News

  • Rob's small new build garden transformation

    sloped garden design - new build garden

    Finding ideas for small gardens is the easy part, but transferring those ideas into a design that works perfectly for space available can be tricky, especially is the garden is sloped or on an incline.

    Our customer Rob struck the right balance of functionality and style whilst creating a design for his sloped garden that fits perfectly into the space available.

    His new build garden was, like many others, made up of a budget patio, a narrow pathway and some poor quality turf. It was totally uninspiring and not the kind of space he wanted to live with. His update was driven by a desire to use this garden as an extension of his beautiful new home, to create an area for his daughter to play safely, to enjoy for BBQs and entertaining, and also to add stunning planting that would change throughout the seasons.

    Read on to find out how he did it.

    Sloped garden design case study

    The garden before...

    The property is a new build house therefore the garden was as the builders left it, there was little consideration for design; the garden level and the usability of the space. The garden sloped from the back fence to the house approximately 900mm over an 8m length and had a single path running from the house to the back gate for access from the driveway.

    The garden benefits from a south facing position which has long durations of sunlight throughout the day, making it a brilliant spot for growing plants and edibles in raised beds

    Small garden ideas - new build before shot
    sloped garden design
    small garden ideas - New build - before

    Rob created his own design for the space, his ideas included tiered raised beds, which wrapped around a lawn area. Adding an integrated seat saved space and made a great design feature, maximising the space available. He added steps, which worked perfectly against the planters and the incline of the garden to make the area feel much more inclusive.

    Rob did explore other options for materials including traditional brickwork, rendered block work and railway sleepers, before settling on WoodBlocX as it enabled him to carry out large elements of the garden works without the requirement for specialist resources.

    We took Rob's design and simply remodelled it using our modular system. Rob then completed the excavation works, laid the base material and built the structure before using a landscaping company to complete the paving works and grass. See how easy it is to build with WoodBlocX here.

    The garden after...

    Sloped garden design - new build
    sloped garden design - new build
    sloped garden design - new build
    sloped garden design - new build

    Our designer Harry worked with Rob on this project, here's what he has to say about it...

    "This is a brilliant example of how a relatively small space can still include a number of different design features without taking up a large footprint. Rob's design effectively cuts into the slope of garden to create a large level space and the tall planters provide a strong retaining wall to support the steps and the existing earth below the fence.

    Overall its a great showcase of the versatility of WoodBlocX and how our modular system can be used to create a full garden design."

  • 19th March 2021 - Covid-19 update - delivery times

    Now that the roadmaps for the UK coming out of lockdown have been released, we are working towards resuming our normal delivery times and gradually and safely returning our employees to the workplace.

    Due to the time of year, we are extremely busy and must continue to follow current Covid-19 guidelines to ensure safe practices in our warehouse, we currently have a 4-5 week lead time in place. The next available date for delivery is always shown on the website here and when placing your order.

    Our Free Bespoke Design Service is always available to all customers and if you have any questions please call us on 0800 389 1420, use the chat box on the right hand side of your screen or send us an email by clicking here.

    Thank you again for continuing to support our business during these difficult times, we really appreciate it.

    WoodBlocX team

  • Best selling raised bed shapes of 2020

    Read on to find out what our best selling raised bed shapes of 2020 using our easy to build, long lasting DIY kits.

    Our top selling raised bed shape of 2020 was...

    Of course traditional rectangular raised beds are always the firm favourite of all of our shapes! This timeless shape will work perfectly in all garden and property types from minimalist to cottage gardens. WoodBlocX raised beds are a great alternative to railway sleepers as all of the parts are pre-cut and pre-drilled making them easy to build and long-lasting. No sleeper screws or sleeper brackets needed! Plus the unique design of WoodBlocX makes your structure extra-strong so it won't easily distort, unlike other wooden products, so you can be confident your raised bed will not give away.

    WoodBlocX best selling rectangular raised timber bed shapes
    Creating an accessible garden using raised beds

    Second best selling raised bed shape of 2020 - Octagons

    Our octagonal raised bed kits are extremely popular, they make the perfect centre piece to a garden. The design of them can even be adapted to create different levels and sections. The interesting angular shape is completely different to standard raised beds and is ideal for anyone looking to make a statement in the garden.

