I am looking at creating some raised beds, height is important to me, about 3ft, I looked into railways sleepers but for the size I need these are looking expensive, what are my other options? I will need something that looks good and can withhold the weight of the soil needed.
The alternatives are brick walls or breeze block walls which require foundations, material and labour so weigh up the various costs and you'll find railway sleepers come out not so expensive.
May I ask why 3'? For sitting on the wall to work the beds or to get access from a wheelchair something lower would be far more comfortable. Knee height works well and would need fewer sleepers as well as less soil.
I used decking planks and 50x50mm vertical stakes about every 80cm of length. This is strong enough and the wood is pre-treated so will last a good few years if also lined on the inside. These are only about 2 feet high though:
There's over 2 cubic metres of topsoil in them, weighing about 2 tonnes.
I am looking at 3ft high for beds and seating.
If you are looking at seating as well as beds, it will have to be wide enough to accommodate the average person's bottom.
These are gravel boards, with concrete posts. Permanent, easy to maintain, and not expensive.
As I'm redoing thisnew garden, I built a run of raised beds last year - similar to Bob - but varying heights. I used fencing timber, lined, and with a ledge round the top. Around eighteen inches is the ideal height to double as seating so you could always incorporate a few sections which have a wider 'top' to use as seating MrT. You can see the longest bed in this pic - it's about that height and I often perch on it with a cuppa!
I have raised beds made out of railway sleepers supposedly to stop my sons football flattening my plants!! Not sure that it works for that purpose but I do sit on it to have a cuppa and plan what to do next! did try to post pictures but it didn't work for some reason.
We have 2 raised bed which are 3 sleepers high and that is more than enough for a seat height.