Mike Boreham's amazing terracing with railway sleepers

This has project taken a long time to put together and organising these pictures seemed to take longer! Obviously we have taken many more than are included here and what I am sending you is doubtless far too many still.

To give a brief background:
We bought this property in July last year and it needed ‘the works’ doing to it. In the course of getting that done, our builder, a good friend, suggested putting a patio in the back garden which slopes up quite steeply. These pictures are the result of that. Had I known how big this task was going to be I would definitely never have started it. For the first few weeks it seemed to get bigger rather than giving me a feeling of actually getting anywhere. The back garden is only accessible around the sides of the bungalow so apart from the actual construction work, all the materials had to brought around in small amounts. I transported the cut sleepers on a sack truck and my wife Julie was brilliant throughout in terms of wonderful moral support and a good many days hard labour transporting concrete mixing materials in a wheelbarrow. Aside from that though, I have to take responsibility for the rest of the work and the design.

We’re delighted with the finished result and have even been able to sit and have breakfast on the patio once or twice as the summer fades.

I do hope this is of interest to you and I would be grateful to know what you think, although if there are any really serious criticisms I probably won’t be inclined to uprooting much of what I have ‘planted’
Best wishes
Mike Boreham


An incredible project that is tribute equally to your vision, planning and astonishing hard work. Although only you will really know the blood, sweat and tears involved, it is obvious to any outsider that this was a mammoth task requiring ingenuity and dogged determination. You used 50 number 2.6m x 300mm x 125mm used Australian Jarrah Railway Sleepers, and 5 number 1.3m x 300mm x 125mm. Total weight over 3 Tons ! Each one had to be cut, transported and cemented in by hand, albeit with a sack trolley.

A brilliant example of using railway sleepers to reclaim a slope, by creating a terraced retaining wall and usable garden space out of a an impractical and daunting part of the garden.

I'm glad that you had the determination to finish. Impressive