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Hi all & thank you again for your help.
LeadFarmer it's a bungalow but I'll see if I can take some better pictures and get as much of the garden in as possible.
Fairygirl & Verdun I take on board what you're saying and to be honest I never gave the birds etc a thought. As Fairygirl says I was just thinking low maintenance and supressing as many weeds as possible as I don't want to be gardening every time we visit.
I would turn a section of the lawn into meadow with wildflowers and attract bees, butterflies, other insects and birds. As you only then "mow" once per year it is really low maintenance.
Chamomile can be planted along the edges of paths. It smells wonderful when crushed by people walking or rolling over it.
Quaking grass (not sure if anyone's mentioned it) would "rattle" in the wind
I just think you are committed to a garden style you may regret by laying down a membrane. It's not a solution to weeds.....annual weeds will love that environment anyway....and certainly brings it's own problems.
I have removed membrane from friend's garden and a neighbour is currently trying to get rid of it. The previous owner thought it great to cover her whole front garden with it so now it's a logistical problem moving gravel ...and what to do with it....and disposing of lots of that (awful) membane. Once removed her garden will come alive again!
Just give it bit more thought tattianna
I mentioned in an earlier post that the property is built on a former landfill site and there is a membrane in place separating the contaminated land from the cleaned land and because of this membrane we're not allowed to dig any deeper than 600mm. Now I don't think anything we plant will need a hole so deep but what about the roots as the plants become established????
Could this throw a spanner in the works and stop us creating a lovely outside space for Sarah to enjoy? That said there are trees planted in the front gardens and areas planted up with shrubs etc! I really don't envy the task of trying to find out how deep the roots will go before deciding what plants to plant
..I've not read all this thread so apologies if anything repeated here... but I take it you are looking to develop a garden incorporating suppressing membrane..?
..my advice would be first of all - don't worry - you can have a lovely garden with this and virtually no weeding...you also don't need much soil - hardly any - what is very important is drainage,.. and choosing the right plants... if your site is sunny then go for dry garden plants, mediterranean types, like lavenders, helianthemums.. small hebe's...grasses...halimiums..oh there are so many...and all these can be bought in small little pots - easy to plant, cheap to buy, and they soon grow...in the wild these plants grow on impoverished rocky ground...
..to give you inspiration - I hope as that's what I'm trying to do... this is part of my 60 foot by 4 foot front garden... there is no soil here, except at least 2 foot down... what there is, is builders rubble.. hard core.. and builders sand... topped with membrane.... I just cut away a ring of membrane and planted the little plants in a mix of john innes no.2/and horticultural grit - lots of that.... and covered the lot with decorative chippings... I never do any weeding here except right at the edges I get a few... I get some nice seedlings popping up in the shingle... and plants love it because of the drainage. and it's a sunny site...
...hope you like it and think of taking something forward ....I'm always adding to it, and it's developed further since this was taken...it's not always easy gardening as digging a small hole in such hostile conditions can take a ittle time..removing stones and suchlike....but once they're in...forget about them....
I wouldnt worry too much about roots going too deep. They will venture down to 60 cm and more anyway.
The worry would be.....as I see it.....if you ate anything there. So wouldn't put fruit or veg there. You didn't plan on edible stuff anyway, did you?
However you choose to plant your site ....and I think we have all added our views and they will all be different (thats why all our gardens are unique to us) ...just go about enjoying your creation. no option is perfect.
I suggest you write down all the plants that appeal and then sketch them, discuss them and re-sketch until you are happy with your plans. I would use the remainder of the summer for this and aim for "construction" in the autumn.
You will want to change things from time to time or want to add new plants.....just enjoy the ride.
I just found my layered winter jasmine Jasminum nudiflorum. It's ... doing quite well. It's spread out three feet each way from its little tiny pot. The parent plant's got its mind set on crossing the driveway. 30 metres of front wall between it and the drive yet, but it's working on it.
One "Late Dutch" honeysuckle is growing shrub-like in a pot by the shed, the "Cream cascade" honeysuckle Lonicera japonica halliana is probably layered in all three pots by now. It was in two pots but then I foudn out it had layered itself into the lawn, so I moved that into a pot too.
They're yours if you want them, although we're a way apart.
No evidence of success with Akebia yet. Stubborn thing.
Roses finally finished flowering this week. Haven't tried to layer them yet. Reluctant to cut brambles out of the way while they're loaded with fruit ripening for the birds, so may take cuttings of the roses instead.
I'm sure its all been said but wow tattianna..... I have seeds if u want some.... Have you thought of bambooThy ou can great some great non clumping ones these days and the sound, shade, patterns are amazing... Also did you see I love my garden lasts night for 2 blind children who only see shades..... they used achillea cloth of gold and lavender and orange crocosmia all contrasting but they worked so well... Also they had a living wall I admit that it would need watering but to follow is the pic of a pallet version I saw at Hampton court this year .... Could you fill it with drought resistant plants and maybe mount it on the fence at a level your daughter could touch it ? don't hesitate to shout if I can donate any seeds etc.... Also I am buying ferns for a new woodland garden im sure I have ordered too many ( as usual) am happy if I have to donate them to your amazing daughter in her new home
As I said pallet planting ( I am just doing a strawberry one) dead easy drilled plank on the bottom and weed barrier matting on the back! cheap yet oh so effective
Hi Tattiana Can't wait to see whare you go with this, Just wish I lived a little or even a lot! closer than I do so I could help. Have loads of seeds so would quite happily pass on anything you fancy. Do you have "Freecycle" in your area? Its an online website where you offer something and can then ask for something...no money involved. You could get free plants paving even possible offers of manual assistance if you let them know what you are doing.
Made a sensory garden for a special needs school next to my kids primary school many years ago. You have many suggestions for plants with smell and sound...rustling grasses etc. Can your daughter use her arms at all? If yes then think of touch too. Soft, fluffy plants like artemesias. This is one of my favourites
Stachys byzantina aka lambs ears...because thats just what they feel like.
Sagina subulata, mounds of softness.
Plant flowers that produce seed heads that can be rattled...poppies, nigella and Aquilegia spring to mind.
You have many scented plants mentioned already but one you really must include is Aloysia triphylla...lemon verbena it is the best smell ever!
Dare I say hang windchimes? Know lots of people hate them and any garden ornaments that reflect light.
Easy to make yourself if you are a bit crafty. Flick through this for some unusual ideas
Speaking of seed heads, I found a loaded Allium Star of Persia seed head and could probably post it. Should have thought of that at the time. From what I've read, though, it could be a few years before plants grown from seed build up enough bulb size to feel like they can go for flowers.