Crack garden

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. (Pics)


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.


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.


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.

Via Treehugger