Read This: Concrete Garden Projects

Are you looking for a fun garden project this fall? A way to add clean-lined flair to your garden? I have just the book recommendation for you. Concrete Garden Projects: Easy & Inexpensive Containers, Furniture, Water Features & More by Camilla Arvidsson and Malin Nilsson is a recipe book for concrete concoctions that harden into pretty accessories with a minimalist, Scandinavian look.

Here’s one of their projects I’d like to try: making my own concrete pots. The Swedish authors show off spring bulbs in theirs, but I’d have a collection of agaves in mine. Their instructions sound simple: oil the inside of a plastic pot and the outside of a smaller pot that will fit inside; mix the concrete and pour it in the larger container, shaking it to remove air bubbles; press the smaller pot into the concrete-filled pot and let it set; a day or two later, remove the moulds and smooth any sharp edges. Obviously, making a bunch of pots or other projects at one time would be more efficient. I’m imagining a concrete-pouring party with friends!

The authors have plenty of other ideas for the garden, like tiles with leaf impressions…

…a homemade bench and bowl-shaped water feature, plus much more: house numbers, weatherproof tic-tac-toe boards, stepping stones, garden stools, bird baths, angel heads, candle holders, and even a BBQ work station.

Hypertufa is given a passing mention, but concrete is the star of this simple but inspiring book of ideas. Whether your style is contemporary or cottage, they have a project for everyone. Like stock tanks and culvert pipe remnants, concrete is a humble construction material that fits into the garden beautifully.

Disclosure: This book was sent to me for review by Timber Press. My review, like everything in Digging, is my own honest opinion. Photos courtesy of Timber Press.

All material © 2006-2011 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

11 Responses

  1. I think I’m liking that idea of a concrete mold pouring party, Pam! Maybe in January when it cools off? We could each bring a mold and share….seems like you could use concrete colorizers as well?

  2. Denise says:

    Pam, timely review! I’ve been looking at choosing a concrete project book and will throw this one into consideration. Also considering polishing concrete for an outdoor patio, so have concrete on the brain this autumn.

  3. jenn says:

    Wow. I like those accordion shaped pots. Hmmmm.

  4. Jenny says:

    If you knew how long I have been planning a project like this. I have lots of cuttings on making the troughs. However I think it might be wiser to use the hypertuffa mix as the concrete would be very heavy. I have a variety of recipes for mixtures. Some use peat moss, some use vermiculite or perlite. I even found the boxes to make troughs. You may just spur me into action. I think they would be great in my English garden.

  5. This is something I must look into! But thanks for another book for my bookcase wall, that is already full!

  6. Laura Munoz says:

    Thanks, I may buy that book on Amazon. I own a different concrete project book and I’ve made a few concrete items for the garden–a lady’s head as a planter, a platform for a sundial on an old concrete birdbath pedestal, a new base for a broken terracotta urn, a mock tombstone, some VERY rustic edging, and I have a wire chicken I created ready to be concreted, but I’ve not found the time to complete her. It’s a lot of fun. Laura

  7. Greggo says:

    bought the book, now i need the t-shirt. lol

  8. Darla says:

    This is something I have been meaning to try…now a book will be most helpful!

  9. Jeanette says:

    That looks like a books worth having. I like the leaf tile. That might be a good project to try first. I’ll have to get the book before all the leaves are gone.

  10. Sheila says:

    Thanks! I may pick this up and look for some inspiration. I have been looking for a project!

  11. Pam, this is a book I’ll definitely put on my wish list. And a concrete party sounds like a ton of fun!

    I’ve got a couple of concrete project books but mine are pretty old and I am looking for some fresh new ideas. ;)

    We have several cement benches, fountains, and planters. I’ve made some small projects in the past and I’d love to make more. I’m really quite a fan of hypertufa, but the two mediums, though similar, are different enough, I’m not surprised that they barely acknowledged it in this book.

    I’ll be interested in their “recipe” for different mixtures for different types of projects …. every cement artist has their own recipes and they do vary quite a bit.

    Thanks for sharing this with us!