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Last year we had new decking installed which has a narrow wooden trough all along one side. The trough has holes drilled in the bottom but is quite shallow and narrow - about 15cm deep by 15cm wide. Ideally I'd like to plant something that doesnt grow too tall (no more than 15-20cm high as the kids step over this sometimes to get into the garden and looks fairly natural and will spread of its own accord but not sure if I can do it in this space. It receives sun for most of the day. Any ideas really appreciated.
What about violas or pansies for now followed by summer bedding later? When weather is dry will need watering as there isn't much soil or compost in such a narrow container.
May I suggest the following:
It sounds an ideal place to grow alpines, in gritty soil. They will not need to be watered very much and there are some very colourful ones available. At the moment I have some lovely yellow ones and pink ones in flower.
I would suggest pansies, sweat peas or honeysuckle.
Sorry, Kenc3, I don't understand sweet peas or honeysuckle for someone who wants short plants. They are tall and need much more room for the roots than 15cms which is only 6 inches.
Swiss Sue's campanulas look lovely.
Thank you for all these ideas so far. Think whatever I'm going to get I'll wait until Spring as the weather seems very unpredictable at the moment.
Night Scented Stocks I have in three old butler sinks which are only 13cm's high. If you go for these the scent in the evenings is sublime! We also let the natural geranium Herb Robert (Geranium Robertianum) or Cranesbill have its way in these troughs which is a lovely old-fashioned hedgerow plant whose leaves turn shades of red as the year progresses. From the earlier, green leaves you can make a tea which is really good for you!
Also, the wild flower known as the Dog Violet is a good one and will spread well and keep coming back each year, if you encourage its seeds. As we live in North-East Derbyshire, we also get spahgnum moss in the troughs which looks superb!
Early year of course, you might like to try cowslips which are superb, and some natural English primroses, and let both of these seed, and spread, and they look superb in spring!