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Annual wildflowers on thin soil?

AmphibiosAmphibios LondonshirePosts: 158
Hi All, 

I dug up the paving stones in my south facing front garden in the hope of sowing some annual wildflowers until I had more time/ideas. 

Underneath the slabs I found a mixture of small pebbles/sand on top of membrane. 
Under the membrane I found a layer of larger pebbles and concrete  :/

The concrete has a large hole in the middle and is in disrepair. I left the layers I disturbed.

If I mixed up the gravel/sand mixture  with some clay soil from the back garden - would I be able to still grow the annual wildflowers? 

I haven’t detected any puddles after rain and the pebble/sand mixture is about 4-5 cm thick and just a bit damp. 

The annual wildflowers are: 

Californian Poppy, Common Corncockle,  Moroccan Toadflax, Wild Chamomile. 

It’s probably a silly idea but I would like to sow something there now I’ve got rid of the paving stones and it’s open to every weed in the world! 

Thank you 



  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,397
    I should think they'd do quite well. I'd go for native wildflowers though, they'd reseed from year to year. and throw in biennials like Viper's Bugloss
  • AmphibiosAmphibios LondonshirePosts: 158
    Viper’s bugloss is lovely, I will add it to the list. 
    I was also thinking Common Knapweed. 
    I was thinking mixing rich clay with the small stone/sand mixture is what clay soil needs and it has been covered up for years with the paving. Annual wildflowers could grow on this mixture and deplete it for perennial wild flower planting in autumn? 

    My only worry was that approx 8cm might be too shalllow for the annuals and instead I create a super mix for weeds. 

    It’s super  sunny and the shallow soil might get dry very quickly. 

    We shall see and I guess actually trying to grow something will teach me more about the plants. 
    Thanks Ax 
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,397
    edited March 2019
    you see these and Ox-eye daisies growing in next to nothing by the sides of roads, See also Lady's Bedstraw but that's perennial
  • AmphibiosAmphibios LondonshirePosts: 158
    Fab thanks! 
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,016
    Many wild flowers will not grow well in rich soil so I think you may be pleasantly surprised. 
    AB Still learning

  • AmphibiosAmphibios LondonshirePosts: 158
    Pleasantly surprised  :#
    patchy but I can build on it Year after year  
  • AmphibiosAmphibios LondonshirePosts: 158
    Sorry sorry I know it’s self indulgent to post the update but I’ve never grown anything from seed before and it made me super happy after a HARD week. 
    Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration that I get on the forum x 
  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,278
    Definitely not self indulgent @Amphibios, it's a great achievement to get anything from a seed to a flower (and I should know!) so be super happy 'cos I'm impressed  :)
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,535
    It gives hope to those of us with poor soil😊
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,951
    Quite the opposite, what is bad is when information and help is given and the poster doesn’t even come back and say thanks.
    not that we want thanks as such, it’s just good manners. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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