBlocX? Other options in these situations – such as old railway sleepers – could struggle with the dimensions that your ideas require. Modular systems are almost infinitely adaptable and can create designs that you might find surprising.

    The beauty of modular systems is that they can be tailored to almost any situation. Perhaps there is a narrow passageway or awkward corner that needs some plants to brighten it up? The WoodBlocX product is narrow in itself, unlike bulky sleepers, so raised beds built with the system provide much more planting space. Each component is also easy to get into the garden because they are light, clean, small and easy to move in awkward spaces – great if you have to take all the materials through your house.

    Modular timber systems can also be used to create a wide range of shapes – not just squares and rectangles. Circles, hexagons, pentagons and octagons are all available in the pre-designed kits, or you can specify exactly what you need. They are cheaper too, especially when it comes to curved designs that would otherwise have to use stone or brick, and are all guaranteed for at least 15 years. Corner beds and L-shapes are easily achievable too. This is not just for raised beds either – pondssteps, walls (perhaps with inbuilt seating) and garden edging are all much simpler to install with a modular system.

    Perhaps your garden needs a multi-level design? Terracing and stepped beds made from sleepers, brick or stone can make the expense (and the weight) really add up; but modular timber systems provide a durable alternative at a much lower cost. They are easy to put together too – there’s no need to hire builders to do it for you, which will also save you a lot of money.

    If you are working with an awkward area, off-the-shelf products and fixed dimensions may not work for you. WoodBlocX offer a design service for all of their products, so that you can create a bespoke project for your unique requirements. Better still, this service is entirely free and you have no obligation to buy. Alternatively, try the online calculators on the WoodBlocX website – just put in the measurements to get an idea of what you will need and the cost.

    Perhaps you want to create an inspiring play area for your children, or a tree house – well, WoodBlocX have been used to build pirate ships and a model elephant over 6ft tall. Really the only limit is your imagination – WoodBlocX would love to work with you to create something amazing!

  • Reducing the cost of Garden Projects

    Whether you are just putting in a couple of beds for a vegetable garden or terracing the whole garden, it’s always good to be able to see all the costs of a project up front. Using a modular timber system for raised beds and other landscaping means that the material costs are really easy to calculate, and there’s no need to pay for someone else to do the work. Modular systems from WoodBlocX are available either as off-the-shelf pre-designed kits, or free bespoke designs can be created for your particular site.

    For example a set of three raised beds, each 2250 x 1125 x 450mm, could be used for a fruit, vegetable and cut flower patch, or for flower borders. The price of these off-the-shelf kits are less than £300 each. Larger projects such as driveway edging are easily calculated – a 250mm high edge for example, is less than £100 per 3m stretch. Delivery is cheap and easy because all the components easily fit onto pallets. Check out our online calculator to get a quick quote for your project.

    If there is nothing suitable for your garden project in the wide range of pre-designed beds, why not get WoodBlocX to design something to your exact specifications? The design service is free, and because they do it all for you there’s no need to worry about anything! WoodBlocX make sure that your design is safe, that it will work, and that you have all the right components so you are ready to build - no running to the shops for extra pieces – everything is supplied with the kit, along with some spares as well just in case. The design service also extends to ponds, edging, seats, retaining walls and steps. Alternatively, use the online calculators to work out what you’ll need for yourself. There’s no obligation to buy after using either service.

    When using a system like WoodBlocX, even daunting and complicated projects can be made easy – and it’s possible to do all the work yourself. Rather than get in builders or landscapers to do different parts of a project, such as terracing or retaining walls, and then look at putting in beds and steps afterwards, the whole thing can be done by you with WoodBlocX. This can save a lot of money, you get the satisfaction of having built it yourself, and it’s as simple as knocking together layers of BlocX: a win-win solution.

  • Hard Landscaping is nothing to be afraid of!

    Landscaping: a word that has many negative connotations including cowboy gardeners and boring municipal plantings, but which really only means to create a planted area. There are two types – soft landscaping is the planting part, and hard landscaping is the creation of patios, paths and beds, and which usually comes first in the process.

    Most domestic gardeners would assume that hard landscaping comes at a heavy cost if you hire someone else to do it, or that it would require a substantial skillset and power tool collection to do it yourself, but that’s just not true!

    WoodBlocX is a product that can transform your garden in a variety of ways, and requires absolutely no technical knowledge or power tools to put together. It’s also cheaper than many of the other options. Here are a few ways you could improve your garden using hard landscaping:

    • Edging. A wooden – curved or straight – edge to lawns and beds really neatens the whole look of the garden, and makes maintaining the edge much easier. A good edge on a driveway or path also adds kerb appeal, and keeps gravel where it’s supposed to be.
    • TerracingDespite not needing any power tools to build, and being light and easy to handle, the WoodBlocX system can also be used to build strong and durable retaining walls and terracing, bringing flat garden lawns and beds to previously unmanageable slopes.
    • PlantersRather than a large pot, why not use a wooden planter? They will not crack like terracotta, and can easily accommodate small trees or large shrubs, which would make a striking centrepiece to a lawn or patio. Alternatively, use them for fragrant plants such as daphnes, lavenders and nemesias in a front garden or by a doorway, where their scent will be most appreciated.
    • Seats. Durable, attractive and comfortable, WoodBlocX seats are a brilliant alternative to benches, which can quickly become rickety and unsafe. Kits range from a simple bench style to seats that incorporate planters at either end.
    • Ponds. Having a water feature in a garden is perhaps the most advanced kind of hard landscaping, but not one that needs to be difficult, especially when WoodBlocX will even tell you what size liner you will need! The raised ponds are also a great option if you only have a courtyard, and can’t dig a pond into the ground.

