WoodBlocX

  • 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.

  • Christmas competition | WIN WoodBlocX and more

    Christmas is coming and we want to make it extra special for three lucky winners with some excellent prizes up for grabs.

    First prize is £500 to spend on WoodBlocX

    Choose from raised beds of all shapes and sizes, seating, ponds, retaining walls or speak to one of our designers who will create something totally bespoke.

    Second prize £200 M&S voucher and third prize £100 M&S voucher

    …Because who doesn’t love an M&S voucher? Fill up on festive food or pick up some last-minute gifts for friends and family.

    There’s plenty of chances to win, make sure you share with your friends and family!

  • Protecting crops over winter

    There has certainly been a change in the weather over the past few weeks with most of the UK already experiencing some overnight frost.

    Whilst the heating will be on inside to keep you and your family warm some plants in the garden can benefit from some extra protection too. If you’ve worked hard in the garden this year or if you would like to carry on growing edibles over winter then you need to think about crop protection options.

    Lift

    Protecting plants grown in containers is really simple; if the pots are light enough to pick up and carry they can be moved to a sheltered spot in the garden or placed inside a greenhouse. Plants such as dahlias should be lifted to protect them from the effects of the winter weather and stored in a dormant state in a greenhouse or shed. Other varieties that can benefit from lifting include pelargoniums, geraniums, begonias, gladioli and cannas.

    Mulch

    Spreading a good mulch around sensitive perennials will provide insulation and protect their sensitive root systems, a hardwood mulch is the best option, scatter it in borders and raised beds, building up a good protective layer, you could also use compost or straw. Don't wait until it is too cold to apply your mulch, add it whilst the soil is still moist and slightly warmer.

    Protect

    Larger containers and timber raised beds can be protected from the wind, rain and frost by ‘overwintering’. Simply wrap a protective cover around the structure, different materials can be used from hessian to fleece, your local garden centre will stock a good selection and will be able to advise which is best for the plants you need to protect.

    You can protect your crops all year round with WoodBlocX Crop Protectors. These attractive, rustic and functional rods enable to keep pests such at bay in the spring and summer with a covering of netting or to fix winter fleece or hessian protection too.

    Grow

    There are still crops that can be grown outside now in wooden raised beds, containers or open ground including onions, peas, broad beans and garlic. If you’re keen to get growing this winter check out our range of easy to build and hardwearing raised beds. Choose from all shapes and sizes to suit your garden.

  • Raised bed Q&A

    A garden full raised beds or just one or two can bring so many benefits whether you’re a keen gardener or not. Before installing raised beds there are a few things to consider to ensure you get the best fit for you and your garden.

    Here are some of the top questions our customers ask us:

    Q. What is the best position for a raised bed?

    A. Once you have decided where you would like to build your raised bed, note where the sun rises and sets, the amount of light that falls on that particular spot will help you decide whether it is the best place to build it or not, for example, if your raised bed has shade cast over it for most of the day and you plan to grow certain plants or vegetables you might struggle.

    Q. What surface can a raised bed be built on?

    WoodBlocX raised beds can be built on any surface and there is no need for foundations or cement, build them directly on soil, grass, paving, tarmac, concrete or even sloped gardens, their unique design, which incorporates a series of strong dowels means structures can withstand ground movement when built on a reasonable surface.

    Q. What soil should I fill my raised bed with?

    A. This totally depends on what you plan to grow. Raised beds are a great solution for gardens with poor soil as you can select the type you use. Filling the space with a rich compost mixture would work really well but would also be very expensive. We advise customers to use a good topsoil mix and add a soil improver or compost mix to the top layers. Sandy soil is the best all-rounder. Using a bought-in topsoil rather than using up any surplus from the garden gives you much more control over weeds. Soils can be made richer through using your own homemade compost or manure, but check whether these mixes are suitable for what you plan to grow and remember plants and vegetables can be supported with soil and liquid fertilisers too.

    Q. What can I grow in a raised bed?

    A. You can grow almost anything in a raised bed! Many of our customers favour them for growing edibles because the extra height makes the regular cycle of sowing, maintaining, weeding and harvesting really easy. Depending on the surface that your raised bed is built on you may need to consider planting deeper rooted varieties in taller beds rather than low-level beds.

    Raised beds are ideal for organic growing as you can control exactly what is used in them, also ericaceous plants such as rhododendron and camellia can also be planted using an acidic soil mixture.

    Q. How do I calculate the soil quantity for my raised bed?

    A. If you are filling your raised bed completely then a simple way to work out how many litres is length(m) x width(m) x height(cm), but if you are adding a drainage layer to the bottom subtract the height of the layer from the equation so you don’t over order.

