News

  • Rob's Allotment - Crab apple trees and perennial vegetables

    Rob Smith knows a thing or two about gardening, he won the 2015 BBC Big Allotment Challenge, is a regular writer for popular magazines; Kitchen Garden and Garden News, he is also a seed guardian for the Heritage Seed Library and has a range of grafted vegetables and cut flowers, its safe to say he’s a busy man!

    Rob has recently installed two WoodBlocX natural wood raised beds in his kitchen garden that will be used for very different purposes. His garden is sloped and he has his work cut out with the soil, as it is mainly clay and rock, so to successfully grow anything he needs to raise the level of planting and add new soil, making raised beds are the perfect solution.

    “Most of my raised beds are made from corrugated metal, so I plumped for a couple for wooden raised beds to break things up, plus they’re slightly deeper, allowing me to grow a wide variety of edibles.

    "I wanted to make sure that any wooden planter I used was free from chemicals, after all I’ll be eating the plants I grow in them and don’t want anything leaching into the soil. I went for a WoodBlocX raised bed as no chemicals are used in their construction and they're easy to put together, just like giant building blocks.”

    Rob Smith

    Circular raised bed

    Admittedly the circular bed is a little trickier to build than our other raised bed designs, due to its curves and the angles, but the challenge nor the rain on the day caused any set backs.

    Rob selected the circular planter design specifically to install a flowering crab apple tree, which will help to pollinate the other eating and cooking apple varieties he grows, making it a great addition to the garden.

    Since building the circular bed and planting the crab apple tree (the variety is ‘red sentinel’) the base has been planted with box hedging to divide the space into four where flowering plants that attract bees and butterflies will be added.

    Rectangular raised bed

    Lots of our customers buy our rectangular raised beds for growing edibles as the height makes planting, watering, weeding and harvesting much easier. Rob is utilising his to grow varieties of perennial vegetables, which are ideal for busy gardeners, as they will look after themselves all year round with a just little watering and mulching.

    Rob’ top perennial veg varieties include:

    • Turkish rocket
    • Bath asparagus
    • Perennial kale
    • Sea kale
    • Earth chestnut

    To keep up to date with the progress of Rob’s perennial veg and to see how well his crab apple tree pollinates his apple trees over the summer follow him on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

    Shop our circular and rectangular raised beds here, if you can’t find what you’re looking for get in touch and use our free design service.

  • Smart Gardening - New dowel design

    Smart products for the garden don’t always need to involve an app or wifi, take our wooden raised beds for example, its a modular system which means the design possibilities are endless, build raised beds, planters, walls, ponds, seats, steps or a combination of all of those using the same materials, we think its pretty clever and our customers do to!

    There is an element of digital wizardry though, we use specially tailored software to create our designs and make sure that bespoke designs fit perfectly to the space and terrain of the garden. We’re always working on new ideas and ways to make our easy-to-build system even easier, we’ve been busy designing, developing and testing a brand new dowel design that can be removed easily allowing our structures to be reconfigured or moved, making our products even more versatile.

    There is an element of digital wizardry though, we use specially tailored software to create our designs and make sure that bespoke designs fit perfectly to the space and terrain of the garden. We’re always working on new ideas and ways to make our easy-to-build system even easier, we’ve been busy designing, developing and testing a brand new dowel design that can be removed easily allowing our structures to be reconfigured or moved, making our products even more versatile.

    SIMPLE!

    Our dowels have always been made from 100% recycled plastic, these, combined with the strong, rough-sawn, light-weight, pressure treated blocks made from FSC accredited scots pine create a garden structure that is solid, will not crack or distort and doesn’t need any annual maintenance.

    We are extremely pleased with the new design not only because it makes the build process even simpler allowing customers to easily dismantle their WoodBlocX products if they need to move them to another position in the garden or would like to take them with them when they move house, but also because we developed them in house at our HQ up here in the Highlands of Scotland and we think that is pretty smart too!

    The new dowel design is currently on available with orders over £1000 and we aim to make it available with all kits by the end of the year.

    To browse our wide range of wooden raised beds, planters, ponds, seats, retaining wall kits, or to use our free bespoke design service click the button below.

