Gardening on Pavement, Tables, and Hard Surfaces

Gardening on Pavement Tables and Hard Surfaces
by George Schenk
Timber Press, 2004

This book details, perhaps for the first time in print, how to garden on an impermeable surface such as pavement, rock, brick or wood. Gardens can be planted almost anywhere, given a little soil. To be successful, though, it helps to know what soils to use and which plants to seed, and that's where this volume fills a void.

Divided into chapters by the type of surface used -- Pavement; Stepping Stones, Parking Grids, and Pavers; Rocks and Railings; Stumps and Logs; Table -- the book lists dozens of the best plants to use on each, with information on their size and growth rate. Some of the best plants for pavement gardening include evergreen maidenhair, Irish bell heath, false heather, sweet woodruff, blue star creeper and Harbour Dwarf bamboo.

The author, George Schenk, is a former nurseryman and landscaper who gardens in the Pacific Northwest, Australia and the South Pacific. His suggested plantings and the garden tours featured in the book are decidedly Pacific, but the methods are workable anywhere in the gardening world, he points out.

"This book is in part a manual on what to plant and how to plant it on platforms. It is also an account of some memorable occasions in which friends and I have been brought together by one of humanity's more effective social agents, ornamental plant life," Schenk writes.

While some folks will undoubtedly find the idea of gardening on pavement discomfitting, perhaps even profane, proponents like Schenk defend the practice as a "greening" that brings plants more fully into urban and suburban lives. Like the illustrious Hanging Gardens of Babylon, platform gardens can be a surprise and a wonder, prompting the question "What is that garden doing here?!"

Back to the Book Stall

Gardening on Pavement Tables and Hard Surfaces

How Much Soil Will You Need?

     To determine soil needs for a square or oblong bed, first measure the length and the width of the bed-to-be and multiply these two measurements to obtain the square footage of the area to be gardened. Now multiply the square footage by the depth of the soil to be placed. The result is the number of cubic feet of soil needed to create the bed. Divide that number by 27, the number of cubic feet in a cubic yard, and the quotient will show in cubic yards the amount of soil needed to cover the area.

     To determine the amount of soil needed for an L-shaped bed, simply divide the bed into two rectangular beds, calculate the cubic yards for each bed using the above formula, and add the two subtotals to find the total number of cubic yards needed.

     To find the quantity of soil needed for a free-form or circular planting bed, take three pairs of measurements from the bed's varying length and width. Multiply eqach of the the three lengths and widths separately to obtain three calculations of square feet. Add up those three square footages and multiply by the depth of the bed, to obtain the number of cubic feet. Divide that sum by 83. The figure you obtain will represent -- roughly -- the cubic yards of soil needed for the bed.

M. Hofferber Books 
browse our new and used landscaping books

Visit the Booths
Shopping Lists
Market Entrance
Sign Our Guestbook
Bulletin Board
Search the Market
Lease a Booth
Book Search
Buy Direct Directory
Farmer's Market Online.
Information in this document is subject to change without notice.
Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.