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Shallow Soil, East facing. Planting Suggestions?

Hello all! I have some dry soil, fairly poor, that is east facing in a border. The problem is that it is very shallow and impossible to dig deeper than  2.5 / 3 inches. So far I have grown some anemone flowers that are doing okay, and some lady's mantle which I love as it grows just about any where. But does anyone have some other suggestions for filling some gaps in this shallow patch?


  • Erigeron karvinskianus. It self seeds into my gravel and cracks in a vertical wall. However, I would look to create a raised bed in the area you describe as you will be able to grow many more things with a greater depth of soil. And take inspiration from this article where they have created a garden with trees and shrubs on 1ft depth of soil
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,681
    Sedum 'Matrona' and similar types would be good if there is sun for at least half of the day. It will be less liable to flop in poor, dry conditions! Thyme and Origanum may be able to hack it, with sun. Here is another semi-extensive green roof which has some ideas - this is not irrigated. 
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    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
  • UsFourUsFour Posts: 49
    edited May 2020
    I find Geranium Macrorrhizum will grow anywhere and spread well. I have some in dry shallow soil and they look great. Mine has scented leaves.


    The older you get, the more you realise that it is OK to live a life others don't understand.
  • Thank you everyone! Great tips! I would just love to do some raised beds but as we're renting and moving out this Autumn I'm loathe to invest in new structures and so I'm currently sticking to seed and little affordable plants - should have mentioned that in the first place  - sorry! But thank you all for the suggestions, the thyme, chives and geraniums - all top ideas! Now added to my perpetual shopping list :)
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