Amateur Gardening

Coping with the soil

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GARDEN soil close to the sea can be sandy, stony, or both, and frequently without much substance. Adding wellrotted garden compost or manure is helpful, especially for establishi­ng plants.

However, this needs to be almost an annual job, and you’ll never really achieve that perfect loamy soil you desire. To be honest, I wouldn’t bother! There are many wonderful plants that simply don’t need it: try some of the Mediterran­ean herbs, like sage, rosemary and thyme (these tend to stay more compact, and live longer, than when grown in softer, richer inland soils). Then there are the exotic-looking viper’s bugloss (Echium pininana) and century plant (Agave americana). Grasses and bamboos, too, are highly suitable plants for poor soils. Experiment with your plot to see what works for you.

 ??  ?? Agave americana grows in poor soil
Agave americana grows in poor soil

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