Why the crevice garden trend is taking off this hot, dry summer

The crevice garden trend is the latest look for your yard and it's easy to achieve, even when the temperature soars and there’s no rain forecast

plants growing in a crevice garden
(Image credit: Garfotos/Alamy Stock Photo)

Everyone’s talking about the crevice garden trend this summer, and more than 6,000 people now belong to the Facebook group ‘Modern Crevice Gardens’. 

US crevice garden pioneer Kenton Seth says this garden trend is becoming so popular because it’s drought-tolerant and allows for planting in even the smallest and least-hospitable places, including cracks in walls and gaps in boulders. 

Colorado-based Kenton, owner of Paintbrush Gardens (opens in new tab), is the author, along with Paul Spriggs, a plant explorer, photographer and President of the Vancouver Island Rock and Alpine Garden Society, of a new book, The Crevice Garden - How to Make the Perfect Home for Plants from Rocky Places, available on Amazon (opens in new tab).

What is the crevice garden trend?

A crevice garden is similar to a modern rock garden, but the landscaping element, whether it’s natural rocks, hypertufa, a gap in a wall, or even the join between paving stones, can be much more varied. 

Soil is usually sandy and nutrient-poor, maybe with a handful or two of gravel or perlite added for drainage. 

These tough conditions create a mini-microclimate, allowing gardeners to select and assemble attractive plants and survivor species than might struggle elsewhere, says Kenton: 'A crevice garden offers a way for botanic gardens and home gardeners to increase their biodiversity and collection within a small space.'

plants growing in a rock crevice

(Image credit: Blickwinkel/Alamy Stock Photo)

Why the trend is increasing in popularity

'This landscaping idea is especially excellent for hot, dry climates,' says garden expert Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love (opens in new tab). 'Many people who live in such climates have a hard time maintaining healthy, traditional gardens, but crevice gardens offer a great solution. 

'Not only do they accommodate hot and dry climates, but they allow homeowners to have colorful gardens while also capitalizing on the local environment.'

plants growing out of a crevice in a stone wall

(Image credit: Natural Visions/Alamy Stock Photo)

Choosing the right plants

Crevice garden plants don’t need the things – rich soil, regular water, mulching and feeding – that regular plants demand. 

The best kinds of plants to grow in crevice gardens share similarities with plants for rockeries as they will happily settle into nooks and crannies. They include succulents, cacti, and plants that don’t need much water, such as lavender, says Jeremy. 

lavender growing out of a crevice

(Image credit: Peace Tree Farm/National Garden Bureau)

Other good starter choices recommended by Kenton include Sempervivum, ice plants (Delosperma), cyclamen and rock pinks (Dianthus) which really adore hot dry conditions and bring with them an exotic peppery scent. 

Will you be giving the crevice garden trend a go?

Jayne Dowle
Freelance writer

Jayne Dowle is an award-winning gardening, homes and property writer who writes for publications including Sunday Times Home, Times Bricks & Mortar, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and The Spectator. She was awarded the Garden Journalist of the Year accolade at the Property Press Awards in 2021.