News

  • How to build a WoodBlocX raised bed

    Our raised beds are really easy to build because everything you need is included in your kit. All of the wooden components are cut to size so there’s no need to saw the wood and there’s no waste.

    The components are lightweight making them easy to move them from one side of the garden to other and this also makes building the structures much more relaxed.

    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 method applies to all.

    Your delivery will look similar to this. Everything you need here, wooden blocks, capping, dowels, angle plates and step by step instructions. 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 half way down using dowel cutters or a saw and fit the capping using a protective piece of wood to ensure you don't damage your caps.

  • 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.

  • Our Favorite Garden Designers

     

    There's a lot that goes into designing a dream garden, so to help get your creative juices flowing we have compiled a list of our top favourite designers for inspiration, and you can watch how Rick McKeever from Lovania Nurseries used WoodBlocX to build his award-winning garden in the above video.

    One thing before you start though, spend some time thinking about exactly what you want the garden for. Do you want it for purely ornamental planting with WoodBlocX raised beds and ponds, or are you looking to create productive areas as well? How big a lawn area do you want, if any? Do you need to provide a sport’s pitch or play area for children? What about seating and entertaining areas - and storage (where’s the lawnmower going to live)? Once the decision has been made, assess what you want against how much time you will have to look after it and amend your plans as necessary. Only then is it time to design your garden.

    Now you have decided about what you want your garden to be used for, click on any of the designer links below for inspiration and ideas which you can adapt and implement in your own garden.

    The design needn’t be complicated, but if the idea of working it all out fills you with dread, or even if you just want a second opinion, think about using a design service. Unlike others however, the WoodBlocX design service is completely free and puts you under no obligation to buy. All you need do is send us a simple sketch, the size of the area you're looking to work with, and we will come back with a garden design featuring plantersraised bedspondsseating areas or retaining walls using the WoodBlocX system to fit in perfectly, depending on your original requirements. The more detail and information you can provide the better, but if you are struggling, even a few simple lines and rough size estimates will be enough for us to get started
  • The new Health and Wellbeing Garden at RHS Malvern

    It was a great pleasure for us at WoodBlocX to recently work with the wonderfully talented Jekka McVicar on another garden project. This time the focus was on Health and Wellbeing, and the design incorporated a number of curved sections as well as a central seating area.

    The garden forms the focus point of the new Live Well Zone at the RHS Malvern Show. The garden is 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.

    The garden brings to life a living, working space for the mind, body and senses, and demonstrates the role gardens continue to play in our health and sense of wellbeing. The WoodBlocX team were on site for only four days to install the garden infrastructure before Jekka and her planting team were able to come in and really bring the space to life.

    Jekka McVicar, who is the RHS Ambassador for Health through Horticulture, said: “I am delighted to have been asked to create a lasting garden for RHS Malvern Spring Festival. I want the Health & Wellbeing Garden to be a usable and beautiful space that is embraced by people of all ages – a space for growth, education and reflection. With the Malvern Hills as a dramatic backdrop, RHS Malvern Spring Festival is such a beautiful place and because it’s at the start of the summer, it’s always a time of such optimism. It is a real privilege to bring this garden to life as part of such a dynamic and exciting show.”

    The Health & Wellbeing Garden is in support of Pathways, a work-focused day service for adults with learning disabilities and difficulties. Pathways use gardening and the environment as an educational tool to introduce young adults to the working world. Clients of Pathways benefit from gaining vital skills for entering the working world including trust, communication, interaction with peers, taking direction and responsibility for themselves and others.

    Leaving a legacy, Jekka’s garden will provide Pathways with a nurturing space to continue their works in encouraging clients to grow, and WoodBlocX are proud to be associated. Throughout the show times, Pathways will sell plants and refreshments from the garden and funds raised will go towards covering the costs of the residential trip taken twice each year for clients of Pathways; a vital retreat for clients that contributes to their sense of wellbeing. Outside of show days, Pathways and local schools will host sessions in the garden, a garden which aims to inspire visitors of all ages and abilities with engaging elements tailored for all.

