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I'm in a muddle!!

We have just put edging down one side of the garden, to then cover with shingle and have some pots on. However I would really like to plant a few plants in bedded into the gravel under the membrane. 

The problem is, that where the fence is, there is about a foot of concrete coming from down the whole length of the fence and its really frustrating trying to get deep enough to plant anything.

Is there anything that has really shallow roots, that I can put down between the pots to break it up a bit, or am I wasting my time totally, and should just stick with the pots??


Which way does the fence face ... is the area in sunshine or shade? 

It gets most/if not all of the sunshine throughout the day. Great little spot, it's just a shame about the poxy concrete! 

Is there soil there at all, or are these going to be growing in gravel? Assuming that the drainage is good, sedums will grow in very little soil, as will sempervivums, although both are spreaders so being planted through a membrane may not be ideal for them. Creeping thyme is another possibility. If there's a couple of inches depth of soil then aubretia or erigernon.

None of those will grow sitting in water

Yes there is soil on the top, but I dig a fork in there and get the bone shaking crunch as it hits rock. I don't want to go too crazy just a few plants to break up the pots. I'll take a look at the options you have suggested. The closer I get to the edge, the deeper the soil goes. I just don't want to have them all on one side and the pots behind as it can look a bit mish mash.



I wouldn't plant within a foot of the fence, plants spread out.

Paul Charnock

ERIGERON karvinskianus

Nice little spreading daisy plant that prefers restricted roots and will grow in wall crevices quite happily.

Thank you for the ideas. Just trying to get everything prepped for next year now.


Will there be adequate drainage with a concrete base there?

There is a lot of drainage there, After digging around it the other day sorting out the edging. I'm thinking if I plant between the fence and edging i'll stand the best chance? Sorry i'm at work so don't have a chance to take any photos of what I mean.


I'm currently clearing a border which has 6-8 inches of soil over concrete.  In this was growing a Hebe that measures 3 feet in each direction, a cotoneaster horizontalis 5 feet X 2 about 8 inches high, sedum spectabile, pelargoniums, assorted spring bulbs, crocosmia, hypericum, ragged robin, two kinds of stonecrop and calendula.  They all seem very satisfied with the conditions.


Centranthus Ruber 'Albus', Linaria Purpurea, Sedums, Nasturtiums. Just a few that thrive in the conditions you describe. It all depends on colours and styles you prefer.

Excuse my ignorance, but I've only really got the bug for gardening in the last year or so. I presume i'd be best waiting for next year before planting?? Colour wise, i;m looking for a mixed bag of bright colours.


Except for tender things, it's actually a decent time to plant now - the soil is still warm but will not dry out as readily as in summer, and they'll have all winter to establish their roots.

How deep is your soil, and how far does the concrete ledge extend? And is the soil light / well drained, or claggy? (To use a technical term lol).

I suspect you could grow a lot of things there... especially if the roots can get into deeper soil.. but you've had some good suggestions for things that will grow in difficult conditions.

Great!! I know what i'm going to be doing this weekend then. Soil wise, away from the ledge it goes down pretty deep so I can certainly get some plants in sooner rather than later.

The ledge probably comes out a foot from the fence. I think i'm going to be placing the pots closer to the fence and plant on the edge of the ledge to allow the roots to get bedded in.

The soil does drain well there, the garden is on a very slight slope (in the other direction) so fingers crossed they can get bedded in quickly before we totally lose the weather! 

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