    WoodBlocX best selling raised bed shapes
    WoodBlocX best selling raised bed shape

    Corners and L-Shaped raised beds

    Transforming an unused corner of the garden can make a huge difference and our corner raised beds are a great solution. The modular nature of our BlocX means that it is very easy to add seating, different planting levels and more. L-shaped raised beds are also brilliant for breaking up areas in the garden to create different zones.

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

    Bespoke designs

    More than a quarter of our customers opted to use our free bespoke design service in 2020. Our team of designers worked with customers to help their garden visions come to life with full garden redesigns, fire pit benches, terracing, retaining walls and more. Even bespoke raised beds designed to fit even the trickiest of spaces, something that is hard to achieve with railway sleepers, metal and plastic raised beds.

    WoodBlocX best selling bespoke raised timber bed shapes
    garden design ideas

    There's more!

    The design possibilities are endless thanks to the versatile nature of WoodBlocX.

    How gardening can improve mental health
    retaining wall
    Small garden ideas - WoodBlocX
    How gardening can improve mental health

    Our website features hundreds of raised bed kits or all shapes and sizes for building raised beds, planters, ponds, garden furniture, walls and steps. If you can't find exactly what you're looking for get in touch with our design team who can create a something bespoke for your garden free of charge.

    If you need inspiration for creating a low maintenance garden click here.

  • 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

    Sign up to the WoodBlocX newsletter

    Sign up to our newsletter to receive exclusive discounts, garden inspiration, competitions and tips on using our modular system to build raised beds, retaining walls, ponds, seats and much more.

  • Christmas and New Year closing

    Our office will be closed for Christmas from 5pm on Friday, 18th December 2020 and will reopen on Monday 4th January 2021. Orders placed between these dates will not be fulfilled until 7th January 2021.

    Please continue to send any questions or requests for our Free Bespoke Design Service to [email protected] and our team will be in touch with you in the New Year.

    In the meantime if you need to know more about our products please visit our FAQs, our How To Build With WoodBlocX page or see our quick Videos, there is also lots of information about our products over on our Blog.

    Wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy Christmas.

  • Stay Home Photo Challenge Gallery

    We knew our 2020 Easter weekends were going to be a little bit different this year we decided to celebrate our customer gardens and show everyone the wonderful spaces that have been created using our raised beds, ponds, walls, steps and seating.

    We received lots of photos and wanted to put them all in one place so everyone can scroll through and get some garden inspiration, here you will see all kinds of WoodBlocX, the old and the new, the works-in-progress, the painted, the unpainted and everything in between.

    Sloping garden ideas
    retaining wall
    garden design ideas
  • Edinburgh's Saughton Park

    Saughton Park is one of Edinburgh’s top ten parks, close the river Leith it has facilities for sports, recreation and has a rich history of growing plants for medicinal purposes. The park’s walled and physic garden is where the term ‘occupational therapy’ was coined thanks to the pioneering horticultural work of Dr William Lowe more than 100 years ago.

    The Physic and Kitchen Garden, as it is now known, recently underwent a huge transformation, plans to replace the 1950’s sensory garden for the blind, which had fallen into disrepair, began at the start of 2019 and resulted in 17 large WoodBlocX raised were installed with several structures featuring integrated seating to create a functional space for both visitors and volunteers to enjoy.

    The garden is looked after by Friends of Saughton Park, which is split into different groups and look after various parts of the park, the Physic Garden team, who were keen for the garden to appeal to all ages and abilities, designed and planted it. The group is also known as the 'lotions and potions' group, each of the WoodBlocX wooden raised beds that make up the garden each relate to different parts of the body, the plants within a particular bed each have medicinal properties relating to a particular part of the body. The central raised beds have been designed around parts of the body and the plants chosen are beneficial for that area, or ailments or diseases affecting it e.g. the heart bed contains foxgloves which have been used in the treatment of heart conditions since the 1700s; the oncology bed contains snowdrops whose active component is galanthamine, which used in anti-cancer treatments.

    Our top three raised beds for growing edibles

    Raised Bed Best Seller
    Size: 2.25 x 1.125 x 0.45m
    Price: £344.00

    A perfect size for a small vegetable, fruit or herb patch, or for adding some ornamental planting to any area, this raised bed is proportioned to be half as wide as it is long. It is narrow enough to reach all the plants without having to step on to the bed itself. The extra height also makes maintaining the plants that little bit easier on the back and knees, or for tending from a (wheel)chair.

