Welsh valleys terrace garden - how to make it near zero maintenance?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Sian in Belgium, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. Sian in Belgium

    Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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    my mother-in-law has asked for ideas on how to cope with her narrow terrace-house garden. (Those of you who know the mining valleys housing stock will immediately be able to picture it!). About 15 metres long, 4 metres wide. There is a slab path about 1 metre from one side, with a small flower border between the path and the wall. My MIL (will be 80 next year) can probably manage that. The problem is the deeper raised bed to the left of the path. It is raised about 20 cm above the path (concrete slabs retaining the soil). My father in law used to work it each year, growing Dahlias, chrysanthemums, runner beans, etc. So the soil is quite rich, and the typical coal-dust black.

    She has asked for advice on how to cover this bed. Something that would work for her to be able to "use" it, but I think she would also like to avoid a permenant solution (ie concrete).

    My first idea is to remove some of the soil to level it off, and bring it to about 5cm below the retaining slabs, then semi permeable membrane, and gravel on top? Or slabs on top? (Gravel would mean that it could also be put on top of the narrow border, to allow that to be even easier to maintain).

    Any other ideas? It would be good to provide her with some alternatives, so she feels a little in control, making her own decision...
     
  2. burnie

    burnie Gardener

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    She could put a few alpines and herbs in in the gravel and have a few slabs to breakup the surface so it's not just one medium and it will look nicer and the herbs could be used.
     
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    • Sian in Belgium

      Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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      That's sort of what I had in mind, @burnie, but even that may be too much for her. I will see what info I can find. Maybe even see if I could be there when the work was done for her...
       
    • Linz

      Linz Total Gardener

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      What about a patio circle area with planters and gravel around? how high up is it from the house? Am trying to find a house I seen near me on right move...
       
    • Linz

      Linz Total Gardener

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    • shiney

      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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      That seems to be a good solution and she can have some pot plants on it.
       
    • shiney

      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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      • Anthony Rogers

        Anthony Rogers Guest

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        Hi Sian,

        Have a look at a thread I put up on July 5th......

        " Our garden transformation "

        This is what I did for my mom and it really is near zero maintenance. Obviously you have to decide on what level of work etc you want the planting to be on but everything is easily kept weed free and there's no digging or owt heavy involved.
         
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        • Linz

          Linz Total Gardener

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          It is the valley's after all..
           
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