How to Make a Crevice Garden

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In many types of landscaping, variety is key. Decisions are made based on creating areas of different heights, colors, and textures. Over the past few years, crevice gardens have become increasingly popular, as they provide all of the above, as well as a focal point in a landscape, and, once they’re built, are relatively easy to maintain. Here’s what to know about how to make a crevice garden.

What is a crevice garden?

If you’ve ever seen plants growing up through the cracks in the sidewalk or between paving stones, then you’ve seen tiny, unintentional crevice gardens. The crevice gardens people create in their backyards essentially aim to mimic those conditions—or, more accurately, when they occur in nature (rather than a sidewalk or driveway) in mountainous regions.

How to make a crevice garden

Crevice gardens do require a bit of work upfront, but after that, they’re pretty low-maintenance. Although you can use any type of large rocks in any arrangement, Czech crevice gardens—which are especially popular right now—take flat rock slabs and arrange them upright and parallel to each other.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Dig trenches deep enough to stand the rock slabs upright and keep them stable. Packing clay around the base of the rock helps.
  1. Fill in the gaps between the rocks with a soil mix consisting of equal parts topsoil, compost, and a material that adds drainage, like sand, perlite, or gravel.
  2. Water the soil thoroughly a few times to close any air pockets deeper down in the ground.
  3. Plant a mix of small plants that thrive in full-sun and well-drained, rocky soil, like beardtongue (Penstemon), hens and chicks (Sempervivum), stonecrop (Sedum), rock cress (Aubrieta), dwarf conifers, and ice plants.

Maintaining a crevice garden is relatively straightforward: Just water the plants as necessary, pull any weeds that pop up, and when fall arrives, pinch or cut off any dead flower stems.

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