    Q. How do I maintain my raised bed?

    A. Our raised beds are maintenance free, the wood is pre-drilled and then pressure treated, we expect them to last 15 years or more without rotting, cracking or warping. Our structures are joined by a series of dowels that help to create a rigid structure which can withstand tension forces (each dowel joint will withstand up to 0.9 tonnes of shear force in our tests).

    Q. Can I build raised beds on a sloped garden?

    A. Yes! WoodBlocX raised beds are ideal for sloped gardens, the beds can be designed to match the contours of your garden and with the addition of ground spikes, which will help hold the structure down on slopes, helping to prevent the structure from slipping sideways down the hill. Ground spikes are placed on the first layer of all WoodBlocX structures and are also located in every buttress. Many of our customers also use WoodBlocX for retaining walls to landscape their gardens.
    To browse our full range of wooden raised beds, ponds, planters, walls, seats and more or to find out about our FREE design service click below
  • What is the best material for making a raised bed?

    There are many different types of materials that can be used to build raised garden beds from wood through to brick, our customers tell us they spend time researching the options to find out which material is best suited for what they want to achieve in their garden. The aim of this blog is to include all of the information you need in one place to save you time searching and to help you make the right choice for your next garden project.

    We’ve listed the different materials you could use and included approximate costs based on raised beds of similar sizes, Options listed are in price order.

    1. Brick raised beds

    Raised beds can be made from either brand new or reclaimed bricks, you will need to include foundations to build on to create a stable structure. To build it you could set yourself a challenge but to ensure the bricks are laid straight and level and the mortar mix is correct, but if you’re not experienced in bricklaying it is best to enlist the help of a skilled tradesperson.

    Brick raised bed maintenance- 
    Repointing of mortar joints, plus frost-damaged bricks may need to be replaced as and when
    Materials - Bricks, concrete for the footings, sand, cement and, coping stones
    Costs - Based on L 2.25m x W 1.5m x H 0.45m - approx £500 for materials (if buying directly) and additional for labour costs

    2. Railway sleeper raised beds

    Building raised beds out railway sleepers is fairly straightforward, you can buy lengths from timber merchants or garden and DIY retailers in hardwood and softwood varieties (pine or oak), the lengths will need to be cut to size, and you will need to drill holes down through the sleepers and insert reinforcing bars to hold them together. Most new railway sleepers are pre-treated with a preservative, older sleepers or reclaimed sleepers tend to be treated with creosote which is harmful and not recommended for using in the garden.


    Railway sleeper raised bed maintenance - 
    Use an annual wood preservative treatment to prevent rotting, creocote (not creosote mentioned above) is the recommended option for this. Railways sleepers are not recommended for organic growing as the chemicals from the preservative can leach into the soil
    Materials - Sleepers, reinforcing bars
    Costs - Based on L 2.25m x W 1.5m x H 0.45m - approx £25 per sleeper, most popular length is 2.4m, £375 and £100 for reinforcing bars

    3. WoodBlocX raised beds

    An easy-to-build, waste-free option, no cutting or drilling is required, the pieces are similar to Lego and are built up like brick-work and held together with a series of dowels, these combined with the layers of blocks make a strong structure which will last for 15 years or more. No special skills or tools are needed to build a WoodBlocX raised bed and each kit comes with a set of step by step instructions.


    WoodBlocX raised bed maintenance - 
    No annual maintenance required, the blocks are pre-drill and then pressure treated making the wood extra strong and durable
    Materials - (All included in your kit) wooden blocks, capping, dowels and wedges, angle plates, step by step instructions
    Costs - Based on L 2.25m x W 1.5m x H 0.45m - £412.50 https://www.woodblocx.co.uk/rectangular-raised-bed

    Wooden board raised beds

    By far the cheapest option for building raised beds, however, wooden boards are only suitable for low-level planting as the boards are not strong enough to hold the weight of large amounts of soil. Simply cut the boards to size and use 3” 2” timber as stakes and to reinforce the corners and to create a frame to build to.

    Wooden board raised bed maintenance - Replacing rotten and warped boards, every few years, painting
    Materials - Lengths of board available in a variety of sizes, 3” 2” timber for securing the boards in place, screws of varying lengths
    Costs - Based on L 2.25m x W 1.5m x H 0.45m - approx £110 for boards, £10 3” 2” timber and £10 for the screws

    5. Other materials

    There are metal raised bed options available, made from galvanised steel, kits are fairly simple to put together using bolts and prices start at around £450. There are also plastic options for low- level planting but these are not built to last.

    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.

  • 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!

