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I've just been to a talk about gardens, and the speaker said that Gertrude Jekyll used to send out seeds for the gardens she did the planting plans for, with the idea that when the walls were being constructed, the builders would mix the seeds with the mortar and in time the seeds would germinate and grow out of the wall, just like magic. I think that's a lovely idea, do people think it would work, or has anybody actually tried it?
Don't think it would work with modern cement mortars - the old mortars were a lot softer.
If you're thinking of building a wall you can still get the old mortars. They're used in renovation of old buildings
Just been doing a little online research, you can get "heritage" lime mortars that don't contain cement. I feel a little experiment coming on!
Sounds interesting, but why not use a dry stone wall with small pockets of soil?
I've tried that a few times but with little success. My whole garden is enclosed by drystone walls and the stones fit together surprising tightly. It would probably be different if I was building a new one.
So a second experiment - wall with mortar and wall with soil. I've got a huge pile of stones (used for repairs to the walls) so I've plenty to play with!