Nine ways to use wooden sleepers in landscaping

Nine ways to use wooden sleepers in landscaping

Sleepers are the Lego blocks of the landscaping world—easy to connect together and so versatile for defining outdoor spaces. In this article, our Central Landscapes team has put together a collection of sleeper project ideas that we hope will inspire you to create something special in your garden.

1. Raised garden beds

Julia's raised garden

Sleepers are ideal for raised garden beds. They’re relatively simple to put together using a drill and coach screws. Ideally use macrocarpa or Trustwood (pine sleepers treated in a safe process) because they’re safe to use for growing vegetables. Macrocarpa beds are worth lining with black plastic to get extra longevity for the wood. If you’re building your beds on a flat lawn area, make sure you cover the base with weedmat first. A 50-100mm layer of scoria in the base aids drainage, then fill the beds with weed-free Veggie or Garden Mix.

2. Sleeper steps

Raised Garden Beds

Sleepers make great steps. Auckland landscapers Ministry of Ground used macrocarpa sleepers to create this attractive feature – a set of steps enabling access to an elevated pebble path

3. Sleepers for garden edging

Our garden now with railway sleepers

Use sleepers as an elegant, chunky lawn edging for paths and seating areas. Used around lawns, sleepers provide a tidy straight line that makes lawn mowing easier.

4. Sleepers as a screen

Sleepers vertical as fence

Stack sleepers vertically to create a screen, fence or focal point in your garden. Centrals stock everything you need to set your sleepers in concrete, including cement, builders mix, and scoria.

5. Sleeper retaining wall

Contemporary landscape

For more structural projects like retaining walls, we recommend our sleeper products that will last longer:  Trustwood sleepers are long-lasting MCA treated (copper) H4 pine sleepers with a rich colour tone. NZ pine railway sleepers have a creosote coating.

6. A path made from sleepers

traditional landscape

Cut your sleepers into shorter sections and lay them like pavers. Lay mulch or pebble between them for added texture in the garden.

7. A sleeper archway, or frame for a garden swing


Source: Pinterest

 Add some vertical scale to your garden with an archway or pergola made with sleepers. Frame up a garden swing for the children using sleepers.

8. Sleeper garden seat

 small contemporary garden

Source: Pinterest

 Sometimes that finishing touch – the perfect garden seat – can be just too expensive. Grab some sleepers and build your own for a fraction of the price!

9. Shed Foundations

Shed foundations

Source: Pinterest

A more practical use for sleepers is foundations for a garden shed or studio. You can use them as boxing to create a level Gap 20 base, or as load-bearing beams. Their size and weight make them an ideal platform to build on.