  • Our guide to raised beds

    We know a thing or two about raised beds, after all, we have been designing and manufacturing them for the best part of a decade, here are just some of the many benefits they bring…

    Grow plants and edibles in fresh soil

    Many people choose wooden raised beds for growing vegetables and fruit because the extra height makes watering, weeding and pest control much easier. New beds need to be filled and you have a choice of using surplus soil from your garden or adding brand new soil, if you choose the latter you will generally receive a fresh, weed-free mix which nutrient-boosting soil improvers or compost can be added to, giving you greater control over what your produce is grown in.

    Raised beds can also be used to grow annuals and perennials, shrubs and even plants that need to be grown in specific soil, including ericaceous varieties such as azaleas, rhododendron and camellia as you can adapt the soil to suit. Raised beds are a great addition for boggy or clay soil too as, providing improved drainage.

    Built at a depth to suit you

    The depth or height of a raised bed is totally dependent on its end use and end user. Low level raised beds (0.25m) are ideal for dividing up growing areas and growing shallow-rooted plants. For controlling pests such as rabbits or for keeping pet dogs away from your planting, a raised bed up to 0.45m will keep them at bay, and for ease of access, a tall raised bed from 0.55m is ideal. Read more over at our Size Matters blog.

    Sustainable and non-toxic materials

    Wood is one of the best materials for raised beds and ours are made from the highest quality timber, the wood is pressure-treated and because WoodBlocX are pre-drilled, the non-toxic treatment penetrates to almost 100% of the wood, making our structures durable, long-lasting, and a great alternative to railway sleepers which tend to be chemically-treated. We use rough-sawn wood which will naturally fade to a grey over the years and doesn’t need any maintenance or treatment. 

    Improved drainage

    Raised beds built directly on soil or grass do not require any drainage, those built on patios, tarmac and concrete could benefit from a drainage layer at the bottom if the bed - stones or gravel can be used for this. WoodBlocX raised beds of all sizes allow for drainage through the air gaps between each block.

    Raised beds can be accessed without having to walk on them, this prevents soil compaction, helping plant roots to grow more freely and take on more nutrients, which helps them to become more resilient to disease and frost.

    To find out more about our wide range of wooden raised beds and planters and to find out how simple it is to build beautiful long lasting structures for your garden click the button below

  • WIN one of three Garden on a Roll autumn borders

    After the dry and very hot spell in June and July gardens across the UK suffered, with lawns drying out and plants in beds and borders turning an unsightly shade of brown. If this sounds like your garden then our latest competition is for you!

    We have teamed up with Garden on a Roll to help rescue your border.

    When planning a planting scheme for a border it can be difficult to work out how many plants to fill it with and which plants will look good together, this can result in over-spending on plants and a messy border. Garden on a Roll use the expertise of garden designers to select the plants that work best together and also show you where to plant them.

  • Autumn garden updates

    With the hot summer days making way for the cooler autumnal weather, September and October are great months for making the changes in the garden that you didn’t get round to doing in the spring and summer. Here are few tips from us to get you started...

    Tidy up

    Lots of plants fell victim to the hot dry weather in June and July whilst others will have flourished, by now the garden will have lost its bright and fresh glow and be looking a little be bedraggled. Arm yourself with a good pair of secateurs and set to work cutting back old growth of spent plants and flowers, remove any dead plants, cut back rapid-growing herbs such as oregano and mint, hard prune roses and weed beds and borders. Lawns will have begun to spring back to life now, mow them and tidy up bushy and overgrown edges. 

    Update at your own pace

    Now that the BBQ and alfresco dining season is well and truly over it's a great time to think about making updates to the garden. There’s less pressure than in spring or summer to have the garden ready for a certain time so you can move at your own pace, however fast or slow that may be.

    If you’re looking at starting a complete garden redesign our design team can help you by creating a WoodBlocX design that is totally bespoke to your garden free of charge. Simply call, 
    email or fill in the quick design survey and we will do the rest for you. Our versatile system can be used to create fully integrated gardens that include planters steps, raised beds and retaining walls, the can be built by you saving £££s on labour costs. If you a complete garden redesign is out of the question check out our 'Transform your garden in a weekend' blog.

    Maintenance 

    Painting sheds and fences, cleaning greenhouse glass, trimming bushes, replacing rotten raised beds and repairing patios are all jobs that cannot wait until next spring. Make a list of the jobs you need to do in your garden and tackle them starting with the most important. Keep your eyes peeled for special offers of paints and materials at DIY stores and garden centres. For rotten raised beds made from wooden boards or railway sleepers consider upgrading to a hardwearing and long-lasting WoodBlocX timber raised bed, no annual maintenance is needed as the wood is pressure treated making it super durable.

    For ideas and inspiration for your next garden update visit our website.

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