WoodBlocX

  • Hard Landscaping is nothing to be afraid of!

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

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

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

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

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

  • A BBC WoodBlocX garden transformation

    In 2016 Glenn and Zoe Crockford appeared on the BBC's ‘Big Dreams   Small Spaces’ television programme with Monty Don. The couple opted to use our modular system throughout their redesign; see how they transformed their garden and how they found using WoodBlocX for their project.

     

    Tell us about your garden before its transformation

    When we first moved into our house the garden was probably the worst feature. It was incredibly steep, featureless and had very little level ground. There was a path running across the garden, which ended half-way at nothing. The grass was a nightmare to mow and quite dangerous. We had both slipped down the slope several times on our way to the compost bins. We knew we had to change it but didn’t really know how, when or what we could achieve.

    How did you get started with your plans and what was the inspiration?

    Garden design is not something either of us had done before. Our initial plans were very simplistic and we took the easy option and went with the existing landscape. We were pretty naive and spent a lot of time drawing and redrawing ideas. We made a basic scale drawing which we copied and kept drafting onto. Lots of discussion was key. We collected ideas via Pinterest which really helped. Our other big incentive was that we were getting married in the October and had talked about growing flowers to have at our wedding. Luckily for us we ended up with enough flowers for the whole thing!

    Monty Don helped with the planning, what advice did he give you that stuck with you throughout the makeover?

    His most valuable piece of advice was that we didn’t have to stick with anything that was already there and that we had a chance to totally change the layout of our garden. He gave us the push to start again, be braver and to imagine our garden as a blank canvas. Which we did. We totally changed our plan, even ignoring some of Monty’s suggestions. Ultimately, he said, it was our garden and we had to make it work for us. He also gave us really sound advice with planning the planting. I had gone overboard with planting lists, like a child in a sweetshop. I wanted everything I had ever seen that was pretty, but realistically that was never going to work.

    You included several WoodBlocX raised beds and steps within the design, what made you take the decision to use WoodBlocX? 

    We decided against wooden sleepers as they were so impractical given our situation. They would also have added too much depth to the beds and we wanted to maximise the space. Glenn was searching for small sleepers online and found a photo on Pinterest of someone using WoodBlocX. The photo was linked to the YouTube footage of ‘Dragon’s Den’ and from there the rest was easy. Glenn did massive amounts of research into whether we could make it fit our garden, and then actually make it. We quickly realised it was our best option.

    How did you find building the structures?

    It was fantastically easy; the design appeared online to be straightforward to build and it almost seemed too good to be true that it all arrived and fitted together. We had to make a couple of small adjustments due to the horrendous chalk layer that runs through the garden and which caused some digging issues. However, this gave us some spares which came in very handy as we managed to build a set of steps the entire length of the garden. The contact and support we had from WoodBlocX was brilliant and we felt very well looked after.

    The WoodBlocX raised beds have now been in place for two years, how has the garden evolved since then?

    The WoodBlocX beds are fantastic. The wood has weathered a little but is still a lovely honey colour. Everything is as sturdy as the day we built it. The garden has really come on since we first planted it out and changes every year as we continue to tweak it. It's been wonderful to see it coming into its' own and marvelling at how the perennials come back bigger and better each year. At the time we didn’t realise it, but we have two beds which are a perfect height and depth to maintain and we can get to all aspects of the garden really easily.

    With Easter a just a week away there is no better time to make plans for your garden.

    If you would like to transform your garden, simply get in touch with us and our team of in-house designers will create a FREE design that is completely bespoke to your garden. Your garden could even be transformed in time for the May Bank Holiday weekend!

  • Take a look behind the scenes of our latest video

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

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

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

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

    WoodBlocX-Guide-2017-90
    WoodBlocX-Guide-2017-82

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

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

  • Sowing season is here

    Now that the cold snap behind us and spring is on its way (we hope!), its time to start looking ahead to the growing season.

    March is the month to make a start on sowing seeds, if it is mild enough where you are you can get to work sowing certain veg directly into the soil including carrots, radish, broad beans, parsnip, beetroot, peas, leeks and many more.

    Remember that the soil in a raised bed warms up much quicker than open ground, making them ideal for early sowing.

    For the seeds such as tomato, basil, peppers and lettuce that need a little more warmth than a raised bed can offer sow in pots either in a greenhouse or sunny windowsill.

    Now that the cold snap is behind us and spring is on its way (we hope!), it’s time to start looking ahead to the growing season.

    March/April are the months to make a start on sowing seeds, if it is mild enough where you are you can get to work sowing certain veg directly into the soil including carrots, radish, broad beans, parsnip, beetroot, peas, leeks and others.

    Remember that the soil in a raised bed warms up much quicker than open ground, making them ideal for early sowing.

    For the seeds such as tomato, basil, peppers and lettuce that need a little more warmth than a raised bed can offer, sow in pots either in a greenhouse or sunny windowsill.

