sarah - Shallow soil problems
hi I have a front lawned garden into which I would like to add some island beds. The garden has a building on the south side, which does shadow during the autumn and winter months, there is also a very large horse chestnut at the far eastern end and the house at the western end. The main problem I have is the soil is only 12 - 18 inches deep, laid over an old concrete and tarmac farm yard, how deep this is I do not know. It becomes very dry in the summer with almost constant sun and pretty moist in the winter. I, frankly, don't have the physical ability or finance to dig out the concrete/tarmac. The soil is quite heavy as well and the lawn is riddled with creeping cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans). Ideally I would love prairie style or cottage style planting. Any suggestions on how I can achieve this ?