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New Raised Bed


Yesterday Michael started to construct the raised bed out of railway sleepers. We have already got one against the garage wall that has been in use now for about three years (last years photos included) and is a great way of using the space we have. That one is one sleeper wide & the new one is over two sleepers long. He had set down the cut ends when his friend walked through the gate. He was only calling in to pay for some beer but soon got involved in carrying and installing the rest of the sleepers !!

It is suprising how much soil we will need to fill it. We are going to do a mix of topsoil and well rotted manure. The one we have was simply filled with topsoil and is supporting climbing roses and a honysuckle and various shrubs and bedding but I think this time we should give the soil some nourishment.

I have already got my eye on lots of things to plant. I am going to get an Actinidia Kolomikta, a white rose called City of York and an evergreen clematis. These will help to cover the rather ugly fence that has been uncovered when we removed a row of very well established leylandii which were about six feet deep when they finally came down. I was quite attached to them as they gave a backdrop of green all year round from the kitchen window but the promise of lots more planting space persuaded me to say goodbye to them. You can see the trunks in the photo attached showing the raised bed in its first stages.They were huge !!!

Quite a way to go yet. We are putting some planking at the back to enclose the soil as this is more cost effective than using more sleepers at the back and will give us even more planting area.

Watch this space !!!


We have been away for a couple of days to the Peak District and before we went Michael added the back to the raised bed.

We got back yesterday lunchtime and he was eager to get on with it and went to get some liner and to order the soil. The builders merchants said he would need 5.5 tonnes at £37.50 plus Vat per tonne !!! He has ordered 3 and is looking for someone who needs to get rid of some soil. We have a new housing estate under construction just down the road & someone suggested he get them to drop some topsoil off but I think we might get a weed problem. At least the stuff we buy will be weed free. They might deliver tomorrow or Monday but he was hoping to get some more done over the weekend so he’s hoping for tomorrow.
Got back from the supermarket on Friday to find three tonnes of soil in bags on the drive. That was his afternoon sorted !! I did help though, spreading the soil out after he had tipped it. I also took the opportunity to tidy the area behind the garage now that the cold frame has been hung up in the garage. Gave the paving a tidy up and washed the chairs and table,moved some pots to add a bit of interest to the dull area against the fence. I put some cosmos in a pot for my sister to take but I had so many to give her I have been left with three plants that are looking quite happy. I’ve still got some double petunias without a home – don’t know what to do with them. They got a bit leggy in the coldframe and are flowering well. Might have to pinch some soil from the raised bed – if I can find a pot left to put them in !

The nasturtiums are thriving and slugs don’t seem to like them so that’s a bonus. Washed the rabbit,squirrel,frog and cat (not Jonathan! ) – they certainly needed it. The frog used to croak when anyone passed but even new batteries have failed to give him back his voice. I think he has been outside all winter so no wonder he is silent. I have not taken care of him, oh dear- sorry frog !!

Glad to see my black violas are finally flowering too.

Back to work tomorrow after a week off – booooooooooooo!!

Now fully established. These are last years photos showing the pear tree. This year I have no apples and only a two pears! Someone said it was to do with the spring weather.

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wow where do you get railway sleepers from and it looks brill

6 Jun, 2010


That's going to look fabulous. I'd love to get a hold of some sleepers as my back garden could really use a raised bed too. Must stop being so impatient though - sort the front garden out first!
Hamy :o)

6 Jun, 2010


If this bed gets to look like the one already established then its going to be a WOW. I love the use of railway sleepers but do find them rather expensive.
Looking forward to seeing the finished article.

6 Jun, 2010


Thanks alot for your comments. The used ones are about £12.00 each from a local builders merchants. You can get new ones for about £16.00 each. We are going to line this, just against the sides of the sleepers as we imagine that some of the creosote must leach into the soil. They do smell quite strong at the moment and even the establised ones ooze a little on very hot days. I will keep taking the photo's and update on progress. Although planting seems a long way off yet - can't wait !!

6 Jun, 2010


husband now tells me that new sleepesr are £22.00 !!!!

6 Jun, 2010


i think that is cheap,thought you were going to say about thirty pound each,they look great

7 Jun, 2010


Edited blog in wrong place !!

20 Jun, 2010

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