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Difficult section of the garden

This area has about 3 inches of soil over tarmac and is full of Oak tree roots and gets very little rain in Summer. What to do with it?



  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 995
    That looks like a working area of your garden @Palustris.  Is it out of sight, or can you see it from your house?  I'd be tempted to cover the whole area with chipped bark and then place a few pots around, planted with seasonal colour.  If it's a working area, how about a seat too? 😊  Ground cover that would be happy in those conditions would include Euphorbia amygdaloides robbiae which will add lime green zest at this time of year.  I use it in many difficult places and it's better than bear earth!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,085
    I'd just screen that off @Palustris. Life's too short  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,829
    The boss says whatever I do has to cost nothing!
    It is very visible from the house. The compost bin and wood pile can go elsewhere which would tidy it up a bit.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,437
    If it's on tarmac, you could presumably pile up some more earth without affecting the tree. So perhaps an earth bank planted with suitably tough (but pretty) plants might be attractive and help screen the compost bin etc?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,085
    Palustris said:
    The boss says whatever I do has to cost nothing!

    You're on a hiding to nothing then! :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,829
    The shrubs there were planted by removing  a circle of the tarmac and making a deep hole filled with decent soil. Even so they have hardly grown over the last 2 years. Looks ok now, but once the leaves are on the tree it is  very dark and very, very dry. No rain gets on the soil at all.
    I would like to pave it over and make a shady seating area. Not that we ever actually sit in the garden, but it  might look better.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,105
    @Palustris Hi may be this will be the perfect opportunity for you to sit in the garden.  Some where to sit seems like a great idea.
  • TheGreenManTheGreenMan Tyne & Wear Green Belt Posts: 1,511
    Membrane, bark, pots (ferns), a couples' bench?  That's not gonna cost nothing though.....
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,218
    I favour a pale gravel which would lighten that area rather than bark. Bark needs replacing after a year or two which can be expensive and labour intensive. You might need to weed the gravel (or use a long acting weedkiller) sometimes. You might be able to find a bench on Freecycle or you could make your own from two cutdown logs and a piece of wood for the seat. Under the tree in the shade would be perfect (unless you've got pigeons!).
    Good luck, it could look very nice by Easter.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 995
    Leaves and debris falling from the oak tree will make gravel hard work, along with weeds and possibly cats!  I wouldn't recommend using a long acting weedkiller either. 
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