Live in the City? Try a Crack Garden

Cynthia Dermody
5
crack gardens

What a simple, easy idea to try!

Photos by ASLA

How's this for a little inspiration, city dwellers! This min-paradise in the middle of an 800 square foot concrete slab cost $500, but you could easily duplicate the idea on a smaller scale on your crumbling back patio or driveway for much less.

ost of the plants used were herbs, vegetables -- and many were even weeds. Landscape architect Kevin Conger designed the garden, built and shared with the other residents of his small building in the Mission District of San Francisco.

As far as the plants he used, "anything goes."

"People planted whatever they wanted in a completely random fashion and the order of the lines always seemed to make it look organized," Conger says. "We had strawberries, corn, thyme, Icelandic Poppies, Alyssum, Lavender, Fescue grasses, weeds, you name it. Some of the plants would get pretty trampled when we had parties (like the strawberries and poppies) but would bounce right back after a week or two of recovery."

There were larger shrubs along the sides, like Hydrangeas, Flax, Fushia, and a Five-Leaf Akebia vine mixed with a Potato Vine on the fences. A single Jacaranda tree provides shade.

Here's how you start:

 

crack gardens

 

Here's what it should look like:

 

crack gardens

 

Pour in some dirt, add plants. And here's the end result.

 

crack garden

 

The project was designed by CMG Landscape Architecture in San Francisco. It won a 2009 Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Do you live in the city or have an apartment with little to no backyard? How and where do you add some green to your home?

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