DIY Inspiration: New Life for Old Concrete

Sometime during the 1960's, a previous owner of our house came up with the perfect solution for taming weeds - cover them in concrete! Since then we've removed some of it, but we still have a ways to go - and although we've had pretty good luck giving it away, lately I've been looking for inspiration on ways broken concrete can be repurposed in our own yard instead.

Despite being ridiculously heavy, concrete can also be very expensive to dispose of, so keeping it on site can make a lot of sense. These ideas caught my eye:

Shown above, left to right:

1. This is actually a goat milking shed, but I love the way broken concrete was placed in steel baskets to form a gabion wall.

2. In addition to concrete, rocks or stones can also be reused to create interesting garden features, like this gabion and wood bench.

3. Broken concrete is often used for retaining walls. The chunks stack easily and the exposed aggregate provides an interesting texture.

4. Concrete chunks can also be stacked to form raised planting beds. In this example, the nooks and crannies provide a perfect spot for moss and other plants to grow.

5. If the concrete being removed is relatively flat on two sides, consider using the pieces as pavers. You'll save a trip to the stone yard and have an interesting story to tell.

(Images: 1. Inhabitat, 2. Houzz, 3. Everything Gardens, 4. Heather Bullard, 5. Deviant Deziner)