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Can I concrete this?

(34 Posts)
Dilbertian Tue 15-Sep-20 17:36:42

My house has an inconvenient wedge of land between the building and my neighbour's drive. I have shaded it in the diagramme. Most of it is lawn and shrubs, but the last 8' or so is too narrow to do anything with. I've tried things like campanula, which succeed, but that strip just requires too much maintenance to keep it weed free (I'm not the keenest or most industrious of gardeners). There isn't even any soil there, just a shallow gravel-filled concrete trench

Can I fill it completely with concrete and have done with it? I'd much rather have plants there, and I'm sure I'd succeed if I wasn't a lazy bum. But after many years of weeds and ivy, maybe it's time to face up to reality.

My neighbour is completely polite, and has never complained about the appearance of this area, even though it is a few feet from her front door. I'm sure she'd also rather see flowers there than weeds, but I suspect she'd also rather see concrete there than weeds!

Is there any practical reason why I shouldn't just fill it with concrete? If I did so, how should I finish the end where the soil and the garden-able part of the garden begin?

Or is there a better, more attractive - and low-maintenace - solution?

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Katzenjammers2 Tue 15-Sep-20 17:59:31

There’s no reason why not, although if there’s gravel in there already you’ll want to remove that to get a good solid base. Make sure the base is all compacted to reduce the likelihood of the concrete cracking. At the end, you’ll want to place a timber in there and fill behind it with material to stop the concrete spilling out before you pour.

Alternatively, could you not just fill the space with a nice gravel? I’m not a gardener but think will look nicer than concrete!

BuildingThings Wed 16-Sep-20 09:06:51

Could you please post a picture? smile

PaulaSmith1 Wed 16-Sep-20 09:10:29

How about filling the area with pot plants?

CatherinedeBourgh Wed 16-Sep-20 09:17:49

I have an area where all plants were dug up by animals and we covered it in concrete but left holes for plants. We pressed gravel and stones into the concrete so it looks like a gravel garden but weeds don’t grow through.

In the holes we put low maintenance plants. Looks like an actual flowerbed, and is hardly any work to maintain.

Dilbertian Wed 16-Sep-20 14:10:49

Here's the problem area. Though just to the left there's an ivy and bramble battleground taking over the first part of the gardenable garden.

I cleared it out and replaced the gravel a few years ago. Gravel isn't always the easiest option, it still needs maintaining.

OP’s posts: |
Thisismytimetoshine Wed 16-Sep-20 14:12:57

Very odd that it's yours and not your neighbour's? Strange way to partition two properties.

Dilbertian Wed 16-Sep-20 14:31:27

Fortunately we get on well!

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CatherinedeBourgh Wed 16-Sep-20 15:56:14

Have you asked your neighbour what they would like? Looks like it affects them more than you, tbh.

BuildingThings Wed 16-Sep-20 16:04:25

@Dilbertian Could you lay matching paving all the way to your wall? Might be a bit more 'forgiving' and less permanent than concrete. Concrete can crack and you will need a good builder to pour it to look good.

Dilbertian Wed 16-Sep-20 16:19:58

I quite like that idea, BuildingThings. I shall investigate.

OP’s posts: |
Viviennemary Wed 16-Sep-20 16:38:37

You can get some large white pebble type stones say a bit bigger than a ping pong ball and nothing much grows through them. Not sure how expensive they are. And put these down instead of concrete.

GreyishDays Wed 16-Sep-20 16:47:23

I’d think membrane and gravel would look better. But also ask the neighbour.

jazzandh Wed 16-Sep-20 16:52:19

I would clear the area, cover with a good quality weed proof membrane and put down some slate chippings that complement the brickwork. You could extend this further along with some planting pockets through the membrane/chipping to soften the look further down.

BluebellsGreenbells Wed 16-Sep-20 16:56:25

You don’t need a builder, you only add concrete and water in a bucket!

I’d concrete and add some pots with flowers in - can you actually see this spot from your house?

jazzandh Wed 16-Sep-20 16:56:30

To add, I would plant some soft grasses along the edge, a little height easy to maintain, a bit of colour, look pretty against an aggregate.

Dilbertian Wed 16-Sep-20 16:58:30

If I clear as much as I can of the ivy and brambles, and then cover the ground with membrane, will the ivy and brambles die? Or will they find their way back through the membrane?

OP’s posts: |
Dilbertian Wed 16-Sep-20 16:59:56

BluebellsGreenbells

You don’t need a builder, you only add concrete and water in a bucket!

I’d concrete and add some pots with flowers in - can you actually see this spot from your house?


I rarely see it. Which is why it gets so little TLC - out of sight out of mind.

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foggyfuzz Wed 16-Sep-20 17:23:08

I'd dig it out, lay membrane and put an artificial grass off cut down

Dilbertian Wed 16-Sep-20 18:12:32

Artificial grass would look dreadful there: bright green and totally out of keeping with the <ahem > natural lawn further along the wedge.

Unless artificial grass is made in 'grotty' as well as 'luxury'.

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BuildingThings Wed 16-Sep-20 18:59:43

artificial grass is not very easy on the eye... or the environment 🌍

Horrible76 Wed 16-Sep-20 19:06:26

Hmmm. Concrete isn't very environmentally friendly. Alpines like crappy soil. I think I'd make up a mix of gritty soil, pack it with that, plant up some alpines and then mulch with limestone chippings.

Horrible76 Wed 16-Sep-20 19:06:56

A rock garden by any other name!

Dilbertian Wed 16-Sep-20 19:41:31

Alpines like crappy soil.

Trouble is, so do brambles, ivy and other weeds.

I would love to create a little Alpine garden there. That fuzzy thing at bottom right of the photo is a little campanula which is quite contented in a sport with no direct sunlight, no real soil, no depth to the soil.

But an Alpine garden needs maintenance. I need seriously low maintenance for that strip.

OP’s posts: |
Dilbertian Wed 16-Sep-20 19:42:13

Hmmm...houseleeks?

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