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suggestions needed please

Hi. I have a very boring gravel drive with a 4 foot fence that borders it. I would like to add some interest in the form of shrubs.  I need shrubs that will grow up to about 5' or 6' high.  the problem is that there is only gravel and stones.  I have dug down a little way but have not found any soil to speak of!! Does anyone have an idea to help? I can dig out the holes as best I can and add soil but the roots won't have much to find in a wider area. I hope someone can help.  thanks


  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    penelope, I know you wanted 5' high, so my suggestion isn't great, but how about climbers as Verdun suggests and if you get sun on your drive some Lavender bushes. Rosemary & Sage should also suit those conditions. 

  • Hi, firstly, I apologise for all  the questions I am about to ask but they will help you get a better answer and therefore (hopefully) a successful outcome. image

    How much sunlight does the area get? What part of the country are you in? Is it sheltered? Do you use the drive for the car as shrubs will go out as well as up - how much width are we talking about?  How far out from the fence have you excavated? Sometimes a lot of rubbish is found at the base of a wall or fence but further out  -18" the soil might be of much greater quality and any plant would have a much better chance of survival. 

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    penelope, try going to the crocus website. Use the guide on the left of the page to match your conditions, there are hundreds to choose from, but it may benefit you to improve the soil first with the additions of plenty of organic matter first.

    Improving the soil first will give you a wider range of shrubs to choose from and they will last you years instead of 5mins if the conditions aren't right.

  • GillyLGillyL Posts: 1,077

    Maybe with climbers you could try some grasses, plenty of variety in colour and textures, they would add interest and thrive in poor soil conditions,

  • thanks for all those suggestions.  In answer to Daintiness, i live in Wiltshire. The drive is not used all that much for the car but it is occasionally, so it is true that i don't want something that is going to grow outwards too much.  climbers sound a goo idea for a start. The area gets quite a bit of sun and is somewhat sheltered as the fence takes the westerly winds. In effect it is pointing East. I will look at the Crocus site.  thanks for that!

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