    Our latest competition aims to get the growing season for 500 people off to a flying start. We have selected five varieties of vegetable and herb seeds from Mr Fothergills, all of which can be sown from March onwards. So, if you’re new to growing your own food these starter packs are perfect for you.

    We’ve got 500 packs of five to give away worth £9.49 and to enter all you need to is click here, plus if you share the competition far and wide you will receive more entries, which means there are more chances to win!

    Carrots Nantes 5
    A Mr Fothergill’s Best Buy, this is a delicious early variety of carrots, the blunt ended roots have outstanding flavour, matures in 12 weeks.

    Lettuce Salad Bowl
    The lettuce that keeps on giving, pick the leaves as needed and this variety will crop all summer long.

    Radish French Breakfast
    One of the easiest growing vegetables, these radishes have a mild and crisp flavour and can be harvested from April – October.

    Tomato Maskotka
    The best way to grow Britain’s favourite summer vegetable is in containers, this bushy plant will give you plenty of sweet cherry tomatoes from July – October.

    Add a taste of the Mediterranean to your cooking using your home-grown basil, sow indoors from March – May or outdoors from May – June.

  • More than just raised beds...

    We’re often referred to as the company that offers raised beds, and rightly so, as it’s our speciality. However, the beauty of WoodBlocX is that our unique modular system can be adapted and transformed into lots of different structures for the garden. Here are just a few examples of what we’ve helped our customers to achieve.

     

    Retaining walls and kerbing
    Terraced, sloping or gardens featuring different levels can be landscaped with our modular system. From low kerbing to medium or high retaining walls, WoodBlocX is strong; a single wall can retain earth up to the height of one metre and multiple terracing can retain slopes of greater heights.

    retaining wall

    Steps
    Steps can be integrated seamlessly into a WoodBlocX structure, bringing pillars and planters or retaining walls together, while keeping the design consistent. Alternatively, steps can be added independently and paving slabs or natural stone can be laid on top to complete the design.

    Seating
    A great alternative to plastic and metal garden furniture, WoodBlocX seating is clean and doesn’t need any annual maintenance; the structures can be left as they are to age naturally or be painted to suit the colour scheme of your garden.

    Full garden transformations
    Our modular system is ideal for complete garden makeovers, incorporating raised beds, seating and retaining walls. Customers that have done this have found WoodBlocX to be much more cost-effective than buying materials separately or having structures built using brick or stone

  • 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.

    Design for your garden
  • Five tips for updating your garden this spring

    Successfully updating your garden is all in the planning and February is the ideal month to lay down plans in readiness for spring. we've put a quick guide together to get you started...

    Time
    Realistically how much time can you put into your garden? Spring, summer and autumn are the busiest times, early spring is the time to start working on updates to the garden and getting planting in place, from late spring through to summer everything grows in abundance from plants, to veg and weeds to the lawn so consider the time all of this will take and plan your updates around this. For those short on time choose products that will make your life easier, such as easy access raised beds, automatic watering systems and low maintenance plants.

    Budget
    Put a budget aside specifically for the garden, spending a little here and a little there soon adds up. If you’re working to a small budget utilise YouTube for DIY videos and speak to friends and family, some may have a stack of old pots, which can be upcycled or abundance of plants that you could take cuttings from or separate into new plants. When researching products for your garden check for quality and longevity and for free help when it comes to designing structures, such as our free design service.

    Space
    Sketch out the space the space you have available in your garden and the different elements you would like to include, set up a pinterest board and start searching for layout ideas and the different features you would like to include such as garden seating, raised beds, paths and patio areas, colour schemes, water features, pots and containers, veg patches, decking, fencing and maybe even some garden art!

    Positioning
    Do you want somewhere to sit on a warm summer morning and enjoy a coffee or somewhere to relax in the evenings after a long day? If so take note of the direction and the timing of the sun on your garden, this way you won't end up with a seating area that spends most of the day in the shade! This is also great knowledge to have when selecting plants for different areas, and vegetable growing.

    Plants and colour
    If you are planning a colour scheme stick for your garden to a certain number of the same plant, that way you will have some consistency to the planting. Do some research before taking a trip to the garden centre to work out which plants you prefer, whether you’re looking for plants that offer height or thrive well in shady conditions, climbers or plants that will compliment the changing seasons.

    For ideas and inspiration for your next garden project visit our website or contact us directly we'd love to help

  • Fertilising your WoodBlocX raised bed

    Ensure your raised beds are ready and raring to go for spring by boosting the health of the soil.

    Good quality soil will help increase the crop yield of vegetables and promote healthier blooms in flowers; plus, the better soil structure builds up resilience to pests and disease. There are lots of composts and additives available and here’s a quick rundown of the most popular.

    Compost
    Good quality compost can offer lots of benefits. If you’re planting directly into your raised bed a good multi-purpose version is the best choice. It can also be used for raising seedlings in pots too and when doing this we use a sieve to make a finer mixture which will save you buying a separate seed compost mix.