  • Transforming city and urban gardens with WoodBlocX

    Our customers have gardens of all shapes and sizes, from brand new spaces in new-build properties, quaint old cottage gardens to smaller inner city and urban gardens. The style and finish options for our timber garden structures means that WoodBlocX raised beds, planters, steps, walls, ponds and furniture can look perfectly at home in any property type. The versatility of our modular system means you can just as easily transform a large garden as you can a small one.

    One of the benefits of city garden is that they tend to be flat and with the trend to extend properties out into the rear garden, creating a kitchen dining area that can be opened up with bifold doors onto an extended living space in the warmer months. Our design team works with customers on a one-to-one basis to ensure they get the best possible solution for their gardens. One of our most popular requests is to create designs that border either a lawn or patio area to provide a place to grow colourful plants and flowers or for growing fruit, herbs and vegetables.

    A customer with a city garden asked us to create a multifunctional space which needed to include space for a shed, somewhere to sit and planters for growing ornamentals. This particular project was for a family garden, therefore we used the lawn as the centrepiece and utilised the space by bordering the garden with planters and integrated seating. The result is a beautiful, low maintenance space that can be enjoyed throughout the seasons.

    Prices and sizes

    The costs are relevant to the sizes of the structures in this example only. We can create designs that are bespoke to your garden, working to your preferred measurements and budgets.

    Click on the technical image to view the dimensions of each section.

    Modular to suit your garden

    Prices-

    1. £370
    2. £470
    3. £345
    4. £430
    5. £470
    6. £170

    WoodBlocX raised beds, planters, ponds, steps, walls and seating is ideal for updating a space without drafting in builders or tradespeople to help, the beauty of the system is that you don’t need any building experience or specialist tools, all of the wooden pieces are cut to size so there is no measuring, sawing or wasted wood (and trips to the tip!). The dowel system is super simple and if you go wrong they can be unscrewed. We provide a full set of instructions step-by-step instructions and if you need extra help we have made lots of short videos covering everything you need to know plus you can always give us a call and have a chat to the team. By using WoodBlocX you can transform your garden is as little as a day or on a weekend!

    We offer all customers a free custom design service so if you can’t find what you need on our website give us a call or fill in the short questionnaire online so that we can get an idea of what you need and we will take it from there.

    Urban garden inspiration

    To find out how you can use WoodBlocX to transform your garden click here.

  • Gardening for health and wellbeing

    We have been sharing lots of tips for detoxing your garden in 2019 and creating a healthy space to relax and grow because the garden is much more than an extension of your living space.

    Being outside in the fresh air with the sounds of insects humming and birds singing is one of the best kinds of escapism, whilst tending to the garden can help to take your mind off the stresses of everyday life.

    We have provided our timber raised beds for a number of public gardens designed by RHS ambassador and gold medal winner, Jekka McVicar , that place health and wellbeing at the centre of the design.

    St Mungos – The Quiet Garden, Notting Hill

    St Mungos is a homeless charity and one of the largest providers of outreach services to homeless people in the UK, as part of the charities.

    The Quiet Garden was created in partnership with the fragrance brand Jo Malone London as part of the Putting Down Roots project which aims to offer people a place to learn new skills and gain experience tending to the garden.

    Filled with fragrant flowers and herbs to stimulate the senses. The garden is a circular design centred around a tree that was already in place, with an archway for climbers to grow up and steps leading into it. It really is a beautiful space and a great initiative for the charity’s clients to experiences the benefits that gardening can bring.

    Malvern Health and Wellbeing Garden

    Launched at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival in 2017 Jekka McVicar unveiled the show’s first permanent garden which was designed in support of the Pathways charity, a work-focussed day service for adults with learning disabilities and difficulties.

    The design of the garden was inspired by the increasing need for reflection and escape from the stresses of modern life and seeks to preserve and share the vital knowledge of how horticulture and its associated therapies can help soothe the mind, body and soul.

    Featuring curves and a central seating area we were honoured to provide the materials to build the large wooden planters with seating built-in to our modular system.

