Recycled concrete

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gordonhogenson
Title: Member
Joined: 2014-02-05
Recycled concrete

I have a large amount of recycled concrete from a slab that was broken up, and I am using it to make terraces on a southwest slope in the maritime PNW.

So, the conditions are hot, dry in summer, but wet in winter, zone 7, alkaline, and vertical.  I am looking for suggestions on how to build the walls so that I can grow small plants in them, and ideas on what plants would do well or be particularly interesting or attractive.

I am thinking already about plants such as Saponaria, Alyssum, Sempervivum, stonecrops, and a particular kind of Corydalis that is known for growing well on walls, Corydalis lutea.  I'm new to rock garden plants, though, so I'm open to your suggestions!

deesen
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

Difficult to give guidance Gordon as the style of rock work to adopt is very much a personal thing. Ian Young of The Scottish Rock Garden Club uses, very successfully, pieces of concrete building block in his troughs . There are many different rock work schemes that might give you useful ideas and ideas for plants to use here  http://www.srgc.net/forum/index.php?topic=4656.0    and here http://www.srgc.net/forum/index.php?topic=3537.0

David Nicholson in Devon, UK  Zone 9b

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I have used a lot of (recycled) concrete in my garden here at the west coast of Norway. I suppose the climate is similar but yours is probably a bit warmer in summer. It can be rather dry here in May, June and July but not very hot (max 28C, usually not more than 25C).

I find that some Primula species and particularly some Saxifraga species do very well. They even self sow a lot.

I have faced some of the concrete with ordinary rocks to get variation.

 

   

This is my shed roof. The tiles are concrete and I have covered them by a thin layer of sandy soil and lot of rocks (also pieces of concrete).

   

This is also my shed roof.

 

   

This is naturally occurring Saxifragas in calcareous rock.

 

 

Trond Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

gordonhogenson
Title: Member
Joined: 2014-02-05

Thanks for these ideas. I love the crevice gardena and troughs, and Saxifraga and Primula do look like well suited plants. 

Aesthetically, I am thinking that it would be wrong to try to make the recycled concrete look like natural rock, so the "old decaying ruin" effect would be what I want to create.  As if an old abandoned wall had been colonized by nature.

As for plants, anything that is at home in limestone crevices would be worth trying. PNW natives Sedum spathulifolium and Sedum oregona are on my list.

Gordon Hogenson, Zone 7, Maritime PNW

Toole
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-07-02

Gordon here's another example of using broken concrete,this time to create height at the back of a rockery in zone 8 ,maritime climate ,year round rainfall.(I've borrowed this pic from a friend).Cheers Dave.

Invercargill Bottom of the South Island New Zealand Zone 8 maritime climate 1100mm,(40 in),rainfall p.a. Nil snow cover

Toole
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-07-02

Here's a pic of the front of the rockery .(Again not my pic)

.Cheers Dave.

 

Invercargill Bottom of the South Island New Zealand Zone 8 maritime climate 1100mm,(40 in),rainfall p.a. Nil snow cover

gordonhogenson
Title: Member
Joined: 2014-02-05

Yes, those look good, Toole. Do you know what some of the plants are?  I see what looks like a white-flowered Corydalis, and maybe a violet-flowered Saxifraga.  This does show, though, that once the plants get established, you hardly notice the concrete pieces.

Gordon Hogenson, Zone 7, Maritime PNW

Toole
Toole's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-07-02

Hello Gordon

I think the white Corydalis is C.ochroleuca.

The yellow one is Corydalis.lutea.

Violet flowering plants are Haberlea rhodopensis.

Looks like one of the wood anemones, Anemone nemorosa cascading from the top of the wall down behind the large rock.

Name for the daisy like silver green growths escapes me for the moment....indecision.

Cheers Dave.

Invercargill Bottom of the South Island New Zealand Zone 8 maritime climate 1100mm,(40 in),rainfall p.a. Nil snow cover

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