Contest alert: Concrete Garden Projects

Reykjavik’s soaring Lutheran Hallgrimskirkja, tallest building in Iceland

Icelanders build cathedrals out of concrete. Striking, creative and – most crucially in that seismically excitable area – resilient ones. That’s why you shouldn’t turn your nose up at this adaptable, inexpensive material when it comes to the garden.

I’ve been itching to make some garden art out of concrete since attending a presentation at our local garden club a while back. Hypertufa planters have also been on my radar – planters or troughs made lightweight through a mixture of concrete with perlite or peat moss.

Well, now Timber Press has just published a how-to book with 100 pages of inspiration followed by a 40-page workbook with all the instructions. It’s Concrete Garden Projects: Easy & Inexpensive Containers, Furniture, Water Features & More by Malin Nilsson and Camilla Arvidsson. Those Nordic folks (these gals are from Sweden) understand the value of concrete thinking.

Whip over quickly to the Timber Press site and enter their no-purchase-necessary contest and you might win a copy of the book – along with the moulds used to make some of the planters. The contest ends Friday, October 21st (that’s tomorrow, as of this writing). Good luck, and I hope you try some concrete projects yourself.

To give you more inspiration, I have another concrete story I’ll be posting soon.


  1. I love working with concrete, but it's become impossible for me because of the dry material – even wearing a professional respirator.
    Fraid I spent too many years around art studios 🙁

  2. Hi, gals. Sorry to hear about your problem, Alice. We always have to be careful working with concrete, as with many things around the garden. Thanks for the reminder.

    Diana, the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association is the body that represents the industry here. As I understand it, Canadian peat is more responsibly and sustainably harvested than peat in other regions. The CSPMA has designations for sustainable peat, like similar movements in forestry. You might have to cut and paste the link, but see:

    Even perlite, which is mined then expanded by heat — like glass popcorn — does come with *some* environmental cost, although looking it up now, it appears relatively minimal compared to other mining activities. Check out this link for more info:

    These days, there's hardly a choice we make in the garden that doesn't have to be weighed somehow. Ah, for simplicity!

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