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Cotoneaster, ferns and Cotswold stone

Birdy13Birdy13 Posts: 595

The background:

A rather difficult to access corner of my garden was a bit of a nightmare when it came to cutting one particular bit of hedge. Anything of value growing there would get damaged by my feet and the process of gathering up the hedge clippings.

This year I decided to do something about it and in the process make a positive feature of the rather dark, northfacing corner.


The plan:

I moved out plants ( which regularly became overwhelmed with weeds anyway) and cleared the ground.

I built a little curved one brick high wall (engineering bricks for durability) with a shallow foundation around my ferns.

I then covered the ground with weed suppressing membrane and a thick layer of Cotswold stone chippings. 


I can get to everything now and will be able to liven up the whole area with some colourful pots.




My qualms and query:

I'm wondering now whether the limestone content of the Cotswold stone will leach through to the ferns and cotoneaster and have a detrimental effect on them.

I know it is too late to backpedal but I might be able to rectify the pH artificially if it becomes a problem. 

Can someone please tell me what are the acid v alkali implications of Cotwold stone chippings?

The ground has always been fairly shaded and damp and the ferns always loved it, but I also wonder whether the hedge might need more water now the ground is covered with membrane and chippings.



  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,631

    I don't think the cotoneaster will notice Birdy. Unless you've got ferns that need acid soil they should be OK as well

    Water goes through weed membranes so the watering needs should be as before. 

    Nice jobimage

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,685

    What an extremely tidy and well-mannered garden you have there Birdy. Immaculate. I wish I could persuade my lot to beahave as impeccably and stop lolling around and dropping litter everywhere.

    I have naturally limey soil and cotoneasters seed themselves in every available space. (See what I mean about untidy). I don't know what type of ferns share these cracks and crevices but they look very much like yours. I only wish I could get rid of them. So lime isn't going to be a problem, I don't think.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 80,486

    This area has chalk outcrops and a layer of chalk just below the surface - ferns, cotoneaster and most things (except acid lovers) grow well here and this hillside and valley used to be orchards.  I wouldn't worry abouy your limestone chippings - the garden looks lovely image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Birdy13Birdy13 Posts: 595

    Pansyface said: What an extremely tidy and well-mannered garden you have there Birdy. Immaculate.

    Only that corner I'm afraid - but thank you Nut, Pansy and Dove for the feedback - and the nice comments.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,289

    Very smart Birdy image

    Nice when a plan comes together isn't it? image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • I agree it looks very nice. I use Cotswold stone on top of acid loving azaleas and basically it is no problem at all. I looked I to the science of it extensively before doing it. Lots of people told me it would kill them but it won't as the process of the minerals being eroded off is extremely slow and minimal. I did rinse all mine first though as they often come covered in a fine dust straight out the bag and this will filter through quicker...but it's precaution which frankly may not be required. I'd bet your plants will all be happy.

  • Birdy13Birdy13 Posts: 595

    Thank you, snowathlete, for that encouragement. image

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