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Planting ideas for Shallow soil/Concrete Underneath

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??



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,303

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

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • DanCDanC Posts: 10

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

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,533

    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

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • DanCDanC Posts: 10

    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.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,365

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

  • ERIGERON karvinskianus

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


  • DanCDanC Posts: 10

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

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,179

    Will there be adequate drainage with a concrete base there?

    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • DanCDanC Posts: 10

    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.

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532

    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.

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