woodblocx

  • How to build a garden pond using WoodBlocX

    How to build a garden pond using WoodBlocX

    In this blog we explain how to build a garden pond using WoodBlocX, quickly, easily and without the need for any specialist tools.

    The beauty of using a raised pond is that you don’t have to dig a great big hole! By using a WoodBlocX pond you can create a raised pool that can be put on any surface, even a patio, allowing you to incorporate water into your garden very easily. Our ponds are just as easy to assemble as our raised beds, plus we can even calculate what size liner you’ll need. Choose from a pre-designed pond kit, use our pond calculator tool or send us your ideas and we will create a design for you.

    Create the perfect pond

    We have two styles of ponds which are available in a range of different shapes and sizes:

    Single Skinned Pond
    Sizes from 1-2m

    These small ponds are ideal for small gardens pr tight spaces. are ideal. These design range from 1-2m in size as the single wall can only cope with a certain amount of water pressure. Prices start from  £147.00.

    Shop our small pond designs.

    How to build a garden pond using WoodBlocX

    Double Skin Ponds
    Sizes 2m+

    Our large pond designs are able to cope with much more pressure and can be built to any size up to 1250mm in height. Our designs features an inner pond which is 750mm thinner and shorter than the outer skin.

    Shop our large pond designs.

    How to build a garden pond using WoodBlocX

    Water blades

    We don't supply water blades for your pond but we can adapt your design to accommodate one.

    Helpful tools to have to hand before you start your build:

    • Sprit level for checking the surface you’re planning to build on
    • Lump hammer for knocking the BlocX in place
    • Small hand saw to trim the dowels on the final layer of BlocX in order to fit the capping
    • A retractable knife (or similar) to make incisions for the pond liner
    • Brackets if you are building your pond on concrete, otherwise ground spikes are provided for builds on grass and soil to attach the structure to the ground

    Here's how to build a garden pond using WoodBlocX...

    WoodBlocX raised pond

    Your WoodBlocX delivery will look similar to this. Everything you need here, wooden blocks, capping, dowels, angle plates and your bespoke pond liner. All wooden parts are cut exactly to the sizes requested so there’s no waste at the end of the build.

    How to build a raised pond

    When you have decided where your raised pond bed will sit in the garden, you will need to level the ground, once this is complete carefully set out the bottom layer of BlocX. Refer to the instructions to check where the supportive buttresses and angle plates need to be positioned.

    How to build a raised pond

    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 - we provide full step by step instructions with every kit.

    How to build a WoodBlocX pond

    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 the dowels down by three notches using a saw. Now you're ready to fit your liner.

     

    You will need to cut the liner to fit over the capping, this will not cause any leakages as the water level should always be lower than the capping. Lastly, fit the capping with a lump hammer, using a protective piece of wood to ensure you don't damage your caps.

    That's how to build a garden pond using WoodBlocX!

    Pond inspiration

    Bespoke raised ponds
    Raised timber pond

    Start your next garden pond project today

    Our pre-designed kits, pond calculator tool and design team are here to help you get exactly what you need for your garden.

    What our customers say about our raised ponds

    Read more of our customer reviews here.

    The benefits of garden ponds

    Water in a garden has an enormous value to wildlife, bugs such as pond skaters and water boatmen live in the water, birds can drink and bathe in it, and amphibians such as frogs, toads and even newts will make a home there too. With this additional wildlife in residence, your plants will benefit too; the amphibians are great slug-eaters, and the increased insect diversity will attract other bugs that will feast on aphids and other plant pests. Plus, of course, all this life is fascinating to observe.

    Read more about the benefits of garden ponds here.

    Best plants for garden ponds

    All ponds benefit from a variety of plantings. Broadly they can be divided into three types – the oxygenators, the floating plants and the marginal plants. However you plant up your pond, always make sure you include some kind of ramp for creatures such as frogs and birds to get in and out of the water safely, otherwise they may drown.

    Here are some good choices from each of the plant groups to really get your WoodBlocX pond off to a great start:

    • Marginal plants. These are the plants that live at the water’s edge – and while they like their roots to be in permanently damp soil, their foliage and flowers are borne above the surface. Yellow flag irises (Iris pseudoacorus) and a variety of rushes and reeds will give a natural look. You’ll need to construct shelves around the edge of your pond (standing the pot on a brick is fine!) for the plants’ pots to sit on at the correct depth – check the label for this information.
    • Floating (also known as aquatic) plants. Water lilies are the most popular of this group, and lovely to include. They are available in a range of colours, but Nymphaea odorata types will add fragrance as well as beautiful flowers.
    • Oxygenators. These are essential to keep the water healthy, but can need reducing every year to prevent them taking over the pond. Most live submerged in the water. Good ones for smaller ponds include Hottonia palustris (water violet) which bears purple flowers on the water’s surface in spring and Eleocharis acicularis (water grass).

