Gardening in Deep Shade

Gardening under large trees, deep shade and damp soil is a frustration for most gardeners. Tanya gives you practical ideas on how to overcome this by planting shade friendly plants. She also creates a Thai inspired pathway to give access to the garden.

What you need:

  • Few strips of Masonite pieces (15 – 20cm width)
  • X1 short piece of timber (10cm)
  • Wood pegs
  • Steel trowel
  • Wooden float
  • Builder’s bucket
  • 1 builder’s bucket river sand
  • ½ builder’s bucket stone
  • ½ builder’s bucket cement
  • Water
  • Small paint brushes
  • Leaves from the garden (any shape and size but must have strong lines)
  • Concrete stain (2 colours – 1 for the leaves imprint and the other for the surrounding concrete)

What to do:

  1. First measure the width and length of the intended pathway.
  2. Create the pathway mould by placing a strip of Masonite lengthwise to form the edging and help create the shape of the pathway, use wood pegs to keep it place. 
  3. Then place the other strip of Masonite on the other on the other side of the pathway and again use pegs to keep it in place.Continue to create the edging for the length of the pathway.
  4. To create the start and the finish of the pathway – place a piece of timber (on it’s side) across the two edges and use wood pegs to keep it in place once again
  5. Mix 1 builder’s bucket river sand, ½ builder’s bucket stone,½ builder’s bucket cement with enough water to form a mixture of runny consistency
  6. Pour in the cement mixture into the created pathway shape, use a steel trowel to spread the mixture and making sure that get to all the corners.
  7. Use a wooden float to work the concrete mixture in and smooth it off. Remove the wood pegs where the concrete has been laid and be sure you fill the hole left behind with the concrete mixture.
  8. Proceed to fill the entire pathway mould halfway to the top – making sure you are working it in and smoothing down the top.
  9. Leave the newly laid pathway to settle for a couple of hours. Collect leaves of different shapes and size from the garden.
  10. Place the leaves on to the pathway one by one, make sure that you press them firmly into the concrete so that it can leave an imprint.
  11. Place small stones (gravel/building stones) on top of the leaves to keep them in place. Leave the pathway to dry for a day or two.
  12. Remove the leaves from the pathway to reveal the imprints. The Masonite edging is also ready to be removed from the concrete pathway.
  13. Use a small paint brush to apply one colour concrete stain, on to the leaves imprints and the other colour stain on to the area around them. Remember the more you apply the richer the colour.
  14. Leave the newly stained concrete pathway to dry. The true colours of the pathway will take time to come through.

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