It's not unusual to see salvaged railroad ties being offered up for little to nothing on Craigslist. They're an extremely common landscaping material, but that doesn't mean they have to be used in common ways. Here are some ideas for using them in your landscape with a contemporary twist:
Cool evenings around a fire? All of your friends will say 'count us in'--dress up the area with a wide array of plants in window boxes that help define the space, in addition to low laying landscape beds with lots of perennial color.