Latest posts by Sarah43

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Planting Advice

Posted: 26/03/2014 at 18:02

Edd - of course it's haunted! The Blue Lady walks the Serpentine Passage. Apparently. The info in your link seems to back up irises being thirsty. I had done some Googling, but it's easy to get brain fog when you're reading around a subject that is alien to you. Well, easy for me!

Have added your suggestions to my list artjak, thanks.

Rhododendrons off the list then. Must I give up on my dream of a bank of hydrangeas too?


Planting Advice

Posted: 26/03/2014 at 09:47

Thanks all, thanks artjak. Sorry to have taken so long to reply - clicked the 'email me' box and haven't had an email.

Anyway, yes alkaline soil. Should I ph test? Will that tell me anything extra?

Edd - you really don't want a grotto. Not one under a garden anyway. You become obsessive about the weather and die a little every time there's a downpour.

Dovefromabove - thanks for the suggestions. The garden is inundated with snails. Am I right in thinking that they love foxglove? I really would like lots of height - without extensive roots. I miss trees.

Anyone vouch for the view that irises would tolerate the conditions whilst sucking up loads of water?

Thanks so much for the help.


Planting Advice

Posted: 23/03/2014 at 17:31

I can't show you the proximity of the Grotto to the bed can see one or the other but not both! However, here's my best attempt to explain...drainage going in and then turf being laid, first view looking downhill, second view uphill. Blue lines indicate line of bed; red lines are where the Grotto passages are underground.


 And then is part of what is underground:

 Does that help any?


Planting Advice

Posted: 23/03/2014 at 15:55

I would really appreciate some planting advice, but have to embark on a long explanation first! Bear with me, I'm a novice.

My garden also serves as the roof of a Grade 1 listed grotto (the Shell Grotto in Margate). It is largely laid to lawn, under which sit French drains. This was deemed by English Heritage to offer the best protection from water ingress for the Grotto which is cut from the chalk bedrock (the apex of its ceiling is only a few feet below ground level).

The garden is on a slope and there is little topsoil above the drainage; what there is is alkaline.

We have a flint wall running along one boundary and I would like to create a border along it. This area is in almost full shade and the soil is pretty heavy. It's very close to the Grotto, although not directly over it. What plants to use? Obviously nothing with invasive roots! And ideally I would like to introduce plants that assist with keeping the Grotto dry. A visitor yesterday suggested that irises are great for sucking up damp - would they suffer the shade?

Ideally, I'd love a bank of hydrangeas, or rhododendrons or anything that my other half considers to be 'old lady plants'. But the Grotto might take priority over my wistful longings for a cottage garden!

I'd be grateful for any suggestions. 


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Discussions started by Sarah43

Planting Advice

Urban garden over Grade 1 listed grotto 
Replies: 15    Views: 1401
Last Post: 27/03/2014 at 17:00
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