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Creating a border

Having had a new patio out in recently we were able to create a new substantial border which we’ll plant up this spring. We also have the opportunity to create a long narrow border that will follow the sweeping curve of the patio, which, due to lawn levels, is approx 6” higher than the lawn for several meters. Plan is to have winter flowering heather and lavender in this border. It gets full sun all day. As the lawn sits lower I plan to build up the border so the roots don’t sit in water. I was thinking of flipping over the lawn turf along this stretch. If I was to do that now will it have rotted down sufficiently come the spring? 


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,800
    I did that last spring, no it hadn't rotted down enough. Maybe it depends on your soil. Mine's clay so soil was still clinging to the roots.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,789
    I've done this quite often, but unless you scalp the turf well, and add a good layer of soil on top, you'll get grass growing through, from the edges.
    I usually add at least four to six inches of soil to prevent it, and that's been fine. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,145
    Quick, very basic, question for you knowledgeable folks.

    I've created the patio border as planned using core-ten steel which will go a nice rusty orange in time. Have filled the border with topsoil and compost and planning to plant mostly lavender with some other bits and pieces as fitting.

    Have purchased dwarf lavender that will have a height of 45cm and spread of 60cm. My original plan was to space them at 60cm but have enough to squeeze the gapping down to 45cm. Any reason why they can't sit at the 45cm spacing?


    PS lawn is recovering from a recent scarification.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,685
    edited March 2022
    They will be fine at 45cm. You'll just get more of a hedge effect, as opposed to a series of mounds which you'd get at a wider spacing. 
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,459
    edited March 2022
    They will look really good there!  Another tip is to add LOTS of horticultural grit to your soil and compost - they need really good drainage.  (I'd use up to 50% grit.)  Also, don't add any extra feed - they prefer impoverished soil.  Too much feed and you'll get green growth rather than flowers.  Keep them watered while they are establishing but once they are growing well, they enjoy dry, hot conditions, like the Mediterranean! 
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,145
    Thanks @Plantminded

    I added the raised border for two reasons, one to obscure the mortar bed on the side the patio and secondly to get the plants higher than the surrounding lawn level which will get water run-off from the patio. I had read that Lavender preferred drier environment so hopefully how I have it structured should give me that. I'll get some horticultural grit in the mix as you suggest. 
  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,145
    Update and questions. My ‘dwarf’ lavender appear to be not as expected..

    The label on the pots said they would be compact 45cm. I seem to have grown leggy 75-100cm specimens. So, I’m wondering if the label was wrong? or whether the planting area is too enriched? I did add grit to the 50/50 compost / topsoil mix. Or whether this is a ‘first year’ type growth and next year will be more compact?

    The Bumble Bees are happy at least. It’s not a major issue but a more compact form would have been preferred.

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,456
    What variety are they supposed to be ?
  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,145
    AnniD said:
    What variety are they supposed to be ?
    Angustifolia, if I remember correctly.

    Now, having read the RHS website it suggests the height and spread to be pretty much exactly what I've got....however, that was not what was written in the pot label lol.

    Anyway, maybe that's the 'mystery' solved  :)
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,511
    There are some named dwarf varieties of Angustifolia (hidcote, munstead etc) but if you have the straightforward species, that would explain the height. I think it looks really good that height and spilling over your terrace, though.

    I once bought some Salvia Amistad, I knew they were big tall beasts but the label said to 60cm. Anyone buying them who didnt know would’ve been in for a bit of a shock!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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