    The Planting

      The theme is all about wellness of body and mind:
    • Rosemary has been scientifically proven to restore the memory
    • Fennel is a good digestive
    • Woad is a traditional dye plant
    • Heartsease helps mend a broken heart
    • Lavender helps relax the mind and body
  • Big Dreams Small Spaces

    Did you watch the first episode of the new series of ‘Big Dreams Small Spaces’? If you did, you’d have been treated to loads of beautiful shots of WoodBlocX being used in Glenn and Zoe’s garden transformation project! Monty Don was on hand to help the couple revitalise the awkwardly shaped green space into something magical.
    During the programme, Glenn and Zoe wanted to find a way to make their very steep garden more enjoyable by implementing level pathways and retaining walls. The solution was, of course, WoodBlocX! Glenn had heard of WoodBlocX beforehand, but had no first-hand experience building with the system itself. The team got straight to work planning and plotting the redesigned garden and assembled their bespoke WoodBlocX kit in a short space of time.
    “For the terrace we’re going to use WoodBlocX, built with a peg system, and they’re relatively easy to put together,” Glenn said on the programme. “Once you’ve got them level and square, it’s just like a big LEGO set made of wood!”
    In case you missed it, the full episode is available on BBC iPlayer right now.
  • Timber systems versus railway sleepers

    When considering the options for your garden building project – whether it be raised bedsplantersbenches or more, timber is often at the top of the list. It’s a natural product, relatively easy to use and cheap. Boards and planking can warp and bow over time however and cannot be guaranteed to be strong or durable enough, so railway sleepers are often seemed to be the only timber option. However, a modular timber system such as WoodBlocX has many advantages over sleepers.

    Construction

    • Sleepers are very heavy and awkward to handle. Their size can mean they are difficult to get into the garden, and you’ll need help to get them there and into place.
    • The individual WoodBlocx pieces are so light, small and easily carried that a child could build with them.
    • Sleepers require cutting, drilling and bolting together, all processes that take time, need expertise and create noise.
    • WoodBlocX are pre-cut, pre-mitred and pre-drilled so are quick and easy to put together and require no power tools.

    Environment

    • The origin of the timber for some sleepers cannot be guaranteed.
    • Most of WoodBlocX timber is UK grown, and it is all processed in the UK.
    • Sleepers are treated with a range of chemicals including creosote that can leach out into the soil or water. From there it can be taken up by plants (and who wants creosote in their veggies?) or poison the water in ponds.
    • WoodBlocX timber is pressure-treated with environmentally-friendly products.

    Design

    • Sleepers come in limited sizes, all of which are big. Their size limits a design because they can only be used in a few ways.
    • WoodBlocX are significantly smaller so can therefore be used to create more detailed designs and a more flexible approach to the whole garden. Curved and circular beds are also possible with WoodBlocX, designs which are not possible with sleepers
    • The width of the sleepers themselves takes up a lot of space that is essentially wasted.
    • WoodBlocX are only 75mm wide, allowing more space for planting or paths.
    • Sleepers – especially re-used ones – generally only come in one dull shade of dark brown.
    • WoodBlocX can be very easily painted any colour of the rainbow or clad in metal.

    Cost

    • Sleepers are expensive and can also result in a lot of waste..
    • WoodBlocX supply exactly what you need in pre-fabricated BlocX, at a fraction of the price..
    The WoodBlocX modular timber system is a great option for any garden project, and can be used to build raised beds, planters, benches and seats, raised pondsretaining walls and edging. They are cheaper, better to build with and more flexible than railway sleepers. Have a look at the website to see how they can be used in a garden, or give our team a call to discuss how we can help with either our kits or a bespoke design.
  • What it takes to build an Award Winning Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show

    It’s that time of year again, the weather is warming up, the flowers are starting to bloom and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show opens its gates to showcase the best of the world’s garden design talent.

    Whilst we’re not exhibiting this year, WoodBlocX has been included in The Sun newspaper’s Flower Square Garden, which is a series of four 4m x 4m square floral exhibits based in the Grand Pavilion. Our BlocX have been featured in Lovania Nursery’s garden called ‘Room Outside’ designed by Rick McKeever.

    Rick has used WoodBlocX as an integral part of his design, incorporating four stacked tiers of painted BlocX for the Children’s Corner. There is something different to see on each tier, including a working a train set complete with a Lego model of London’s Tower Bridge, a fairy garden, a sandy beach scene with a lighthouse and the top tier has a cascading waterfall.

    Rick’s design shows the versatility of WoodBlocX and how the BlocX can be used in unusual ways to create different effects. The garden also includes a living wall, green roof and a central dining table featuring turf for placemats and garden trowels and forks for cutlery and a seating area made from wooden pallets.

    If this has got your creative cogs moving or if you would like inspiration for your own garden take a look at our website. www.woodblocx.co.uk

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