Sleepers two ways

For today’s ‘flowers on Friday’ post we’re back in the pavilion at the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show making a short stop at the Daisy Roots display. The flowers are in full bloom as you’d expect, but look more closely and you’ll see that the sleepers and their versatility that also shine.

The first is the less common way of using sleepers in gardens, but one that’s effective nonetheless. Standing them on end to form a retaining wall was our original intention for where we eventually ended up placing our gabion seating area. Our change of plan wasn’t because we didn’t like the look, but more because of the amount of work, and digging out, that would be needed. And for us it was the right decision, especially as we now know how many tree roots we’d likely encounter.

upright sleepers holding back the flowers

I think it’s a good look, and an effective way of creating a retaining wall, but I think I’d go for a more level top so that it could more easily double up as an impromptu place to perch. In fact it was the challenge of cutting the sleepers that also put us off, research told us that cutting sleepers wouldn’t be an easy feat. When we installed sleepers in our garden a couple of years ago, where we bought them from also cut them to our measurements for a small fee, which was well worth it.

You’ll remember that it quickly became a favourite spot for a cuppa. And it seems I’m not the only one, as there’s a cup and a book on sleeper bench in the photo below, so now it seems this post really should be titled ‘sleepers three ways!’

sunken sleepers, gravel and calming planting

The second - or perhaps third - way of using sleepers on this stand was as sunken ‘stepping stones’ in this gravel garden. I like the look, but it’s not a way that ever occurred to us for our garden. But it’s a great way to get up close to the flowers isn’t it?