Crack Garden is Not What You Think


Photo: asla

This crack garden is not what it sounds like... It's a sustainable, simple and cheap answer to a design problem. How to make a garden out of a concrete slab without spending a fortune.

Created in the small back yard of a San Francisco apartment building, it was inspired by those tenacious little plants that take hold no matter how inhospitable the space.
Photo: cmg landscape

The project, designed by cmg landscape architects, cost only $500 and was installed by the residents of a small building.

The garden is a series of cracks, made by a jackhammer, in formal rows, in an existing concrete slab which was in the back of the building. It is a cheap and ingenious design solution. A way to provide sitting out space for outdoor activities and incorporate flowers, herbs, vegetables and even a few wandering weeds that slipped in.

The plants were chosen for their ability to tolerate foot traffic, so that the space can accommodate different uses. A tree in one corner adds some scale and provides shade and colour. There is an easy-to-grow Potato Vine along the fences and back wall.

The planting within the cracks is somewhat random, changing according to the whims of whoever is in charge.


Photo: cmg landscape

This sustainable garden is only one of many described in an informative and interesting online exhibition by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), called Designing Our Future: Sustainable Landscapes. It showcases twenty case studies that have been picked to demonstrate the diversity of sustainable landscape design projects. Lots of great ideas for projects large and small.

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Tags: Architecture | Designers | Gardening | Recycled Building Materials