By thinking creatively and drawing inspiration from nature, you can turn any dull landscape into a bright, reinvented space. Consider the “Crack Garden” by CMG Landscape Architecture as an example. Homeowners wanted to redesign their landscape and were faced with a tired, concrete urban yard and small budget. Rather than complete renovation, they used the existing infrastructure to create an eye catching design.
In this garden, less is more. Designers focused more on the removal of material rather than on expensive additions. The solid concrete slab floor was opened up by deep jack hammered cuts, allowing air and water to penetrate through and subsequently softening and cooling the space. Succulents and herbs thrive in this unlikely home and demonstrate how plants can bring life and beauty to the most unexpected of places.
Next time you find yourself walking down a city block or through a bland parking lot, take a closer look at the flower, growing against all odds through a crack in the sidewalk. Before you give up on your urban landscape, draw inspiration from these natural “crack gardens” to revive your space. If you start small and choose the right plants for your space, your lackluster landscape will spring to life!
– Joe Shafner