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Creative Landscaping with Railroad Ties

Creative Landscaping with Railroad TiesArticle by Jack StoneCopyright 2003 by ProGardenBizProGardenBiz, an online magazinehttp://www.progardenbiz.comDid you know that people are still using railroad...

Creative Landscaping with Railroad Ties
Article by Jack Stone
Copyright 2003 by ProGardenBiz
ProGardenBiz, an online magazine
http://www.progardenbiz.com

Did you know that people are still using railroad ties for all
sorts of decorative and functional purposes throughout their
landscapes? You didn't? Well, where have you been? Railroad ties
are used by landscape contractors as a main design component of
landscaping both homes and businesses. The use of railroad ties
make work easier for grounds maintenance.

Before we talk about all the great things you can do with
railroad ties let's talk about how easy and inexpensive they are
to use when compared to various brick and block structures. The
nicest thing about railroad ties is the ease with which they can
be used. It requires much less skill to construct a retaining
wall of ties than one of block. For one thing you don't have to
be overly concerned about perfectly straight lines. While
railroad ties may cost as much as brick or block per square foot
to purchase they cost only 1/4th the time in labor to install.
Consider how much money that could save, especially if you have
to subcontract out the brick or block work to a mason.

Creative uses of railroad ties are limited only by your
imagination. They can be stacked horizontally, vertically, or
diagonally. They can be staggered front to back or top to
bottom. They can border lawns as a mowing strip or set off
ground cover from gravel beds. They can be used as risers for
stairs or as terraces on a slope.
-

How about a walkway or driveway? How about a fence? Stand them
upright and spaced 3" to 6" apart. Or, stand them upright on a
diagonal so that from one angle they appear to be a solid wall
but from another afford a view. Cut them into 2 foot lengths and
create a basket weave walkway. Why stop there? How about a
jumbled collection of short sections stacked amongst some
boulders or to frame a flower bed? Have a steep hill that's
slowly washing away? Terrace it with a series of short retaining
walls. Tired of the boring expanse of iceplant on a slope? Break
it up with groupings of railroad ties.

Separate irrigation areas (i.e. lawns, flower beds, and trees).
Stand one upright and stick a mail box on it or a concrete
seagull! Better yet you can make some real nice walkway lights.
Use railroad ties to define- water effects like ponds or
fountains. Ties can be integrated into waterscapes as well as
landscapes.

Maintenance gardeners appreciate the use of railroad ties to
divide lawn areas from the garden areas because of the durable
nature of the tie. The use of ties around parking areas will
protect your sprinklers from damage. Mowing and edging along
ties is easy with a line trimmer and saves time on lawn
maintenance.

If you have your own growing grounds for nusery plants then
loose ties can be easily used for dividing areas and controlling
invasive weeds.

All it takes to install railroad ties is a hammer, some chisels
and gouges, and a heavy drill with a long sharp boring bit.

-There! That should give you a few ideas. See? Railroad ties can
be used for all sorts of things.

Railroad ties come in many different shapes, sizes and grades.
These factors can be very important in determining the price of
the ties. Not all railroad ties are the same. Some come rough cut
and others are smooth and even-cornered. Some are pressure
treated and creosoted while others are only creosoted. When
ordering or selecting railroad ties measure their height, depth,
and length to make sure that they meet your planned
specifications. Nothing can be more frustrating then to have ties
that are two inches shorter than you planned.

The creative use of railroad ties will enhance your landscapes,
decrease your labor costs in grounds maintenance, and are easy to
work with and install.

Think of using railroad ties on your next landscaping project.
__________________________________________

About the Author:

Jack Stone is a Contributing Editor for ProGardenBiz Magazine,
an online magazine for professional gardeners and landscape
contractors. Visit ProGardenBiz to find out how you can get a
free subscription, start-up guidance, business ideas and
inspiration at http://www.progardenbiz.com.
__________________________________________

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Jack Stone is a Contributing Editor for ProGardenBiz Magazine,
an online magazine for professional gardeners and landscape
contractors. Visit ProGardenBiz to find out how you can get a
free subscription, start-up guidance, business ideas and
inspiration at http://www.progardenbiz.com.



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