    To really complete the look, some WoodBlocX ponds offer the ability to add beds at the side of, but not part of, the pond – plant these up with a bog garden and you’ll have a beautiful, calming and wildlife-friendly pond in no time.

  • 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.

  • Winter WoodBlocX getting you ready for spring

    In the south, there have been very few really hard frosts, so even some tender bedding plants like geraniums have survived and it means that many of the bugs and other nasties are also thriving! So now is the time to go slug and snail hunting and dispose of them! Really we do need a good old cold snap to freshen things up.

    The constant damp and heavy recent rainfall is not good for the garden, resulting in waterlogged muddy beds that are difficult to work. So stick to ordering seeds, maintaining your garden, re-edging borders, pruning fruit trees, clearing out the potting shed and repairing your equipment ready for upcoming spring activity!

    Maybe this year you should think about a “No-Dig” system for your veggie patch or  raised beds? It is a low maintenance system, ideal for organic enthusiasts and if combined with a WoodBlocXraised bed, will make growing your own veg easier and less of a chore!

    Basically you remove any surface weeds and dig out perennials (in Autumn) then simply spread a generous quantity of well rotted manure or home made compost, on top of the raised bed (at least 4 inches deep) and leave it to nature. The mulch over the surface helps to keep the soil warm and, therefore, the worms active, drawing the compost into the ground. Later on, when you are watering your raised bed crops, you will find that on an un-dug bed it is easier because it soaks away through this organic matter whilst a bed that has been dug often has a surface that will smear and cause run-off.

    Apart from maybe sowing some shallots, radish, carrots and parsnips under cloches, you are better to wait til the end of February before sowing any seeds, as despite the unseasonably warm weather, low light levels will suppress growth. Carrot Marion is a good Nantes variety which is suitable for all year growing. Towards the end of Feb you can sow early salad crops in the green house and peas and broad beans without heat, but under cover. One of the oldest and most nutritious of all cultivated vegetables, hundreds of years ago broad beans provided protein in a meat poor diet! Try Sciabola Verde or Red Epicure (both from Marshalls-seeds.co.uk)

    Grow Your Own Anywhere!
    Whilst you are planning what new vegetable seeds to order from the catalogues, why not try growing some Dwarf French beans in a WoodBlocX planter? Maxi is a good variety to try and also new White Aubergine- Ivory (what else!) is another crop that can be successfully grown in a planter.

    Have a look at the various WoodBlocX planter options and see how you can create your own small kitchen garden anywhere.

  • How easy are modular systems to put together?

    Do you need to spruce up your garden fast? Perhaps you need to make some improvements before a big event? Or do you just want to add some finishing touches to a garden without the hassle of too much work? Plants are by far the easiest and best way to bring a bit of life to a bare outdoor area, and what better way to display them than in a neat, attractive timber bed?

    The simplest and fastest way to incorporate a lot of planting to a paved or decked area is to use large planters or raised beds, and the WoodBlocX system is an ideal choice. The beds can be put on any surface very easily, so there’s no need for extensive preparation, and there is a wide choice of off-the-shelf products that can be delivered to your home in as little as four days.

    The modular beds can be configured to fit almost any space; they can be squarerectangular, hexagonal and circular or pretty much any shape you want. You can also choose from a variety of heights to suit the designated area. There are also raised bed designs that include seating, or you can build and add separate benches. Because all WoodBlocX products use the same materials they can really tie a look together.

    All the materials needed for a WoodBlocX construction are supplied together, on pallets, so you save time on running around different shops trying to find just what you need. WoodBlocX calculate exactly what you need for each bed, making it easy for you. Once they arrive, they couldn’t be simpler to put together. All the specific instructions for each construction are supplied with the materials and there are also online videos. It’s just like building a Lego kit – and once you’re underway the BlocX are really very quick to go together.

    Once the bed is constructed, that’s it – job done, it doesn’t need any treating with varnish or preservatives. It could be painted if you want to add some colour, or leave the natural wood to fade to a soft grey over the years. Fill the beds with topsoil and add plants to transform the area. Just add garden party guests!

