leaf mould just to give plants a reasonable start. If you are taking over an existing border or a lawn, remove any weeds at this stage. We then laid permeable landscape fabric before applying a shingle mulch of about 5cm but I’m now in two minds about this. The membrane is useful before intended plants get established and unwanted weeds emerge, but I’m now more relaxed about it and positively encourage selfseeders. Whenever I see a corner of ugly black membrane sticking out of the gravel, I yank it out and have since been rewarded with self-seeding orange Icelandic poppies, first planted in 2012, pretty purple and pink Linaria, hopefully now with us forever, and wild foxgloves that thrive here. New planting is also easier when you don’t have to cut holes in a membrane. Once your plants are in, it’s fun to add a few larger pebbles, some seashells and some bowls of sedums then sit and enjoy your beach without feeling at all guilty as there’s little else to do. A sunny spot, no watering, very little weeding, and a bit of thinning is all that’s required. So much reward for so little effort. 108 Suffolk: July 2020
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