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I would like to plant some aubretia in some deep cracks in some retaining railway sleepers to spill over the sides. Is it just a matter of filling the cracks with soil and bunging them in? Any tips on maximising the chances of them establishing would be gratefully received.

Yes dan, that's what I would do. The bigger the crevice you make the better and you need to water a little to start off. How deep can you go?

The cracks are fairly deep, about 20cm, but narrow. I was planning on putting in small plants rather than seeds, but a bit worried about damaging the roots, as the cracks are narrow at the top I would have to try to squeeze the plants in.


Hi Dan -I planted aubretia in a large retaining wall at old house and they 'took' really well. I shoved them in and used a bit of chicken wire to keep them in place. They were fine. I kept them watered which was quite tricky and kept an eye on them and after a couple of months they were romping away. 

Aubretia will easily "squeeze" in....type of plants they are.


I take it the retaining sleepers or the retaining wall fairygirl has are not retaining anything important ??
Would never grow anything in anything structural , eg ivy in walls.
Been in the building trade 36 years and know the damage that can be done.
If your not bothered about long term damage plant away
I assumed those sleepers were for raised beds.

One thing I would watch out for,  is there any creosote or tar leaking from the sleepers in hot weather (that is, if you can remember hot weather!)?  We have some sleepers making raised beds here, and some  do leak quite alot of tar when the weather allows - small plants like aubretia don't much like it - can't blame them really.  If your sleeper do not have tar, then - as the other people say - they should do well.


My garden is on a shallow slope away from the house and the sleepers form the 'wall' of a terrace at the back with the veggie plot behind them and beds/lawn in front. We only moved in last year, but the sleepers appear to have been there for some time (hence the gaping cracks in the top sleepers) and there was no evidence of creosote/tar last summer. I'll plan to try to squeeze the roots into the cracks then, keep well watered for a few months and hope for the best. Thanks for the advice.

hollie hock

Been growing aubrietta over a wall. If you cut it back hard after flowering it will really spread


Mike -It was a Victorian house which had a gravel sweep at the front and then a drop to the grass if that makes sense. The wall was about 4ft and formed the drop. The gravel terrace had been the original driveway up to the front entrance. The wall had holes left for plants which had been very neglected so I was simply revamping. It had been there for over 100 years so I think it'll be there a while yet!

I have to demolish a stone wall that has beautiful pillows of Aubretia. Is it possible to move it?.

Yes TERRI, try to get a generous rootball for stressfree transplant. Otherwise roots will  break up.  As with everything water really well,

hollie hock

If the walls got to come down, I would have a go and trying to save it. Might need to cut it back

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