Seedum experts ? advice sought re growing medium and planting in re purposed gutters

(6 Posts)
sunnyhills Thu 16-Mar-17 11:26:10

I have a very ugly fence at the front of the (shared) house I live in .It's our fence and runs up the side of a horrible cheap paving stone footpath between next door .

It's basically horizontal planks ( 5 in one section ,stepping down to 4 on the next ) and 4x4 uprights .

It faces south ,gets morning sun .The end near the road /distant from house is shadowed by a lime tree . So I may not plant there .

So ......after much thought I've decided to put up tiers of guttering ( cheap black plastic ) on the planks and plant with seedums ,thyme ,alpines .

I would really like advice on what soil mixture to use ...I'm not that knowledgeable but I'm thinking free draining and nutrient poor ? Is that correct ?

I have horticultural grit and perlite but what "soil" should I use ?.Do you think I will need some kind of gravel at the bottom ? Shall I drill holes in the gutter to drain ?

And any other plant recommendations - I like quite loose ,feathery ,trailing plants .I realise seedums not in that category .

I was wondering if the seedums ,thyme etc could be an evergreen staple and if I could add something more flowery for the summer .But then would that something need different soil and more nutrients than the staples .IYSWIM ?

TIA

shovetheholly Thu 16-Mar-17 12:10:47

A bar near me has done this (inside) and it looks great!

Bear in mind you need to allow for drainage - otherwise when it rains heavily the gutters will fill with water. But you don't want everything to just drain away either! A lot of people seem to achieve this by putting the guttering at an angle.

The substrate that guttering will allow is very, very thin. Too thin even for some alpines I would have thought. You may find that, if you want to install permanent planting, you are limited to a fairly narrow (but nice) palette of plants that can tolerate highly rocky conditions. Look for plant lists for extensive (not intensive) green roofs - these are the kinds of things you tend to see surviving in walls! Sedums, sempervivums, delosperma are all options.

Soil mix - I'm not an alpine expert (on heavy clay!) but I think a mix of a fairly fine compost (John Innes 1?) with sand and grit would work. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable can advise.

sunnyhills Thu 16-Mar-17 13:52:24

Thank you Shove .

ooh ,liking the look of the delosperma!

the guttering is 60mm wide by 114mm deep .

Mmm wonder if mixing coir with something would work ?

traviata Thu 16-Mar-17 19:56:22

In the summer, I think you could have some annuals/ bedding plants.

Trailing verbena, lobelia, pelargonium and geraniums might all manage ok if you water them. You could also look at some small grasses for a softer effect - they often have very shallow roots, but do choose a drought-tolerant variety.

There is also erigeron karvinskianus, which seeds itself into walls so might not mind a shallow substrate.

sunnyhills Sat 18-Mar-17 08:42:04

Thank you *travita8 ,that erigeron looks lovely .

Is it @nanthewiser who is a whizz on succlents ? Any further advice on suitable plants and growing medium would be hugely appreciated .

sunnyhills Sat 18-Mar-17 08:43:14

or even succulents

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