    Raised beds bring your flowers and veggies to within easy reach, and into view from windows, and can bring greenery and life to patios and courtyards.

  • Wildlife gardens: getting close to the action

    We all know that our country’s wildlife is getting increasingly put-upon by growing urbanisation and commercial agriculture. So what can we do to help? Well, there are a number of very simple and easy steps to take that will not only lend a hand to the wildlife, but also bring some excitement to our gardens as well.

    Bees are increasingly under pressure, so why not plant some good plants for nectar? Often bees get stranded when out looking for food, so providing a little staging post will allow them to recharge their batteries and make it home to the hive. This is especially important in early spring and autumn when the weather is a bit cooler (affecting their energy levels) – so include plants such as primroses, lungwort, asters and sedums, as well as summer flowers such as cosmos and Echinacea.

    These are of course just a few suggestions – there are many more flowers suitable for bees. When choosing your plants, keep the bees in mind by going for open flowers. Many of the modern hybrids have double flowers with so many petals that it’s impossible for the bees to get to the nectar in the centre. Daisy types are especially useful, but there’s a list supplied by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) that details good plants by type and season ( and look for the ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ symbol on plant labels.

    When planting for butterflies, think ‘landing pad’ – they prefer flower types that have a large, flat top like yarrow and sedums, which give them space to land and drink the nectar. Again, refer to the RHS list for appropriate choices. Finally, if you include some plants that not only provide nectar in the summer, but also seed heads in the winter, you’ll get some bird visitors as well.

    With all this going on in the garden, it’s a shame to miss it. Watching wildlife going about its daily business is a great way to relax and forget about the worries of the human world, and so planting in raised beds allows you to get that much closer to the action, without getting muddy or grassy knees!

    Alternatively, for a front-row seat, why not add a raised bed with integral seating or a bench with planters at either end? WoodBlocX have a number of kits for both of these options, or you could use their free design service to create a bespoke bed or seat to turn your garden into a wildlife theatre!

    WoodBlocX uses only sustainably-sourced timber, and other components are created from recycled materials, so its environmental credentials are already very high as all its products are certified by the Soil Association.

  • Creating a Pond in your Garden

    Ponds are a fantastic addition to a garden, whatever its size, and not as difficult to create as you might think. 

    Water in a garden has an enormous value to wildlife – bugs such as pond skaters and water boatmen live in the water, birds can drink and bathe in it, and amphibians such as frogs, toads and even newts will make a home there too. With this additional wildlife in residence, your plants will benefit too – the amphibians are great slug-eaters, and the increased insect diversity will attract other bugs that will feast on aphids and other plant pests. Plus, of course, all this life is fascinating to observe.

    But you don’t have to dig a great big hole! By using the WoodBlocX pond system, you can create a raised pool that can be put on any surface – even a patio – allowing you to incorporate water into your garden very easily. The pond is just as easy to assemble as their other raised beds, and they will even calculate what size liner you’ll need. Choose from a pre-designed pond kit, or design your own (they can do all the difficult calculations for you).

    All ponds benefit from a variety of plantings, to offer the most interest to you as the gardener, and the most habitats for the different types of wildlife. Broadly they can be divided into three types – the oxygenators, the floating plants and the marginal plants. However you plant up your pond, always make sure you include some kind of ramp for creatures such as frogs and birds to get in and out of the water safely, otherwise they may drown.

    Here are some good choices from each of the plant groups to really get your Woodblocx pond system off to a good start:

    • Marginal plants. These are the plants that live at the water’s edge – and while they like their roots to be in permanently damp soil, their foliage and flowers are borne above the surface. Yellow flag irises (Iris pseudoacorus) and a variety of rushes and reeds will give a natural look. You’ll need to construct shelves around the edge of your pond (standing the pot on a brick is fine!) for the plants’ pots to sit on at the correct depth – check the label for this information.
    • Floating (also known as aquatic) plants. Water lilies are the most popular of this group, and lovely to include. They are available in a range of colours, but Nymphaea odorata types will add fragrance as well as beautiful flowers.
    • Oxygenators. These are essential to keep the water healthy, but can need reducing every year to prevent them taking over the pond. Most live submerged in the water. Good ones for smaller ponds include Hottonia palustris (water violet) which bears purple flowers on the water’s surface in spring and Eleocharis acicularis (water grass).

    To really complete the look, some WoodBlocX ponds offer the ability to add beds at the side of, but not part of, the pond – plant these up with a bog garden and you’ll have a beautiful, calming and wildlife-friendly pond in no time.

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