Crevice gardening, growing flowers in sidewalk or patio cracks

Flowers, as delicate as their blooms may appear, are sturdy plants that grow in seemingly unexpected locations. The blooms of some flowers convert to seed. Carried by the breeze or rainwater, the seeds may settle into cracks in a sidewalk or patio. The concept of crevice gardening mimics nature’s path where gardeners purposely plant seeds in the crevices and cracks of hard surfaces, particularly cracks between bricks or paving stones. Crevices or cracks in walkways and patios are entryways to the moist, cool soil that resides below.

Full sun perennial flowers

Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata), also known as moss phlox, produces purple, white, or pink blooms in the spring on plants that reach about 6 inches tall. Reaching no more than 1 inch tall, creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum) produces white blooms in mid-summer. May snow (Sisyrinchium idahoense “Album”) grows to about 4 inches tall and produces white blooms in late summer.

Bellflower, courtsey of Jerzy OpioĊ‚a
Full sun to part shade perennial flowers
Fairy foxglove (Erinus alpinus), which grows to about 4 inches tall, produces diminutive mauve flowers that appear in late spring and into summer. Bellflower (Campanula cochlearifolia), also known as fairies’ thimble, grows to about 3 inches tall and produces summertime blooms. You will smell mint when you step on Corsican mint (Mentha requienii), a 1-inch tall plant that produces lilac blooms in late summer.

Corsican mint, courtesy of Ghislain118
Planting
Scatter seeds in late spring and then water gently to send the seeds into the cracks. Water when other plants are watered, which is typically every seven to 10 days if there is no rainfall. If applying water-soluble fertilizer to flowers in the landscape, apply the same fertilizer to the crevice flowers. Otherwise, no fertilizer is needed. Leave spent blooms to form seeds to keep the cycle going. These flowers will perk up from light foot traffic.

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