    There is so much evidence to show that gardening really is beneficial to health and wellbeing and it doesn’t matter if you have a garden or not there are loads of opportunities to garden through community gardens and allotments.

    If you need some inspiration for your own garden head over to our inspiration section and see how our customers have used WoodBlocX raised beds, planters, seating, walls and ponds to create a garden they love.

  • WoodBlocX - Featured on ITV, BBC 1 and BBC 2

    Our wooden raised beds, planters and benches have featured in a number of garden makeover TV shows and not forgetting Dragon’s Den on BBC 1 of course! We’ve compiled the best of the TV appearances from Mediterranean gardens to accessible spaces.

    Alan Titchmarsh and his team at ITV’s Love Your Garden used WoodBlocX raised beds to create a beautiful Mediterranean themed garden at a mid-terrace house that provided a place for a mother to relax and her children to play. The garden was completely flat and the team used large terracotta pots and paving, brick walls were painted and an array of vibrant and fragrant planting was included to give the garden a feeling of warmer climates. Two large WoodBlocX wooden raised beds were used, one providing extra height and the other at ground level planted out with shrubs and bushes. 

    One of our favourite TV installations has to be Glenn and Zoe’s garden which appeared on BBC 2’s Big Dreams Small Spaces with Monty Don. The couple embarked on a complete redesign of their steep garden. Determined to find an alternative to railway sleepers for building raised beds they searched and found WoodBlocX, using our modular system to create a beautiful terraced garden with raised beds, retaining walls and steps all made of WoodBlocX, whilst maximising the space they had available. The result is a truly beautiful garden.

    In 2017 we provided raised beds for BBC 1’s DIY SOS Children in Need special for a volunteer-led housing-project based in Swansea called the Roots Foundation, which aims to support young people in care, care leavers, children in need and adults who have left care with the transition period of independent living. WoodBlocX raised beds were installed in a kitchen garden area where residents at the centre can learn about growing and tending to their own produce.

    Alan Titchmarsh and his team requested WoodBlocX for another project this year to create an accessible garden in Nottinghamshire for a mother whose son was a wheelchair user with multiple disabilities, the garden included two large WoodBlocX raised beds and a WoodBlocX bench to form part of the sensory garden. Plus the Instant Garden on BBC 2 used a small L-shaped planter to rescue a garden in York affected flooding with Helen Skelton describing WoodBlocX as an ‘ingenious timesaving solution’.

    If Monty Don and Alan Titchmarsh’s WoodBlocX installations and garden makeovers have given you inspiration for your own garden project check out our kits for timber raised beds, ponds, seats, edging and kerbing, garden walls, steps and more or contact our design team with your garden ideas and they will create a design that is bespoke to your garden for free.

  • WoodBlocX - shopping centres, apartments and more

    WoodBlocX timber raised beds, planters, ponds, walls and seats are not only loved by our customers for updating their gardens, patios and driveways, gardens, our strong and long-lasting structures can also be found in a number of other locations across the country.

    Our modular system can be seen in seen at one the UK’s busiest shopping centres; Westfield Stratford City, this huge retail hub attracts more than 50 million visitors a year and thousands on a daily basis. We installed a huge cascading planter at the entrance to the centre, nestled between an escalator and steps, the bespoke container is planted out with a mixture of trees and shrubs to bring a touch of nature to this urban shopping destination. You also find our raised beds around the outside of the centre providing visitors with areas to escape the hustle and bustle of the shops.

    We have also worked on roof gardens for student accommodation complexes from London to Aberdeen, creating relaxing spaces for students to unwind in that are both practical and functional. Using bespoke designs that work perfectly with the space, combining planters with integrated seating across large areas. Our raised bed designs incorporate curves and zig zags to transform the spaces along wth clever planting and lighting.

    Dundee's new Waterfront development includes a number of WoodBlocX raised beds in it's Slessor Garden, which is a multi-functional space for the the public to enjoy and for hosting events. Our raised beds were used to create the sensory and heath gardens, with one set of raised beds including three different sections and multi-level planting to allow for different soil types to be used for growing a variety of plant species.
    Our commercial work doesn’t stop there, we continue to partner with organisations across the country to provide raised beds for street planting and seating solutions for public spaces.