  • An easy and effective garden solution

    All too often a great design idea has to be amended beyond recognition because of the practicalities and realities of the garden and the budget. Perhaps all the materials for the garden have to be taken through the house, perhaps there are pets or young children around, or perhaps you’re on a deadline – all these logistical problems and more can mean that the original vision is compromised. However, whether you want to add planters or raised beds, benches or more to a problematic area, the solution can be found in a modular timber system such as WoodBlocX.

    Modular systems, because they are delivered in pieces rather than unwieldy pre-built wholes, can be taken into the garden much more easily. All the WoodBlocX components can be easily carried by one person, so even in the tightest of places there’s space to squeeze them through. They are delivered on pallets, which can be easily moved to get as close to the construction area as possible, saving time and effort in moving things around. This is also helpful when the garden build has to take place around household life – the components do not take up much space, so disruption can be minimised.

    Modular systems built from small components are also light and can be easily carried up steps. This means that it is also possible to build quite large planters on rooftops, and incorporate a rooftop garden to bring some life to a dull area.

    So, WoodBlocX are easy to get onto the site, but they are also easy to work with once the components are there. All the individual pieces are pre-fabricated to exactly the right size, and pre-drilled and mitred as well. Therefore you will not need any power tools to build up the BlocX themselves – no drilling, cutting or sawing is necessary. The BlocX are quick and easy to put together, and there is very little noise created in the process, keeping the disruption to family and neighbours to a minimum. Furthermore, the pre-cut modular system also means there is no dust or mess and virtually no waste to dispose of (and what waste there is can be easily moved and transported to the tip), saving time and money again.

    Modular timber systems like WoodBlocX are the smart choice for any garden, but especially those with access problems. Call our team for a chat about your project and how we can help.

  • 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.

  • Durability of Retaining Walls and Terracing

    When it comes to retaining walls and terracing, safety and durability are the main concerns. Construction in stone may be the obvious first choice, but it is expensive, especially once the cost of the builders has been factored in. The cheapest option is timber boards, but these will warp and distort over time. They’re also often impregnated with nasty preservatives and are not very aesthetically pleasing. However, modular timber constructions, such as the unique WoodBlocX system, have none of these problems.

    The beauty of modular systems is that they can be adapted to suit any size of project and budget, and because they are cheaper than stone or brick and better quality than other timber products, they are an ideal choice. They are also really easy to put together, so it’s possible to do all of the work yourself if you want – which can save thousands of pounds compared with the cost of getting builders or landscapers in to build a stone wall.

    With WoodBlocX, all you need for the wall is supplied to you, so there are no hidden costs, and no need to calculate timber or stone requirements or factor in offcuts because all of that is done for you. Plus there’s no need for foundations or mortar. The BlocX can be left to weather naturally, which is great for a rustic look, or they can be painted if you prefer.

    There are pre-designedoff-the-shelf, terracing and retaining wall options on the website, but if none of them fit the needs of your particular garden, use the online calculator to work out a rough cost for your project. Alternatively, send WoodBlocX the measurements and your requirements and they will design it all for you and work out exactly what you need, all free of charge and with no obligation to buy.

    If you’re still unsure about whether WoodBlocX are for you, here are some facts and statistics:

    • WoodBlocX walls are built with many individual pieces of timber (rather like long bricks), that are pinned together using plastic dowels.
    • Each piece of timber – selected from only the strongest parts of the tree and never the heart - is pressure treated twice and because they are pre-drilled, the treatment penetrates almost 100% of the wood.
    • A WoodBlocX wall can be expected to last for at least 15 years, probably more.
    • The dowels can each withstand 0.9 tonnes of sheer force, and the walls are strong under both tension and compression, so in some cases, they are actually stronger than the stone alternative.
    • The many joints of the BlocX assembly system means that the walls are flexible enough to withstand frosts and ground movement, and won’t distort or crack under pressure.
    • A single wall (each BlocX is 7.5cm wide) will hold earth to a height of 1m, and the narrow BlocX means that there is a lot more planting or path space above and below than there would be with something like bulky railway sleepers.
  • How to Build a Flexible Design

    Are you struggling with a design for a difficult area of your garden or do you just need something a little out of the ordinary? Have you considered using a modular timber system such as WoodBlocX? Other options in these situations – such as old railway sleepers – could struggle with the dimensions that your ideas require. Modular systems are almost infinitely adaptable and can create designs that you might find surprising.

