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Retaining wall trailing plants

Good morning,

I'm a newbie to gardening. I have a 30 metre length by 1.3m height retaining wall with soil at the top. I'm looking for plants that can trail over the wall (downwards). The only plant I could find is trailing rosemary; most seem to be climbers. Any suggestions would be helpful and I'll look into them. 

Thank you and regards,



  • PianoplayerPianoplayer Posts: 587
    Hello, and welcome. Here are some thoughts from me:
    Cerastium tomentosum

    They all like sun, though, so it rather depends on the aspect of your wall.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 13,902
    Sounds great. Could get pictures? 

    Lots of plants have one prostrate form. Trailing ceanothus may be interesting. Trailing nasturtiums will reseed through the years. Prostrate campanulas. 
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,084
    You mention Rosemary. Is the wall in full sun and is the soil free draining please?
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 988
    edited 15 May
    Is the face of your retaining wall in a sheltered or exposed location and is it sunny, shaded or semi-shaded (ie what direction does it face)?  Also, what is the quality and depth of the soil like above/behind the wall?  These details will help suitable recommendations to be made - there are lots of interesting options!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,047
    Apart from the comments re the type of soil, it also depends on whether the wall is under any other trees/shrubs etc which will affect the light getting to the plants. 
    If you're seeing the wall only from one side, that's the aspect which matters - ie the direction that side of the wall is facing. 
    No point planting things like rosemary if there's too much shade all the time, or if the side you're seeing is north facing  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thank you for all the replies and help.

    I put 30 tonnes of stone behind the wall so it drains well, subsoil, and approx 2ft topsoil. It's sunny and partly shady.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,084
    @pjroberts2010fs_42gnF If you are able to upload a photo I am sure you will get a list of possibles. Rosemary is from the Med needs full sun poor soil and really good drainage. 
  • How about creeping Jenny?  Lovely foliage with yellow flowers and once established, grows like mad.  It’s really easy to dig up, divide and replant.  It’s one of my favourites. 

  • How about creeping Jenny?  Lovely foliage with yellow flowers and once established, grows like mad.  It’s really easy to dig up, divide and replant.  It’s one of my favourites. 
    Thank you. I put it on my shopping list  :)
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 988
    I've used Iberis sempervirens (candytuft) and Erigeron karvinskianus successfully to cascade down a wall that gets morning sun, in well draining sandy soil.  The Iberis started to flower in late December and is just about fading now.  The Erigeron flowers from May until December if the Autumn is mild. 

    If you want something that is evergreen, many ivies will also cascade - you'll need to use another plant for contrast as a full wall of ivy could be quite oppressive.  I might choose to plant only sections of the wall, depending on the condition of the wall and any plants above or near it  - a photo would certainly help!  You could also introduce some edibles like trailing tomatoes and nasturtiums for summer interest.
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