    WoodBlocX best selling raised bed shapes

    L-Shaped Raised Garden Bed
    Size: 2.625 x 1.125 x 0.75 x 0.35m
    Price: £340.20

    A big upright and a small sticky-outy-bit, this L-shaped kit is perfect for awkward corners that have just a small bit of cornering to do, for instance coming into a gate or the end of a wall by a door.

    Octagonal Raised Bed
    Size: 1.65 x 0.45m
    Price: £344.20

    This planter would make a striking centrepiece to a front or back garden or patio, and could be used for planting almost anything. It is deep enough to accommodate a small specimen tree or shrub that could be underplanted with bulbs or shade-loving plants.

    To find how easy it is to build with WoodBlocX and to find out why our structures are so popular click here

  • New build garden transformation

    New build gardens are often small and uninspiring, this garden design case study is full of ideas for transforming a blank canvas into something beautiful. Simon and his partner had lots of ideas for transforming their small new build garden. Their story is filled with ideas for small gardens and large ones.

    Tell us briefly how the garden was before you began updating it...
    As with most new builds, the house builder provided us with topsoil and slabs, nothing more. Our garden also had a gradient, sloping away from the house, which made the space mostly unusable.

    What ideas did you have for transforming your small garden?
    We wanted to create the ideal space for entertaining friends and family and give it a sense of purpose. We’re also keen gardeners, but sadly we don’t have much free time. With this in mind, we also wanted to create space for plants that would be easy to maintain.

    How did you hear about WoodBlocX?
    When we decided that we needed to level off the garden we started searching online for retaining walls. A few clicks later and we arrived at the WoodBlocX website.

    Did you look into any alternative materials for the walls and seating?
    We considered using reclaimed railway/timber sleepers but quickly decided it wasn’t an option worth pursuing. Using sleepers would have not only cost more due to the waste, but the effort that comes with having to lift, cut and attach them together was also off putting.

    How did you find working with the team and using the free bespoke design service?
    Incredible. We worked with Lachlan who was extremely helpful (and patient!) as we refined our design multiple times to make it perfect. When you’re in our garden you can immediately feel that the design is unique and has been designed to fit and maximise the space.

    The garden before....

    The garden after...

    Small garden ideas - WoodBlocX
    Small garden ideas - WoodBlocX

    Tell us about the different elements of your new garden

    Our garden is now split into two levels. The first level has a slate floor covering and is supported by two WoodBlocX retaining walls. We also worked an inset seating area into one of the walls maximise the space and provide a place to put the shopping down when you walk through the back gate.

    We then have a semi-circular set of WoodBlocX steps that take you down to the lower level of the garden. As our neighbour’s land is around 50cm higher than ours we have a retaining wall that supports their garden along the fence - this also provides us with a perfect raised bed for growing trailing plants along the fence (currently Sweet Peas). Moving further down the garden we needed to continue the retaining wall, but we wanted to ensure there was still space for seating. The space at the bottom of our garden appeared as an obvious place for a cosy seating area, but to do this while also needing a retaining wall was a challenge. During the design process we worked with Lachlan to create the perfect shaped benches that would also act as retaining walls. This has saved us space and money as we now have permanent seating that, unlike other garden furniture, doesn’t need to be stored away during water in a shed that takes up space!

    Small garden ideas - WoodBlocX
    Small garden ideas - WoodBlocX
    Small garden ideas - WoodBlocX

    Our designer Lachlan says...

    “Simon’s garden was a great project to work on and a great customer to work with. We had to go through a few iterations of the design, but this is all part of the design process. We always ensure that our customers receive exactly what they need for their project regardless of what it is they want to achieve. For an intricate full garden redesign like this one, it was paramount that we focussed on the details to squeeze the most out of the space and budget, whilst fulfilling the original brief.”

    If you're ready to start transforming your garden or to find out more about our free bespoke design service click here. Or if you're unsure where to start with your new build garden the RHS has a great guide covering soil, planting and privacy, which you can find here.

    More ideas for small gardens using WoodBlocX

    Ideas for small gardens - tall planters
    Ideas for small gardens - corner raised beds
    Ideas for small gardens - narrow raised beds
  • 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.

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