    Soil improvers

    Garden centres stock lots of different soil improvers which can be scattered directly onto the surface of the raised bed and gently forked in and left to do the work. Many are enriched with beneficial nutrients and micro-organisms to support root growth and keep working for many months.

    Make your own
    Putting fruit and veg peelings, egg shells and cartons, tea bags, grass clippings and other garden waste into a compost bin and not the wheelie bin is a great feeling, right? They say good things come to those who wait, and homemade compost is one of those things. Remember to turn it regularly to allow air to get in. If the bottom layer looks like soil, it's ready to use. Spread it throughout your raised bed instead of shop-bought compost for a BIG nutrient boost.

    Get ready for the growing season

    Our raised are ideal for growing and make a beautiful addition to the garden. Use our calculator tool to check your measurements and work out the cost of a raised bed for your garden. If you have a bigger project or just need some advice contact our Design Team who can create a free design bespoke to your garden.

  • Top crops to grow now

    It’s January, the weather is gloomy and there’s not a great deal going on out in the garden; but don’t let that stop you being productive! Here are four easy to grow and useful veg that can be sown between now and the end of February, either directly in your raised bed or indoors.

    Garlic is a wonderfully versatile ingredient with the addition of some great health benefits. If you are keen to grow your own make sure you use the cloves from a bulb that is specifically for planting as those sold in the supermarket for cooking may not be suitable. Plant individual cloves in a sunny spot directly in the soil.

    A square, rectangular or even circular raised bed is ideal for growing garlic and vegetables.

    A fresh leek pulled straight from the soil is tender and tasty and a million miles from the supermarket leeks. Use in soups and stews or smother in cheese sauce. Leeks can be planted directly in the soil or in seed trays, but remember if you’re planting them directly to leave a good space between them.

    Raised beds are perfect for growing leeks and other root vegetables, plus weeding and watering is made so much easier due to their height. A classic rectangular raised bed is a great choice.

    Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables (or fruits!) to grow at home. Sow indoors towards the end of February in a warm windowsill or heated propagator to get them off to a flying start. Remember to gently remove the new leaves as they sprout in order to keep the plant focused on developing the fruit and growing new stems.

    If you prefer growing tomatoes in the greenhouse, the low-level large rectangular raised bed is a popular choice to install, and bespoke lengths are also available

    Broad beans are another versatile and easy to grow vegetable; simply sow in pots or undercover to begin with and then transplant into well-drained soil, making sure you leave plenty of space between them. Have some canes at the ready to train the plants to grow upwards.

     

    The long stepped planter is ideal for growing beans, climbing veg and fruit canes, and with different compartments it’s the perfect height for tending and harvesting.

    Growing your own fruit and vegetables takes time and perseverance, but it does give you complete control over the whole process, allowing you to grow organically or choose the fertilisers and pest control products that suit your preferences.

    WoodBlocX raised beds are ideal for vegetable growing, being raised up from the ground means they warm up much quicker than open soil, plus the wood used doesn't contain any harmful residues that could leach into the soil making the kits a great alternative to railway sleepers which are often treated with chemicals.

  • Our top five from 2017

    Our design team thrives on creating bespoke solutions for challenging projects to create long-lasting and maintenance free structures for the garden. Here’s a few of our favourites from 2017.

    Ryan’s Garden

    Ryan’s terraced back garden was in need of a facelift, so he wanted to improve it with a retaining wall. An outrageous quote from a builder just to build a standard wall sent him in search of something more cost effective and visually appealing. He was able to completely transform his garden with WoodBlocX retaining walls, which also double up as planters and steps

    RHS Malvern

    An amazing project to work on was at RHS Malvern, where we worked with garden designer and gardening expert Jekka McVicar. It was a huge design as part of  the Health & Wellbeing Garden in support of the Pathways charity, and incorportated large curved planters that revealed a central seating area.

    Jerry’s Italian Garden

    If only we were blessed with more sunshine here in the UK…Jerry is certainly making the most of it in the Italian Apennines, combining planters and steps to landscape his sloping plot and make the most of the stunning views.

    Ian’s curved staged garden

    We’ve all got an area in the garden that could look better or needs a bit of work. Ian had this problem but he also had an access problem; all materials would need to be transported through his house. This wasn’t a real issue as the WoodBlocX system is modular, making it really simple to move from the front to the back of the house by hand. Ian’s design included low-rise retaining walls that included steps and planters to bring the design together.

    Filton Community Garden

    This is a brilliant example of a community coming together to create something they can all share. The layout needed to be easy to access with seating included. The finished design combined four large octagonal planters bordered with seating and planters, and because WoodBlocX are maintenance free they can be left to age naturally.

    Contact us today with an outline of your next garden project using our

     FREE BESPOKE DESIGN SERVICE

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