    The beauty of modular systems is that they can be tailored to almost any situation. Perhaps there is a narrow passageway or awkward corner that needs some plants to brighten it up? The WoodBlocX product is narrow in itself, unlike bulky sleepers, so raised beds built with the system provide much more planting space. Each component is also easy to get into the garden because they are light, clean, small and easy to move in awkward spaces – great if you have to take all the materials through your house.

    Modular timber systems can also be used to create a wide range of shapes – not just squares and rectangles. Circles, hexagons, pentagons and octagons are all available in the pre-designed kits, or you can specify exactly what you need. They are cheaper too, especially when it comes to curved designs that would otherwise have to use stone or brick, and are all guaranteed for at least 15 years. Corner beds and L-shapes are easily achievable too. This is not just for raised beds either – pondssteps, walls (perhaps with inbuilt seating) and garden edging are all much simpler to install with a modular system.

    Perhaps your garden needs a multi-level design? Terracing and stepped beds made from sleepers, brick or stone can make the expense (and the weight) really add up; but modular timber systems provide a durable alternative at a much lower cost. They are easy to put together too – there’s no need to hire builders to do it for you, which will also save you a lot of money.

    If you are working with an awkward area, off-the-shelf products and fixed dimensions may not work for you. WoodBlocX offer a design service for all of their products, so that you can create a bespoke project for your unique requirements. Better still, this service is entirely free and you have no obligation to buy. Alternatively, try the online calculators on the WoodBlocX website – just put in the measurements to get an idea of what you will need and the cost.

    Perhaps you want to create an inspiring play area for your children, or a tree house – well, WoodBlocX have been used to build pirate ships and a model elephant over 6ft tall. Really the only limit is your imagination – WoodBlocX would love to work with you to create something amazing!

  • Planting Late Summer Seeds… Choi Sum

    There are a whole range of remarkably cold hardy oriental greens. They are ideal to keep your plot going through the depths of winter, particularly if you don't have the space or time for traditional winter veg like brussels.

    Many are good both in salads and cooked - try Pak Choi, Mizuna, Chinese Cabbage, Mibuna, Tatsoi and Mispoona, all of which can be sown from the end of June through to end September (you can keep on sowing through into the winter if you have a polytunnel on you raised bed to).

    Choi Sum (Brassica parachinensis) is a member of the Mustard family is also referred to as a flowering pak choy or choy sum. Its green leaves are juicy and tender. If allowed to mature and bolt, yellow flowers will shoot and the plant becomes sweeter and more succulent. The whole plant is edible, which is why we are such a fan!

  • Reducing the cost of Garden Projects

    Whether you are just putting in a couple of beds for a vegetable garden or terracing the whole garden, it’s always good to be able to see all the costs of a project up front. Using a modular timber system for raised beds and other landscaping means that the material costs are really easy to calculate, and there’s no need to pay for someone else to do the work. Modular systems from WoodBlocX are available either as off-the-shelf pre-designed kits, or free bespoke designs can be created for your particular site.

    For example a set of three raised beds, each 2250 x 1125 x 450mm, could be used for a fruit, vegetable and cut flower patch, or for flower borders. The price of these off-the-shelf kits are less than £300 each. Larger projects such as driveway edging are easily calculated – a 250mm high edge for example, is less than £100 per 3m stretch. Delivery is cheap and easy because all the components easily fit onto pallets. Check out our online calculator to get a quick quote for your project.

    If there is nothing suitable for your garden project in the wide range of pre-designed beds, why not get WoodBlocX to design something to your exact specifications? The design service is free, and because they do it all for you there’s no need to worry about anything! WoodBlocX make sure that your design is safe, that it will work, and that you have all the right components so you are ready to build - no running to the shops for extra pieces – everything is supplied with the kit, along with some spares as well just in case. The design service also extends to ponds, edging, seats, retaining walls and steps. Alternatively, use the online calculators to work out what you’ll need for yourself. There’s no obligation to buy after using either service.

    When using a system like WoodBlocX, even daunting and complicated projects can be made easy – and it’s possible to do all the work yourself. Rather than get in builders or landscapers to do different parts of a project, such as terracing or retaining walls, and then look at putting in beds and steps afterwards, the whole thing can be done by you with WoodBlocX. This can save a lot of money, you get the satisfaction of having built it yourself, and it’s as simple as knocking together layers of BlocX: a win-win solution.

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