What’s a crevice garden? It’s a rock garden taken right to the edge — an extreme design inspired by dramatic, impossible places like alpine ridges, windswept seacoasts and sun-baked deserts.
Closer to home, you need only look underfoot to grasp the operating principle: See that single dandelion with its foothold in a tiny crack between curbstones or sidewalk pavers, no soil in sight? Its vibrant blooms scream in defiance of everything gardeners think they know about what plants want — just as a Saxifraga or Silene clinging to mere fissures in a vast, rugged landscape do.
A new book, “The Crevice Garden: How to Make the Perfect Home for Plants From Rocky Places,” encourages us to emulate what’s at work in such scenes, large and small.
Kenton J. Seth, from Colorado, and Paul Spriggs, from British Columbia, are rock-garden designers who sometimes collaborate. With an ambitious lecture schedule, their 5,000-plus-member Modern Crevice Gardens Facebook group and now a book, they have become de facto ambassadors of crevice gardening, recruiting a wider and younger cohort to the practice.
gravel gardens, aftercare is minimal compared to that required by traditional garden beds.
A miniature crevice garden, however, can be created using a sturdy stone or hypertufa trough or a galvanized tub, and makes a good starter project.
Despite the scale, the same engineering principles apply: Stones are not inserted into a flat canvas of soil; instead, the growing medium is mounded up to simulate a mini-mountainous terrain and allow a deep root run.
As with any rock garden, the medium is usually sandy and nutrient-poor — “rubbles, gravels and sands,” Mr. Spriggs said. If you’re using a container, he recommends mixing seven parts coarse sand with one part pumice or perlite and two parts soil.