    If these snap-shots have given you ideas for your own garden you can shop our range over on the website or if you have an idea and you’re not quite sure how to execute it, get in touch with our design team who will work with your ideas to create a bespoke design free of charge. Click below to find out more.

  • Our sustainability story

    Wood is the heartbeat of WoodBlocX and it is our duty to ensure that the wood we use is grown ethically, sustainably and that waste is repurposed effectively. All of the wood used in our products is harvested in ‘managed forests’ which are areas of woodland where trees are felled and replanted with seedlings.

    A couple of interesting statistics…a whopping 5.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide is sequestered from the atmosphere by these types of forests in the UK, and, trees play a vital role in our economy, with the wood processing industry providing 64,000 jobs in the UK.

    So it’s important that when you buy a wood-product that it is not just from an environmentally-friendly company, but that the good ethics are present all the way back down the supply chain to where that company sources its materials, when using a company like WoodBlocX you are guaranteed not only a high quality product but also the highest environmental credentials.

    Furthermore, WoodBlocX timber is accredited by the FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council). The FSC is an international body that sets the standards for responsible forest management, and ensures that all timber products bearing its mark are from sustainably-managed woodland, so that you can be sure that your garden materials are from woodland that has its water, soil and ancient trees protected, and that the forestry operation does not use hazardous chemicals.

    The modular timber constructions from WoodBlocX – raised beds, planters, retaining walls and terracing, ponds, benches and more – are all made using mostly UK-grown timber (some shortfall is made up with Latvian timber that also meets our strict guidelines). Using UK timber drastically reduces our ‘timber miles’ and carbon footprint. The more UK-grown wood is used to make products, the more trees will be planted to meet the demand, and we all know that more trees in the world is a good thing. Imported wood can often be from areas that are not managed sustainably, causing untold damage to the earth’s wildlife and climate – WoodBlocX UK timber has none of those concerns.

    Our timber is treated using a water-based preservative (Wolmanit CX-10), so there are no nasty chemicals to leach into your garden’s soil which makes WoodBlocX raised beds and planters ideal for organic gardening and growing. WoodBlocX constructions are so strong that they don’t need foundations – even for retaining walls – so you won’t have to use any cement, which has many environmental concerns connected to it. The dowels that fix the BlocX together are even made using recycled plastic, so it’s all in all one of the greenest products on the market.

    In addition, the manufacturing the wooden blocks for our kits creates a lot of sawdust that we don’t need, to ensure that it does not go to waste, it is collected by a local energy plant based up here in the Highlands of Scotland and transformed into pellets for biomass boilers, powering homes sustainably with a by-product that we cannot use.

    A WoodBlocX installation a great addition to your garden for growing your own ornamentals and edibles, made from high-quality sustainable materials from environmentally conscious sources, plus each one goes towards creating renewable energy for homes and businesses too!

  • National Allotments Week 2018

    We asked Annabelle Padwick from Life at No.27 to tell us her allotment story and how these community growing spaces can provide much more than just fresh vegetables.

    - - -

    Happy National Allotment Week! A whole week of officially celebrating a place that mentally saved me and helped me grow as a person. A haven that brings joy, peace and calm to my crazy busy life.

    Although I like to think that I celebrate my allotment every day - by visiting the plot, growing new produce, caring for the soil and writing new blogs to inspire others to try this wonderful lifestyle. I feel us true allotmenteers shout about our passion every day of the year, whether others like it or not, we can’t help it. Everyone should have a little patch to grow their own in my view.

    Thanks to the multitude of advice, tools, equipment and high-quality raised beds available for all plot sizes, abilities and ages – there are no barriers either to being able to get outside and stuck into the soil.

    If you have your own patch of paradise, will you be celebrating? More importantly, why did you get an allotment and how has it benefitted your life?

    As I highlighted, my allotment changed my life in so many ways – it got me outdoors more, got me talking to more people, taught me patience and has given me improved confidence. The biggest gift that it has given me though is…self-belief. Oh and it reduced my shopping bill and gave my tastier veg too!

    If you know my story, you will know that after trying the usual therapy options via my doctor to help me combat my anxiety, it was the process of learning to grow my own produce that clicked that final switch and gave me the boost I needed. If I can grow a sack load of spuds, a giant marrow, pumpkin or a small but oh so juicy and delicious cherry tomato from a seed which most of the time looks like nothing, what else can I achieve in my life?!

    This exact question and the multiple benefits that GYO bought to my life, were the reasons I launched Life at No.27 back in 2015. What if I could help someone else in my situation, what if I could be that one person they could relate to?

    My motivation has never wavered and is stronger than ever to help others, inspire many and ultimately change lives. Which is why I am now working to establish Life at No.27 as a social enterprise and UK wellbeing support network - using community allotments. Creating a therapy option, I didn’t have at 21, available to anyone who needs the support - via self-referral or GP or Psychiatrist referral.

    I truly believe gardening and learning to GYO in particular, can change or at least most definitely add to your life, just as it did with mine.

    Whether you take on an allotment, have a small raised bed dedicated to vegetables in your garden or grow a few herbs from seed on a windowsill, it doesn’t matter.

    It’s about just giving it a go in a way that works for you and your lifestyle. What some people forget and need to remember, is that there is no wrong way. Buy some seeds and compost, then get going!

    The fun of gardening is that it is a never-ending adventure of learning.

    It isn’t just about what you grow, it’s how YOU grow.

    Annabelle x

    Lastly before I head straight to my patch of paradise, thank you to wonderful people at WoodBlocX for allowing to take over their blog for this very special week - sharing my passion, thoughts and vision.

    Keep up to date and get involved with all my adventures, the social enterprise and much more via the 
    website, or Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

    If Annabelle’s story has inspired you to get growing you can browse our raised beds for allotments and gardens by clicking the link below.

  • Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh Edible Gardening Project

    Last week we headed down to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh to catch up with the team that runs the Edible Gardening Project, a scheme that is run purely by volunteers, and a couple of years back we supplied nine of our timber raised beds which have been utilised to grow an abundance of fruit and veg.

    The project is open to anyone who is keen to grow their own produce but isn’t sure where to start and teaches people the skills and knowledge they need to get going, so individuals, local groups and schools can all benefit from the garden making it a brilliant local resource.

    Our raised beds help to make the various gardens more accessible to both children and adults, the project includes three key areas, the first is for children and is used by primary schools and groups of youngsters, these low level raised beds provide a guide, staff at the Botanical Gardens have noted that the children prefer to garden within a bordered area rather than flat ground.

    The second is used by Move More Scotland, which is a programme run by Macmillan Cancer Support, it is national campaign to ensure that people living with cancer are supported to become physically active, both before, during and after their treatment, you can read about it here.

    The third is for young adults and community groups who attend free workshops to introduce them to growing vegetables, composting and organic pest and disease control.

    As you can see from our photos, the garden is looking absolutely stunning, full of vibrant colour and some very healthy vegetables despite the lack of rainfall.

    To find out how our raised beds can be used to create an accessible garden for anyone with mobility issues and disabilities click below.

  • Garden Fest 2018 - Inverness Botanic Gardens

    On 22nd July the first ever Garden Fest took place just down the road from the WoodBlocX HQ at Inverness Botanic Gardens. We sponsored and attended the event bringing some unique WoodBlocX fun for young gardeners to get involved in!

    We challenged youngsters attending the event to a build-off using Lego to create something totally unique, which is exactly what our kits can do for gardens. Imaginations were running wild and the children came up with some very unique designs.
    When we explain how WoodBlocX works we say that it is similar to Lego, our modular system is made up of light-weight timber blocks that fit together to make strong and long lasting wooden raised beds, planters, retaining walls, ponds, steps, seats and like Lego, the design potential is limitless.

    It was great to be involved in a local initiaitive with loads of attractions for families to enjoy, live music, stalls and activities, we had a great day and its safe to say that the first Garden Fest was a great success.

    To see how WoodBlocX works head over to our information page.

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