Urbancrete Raised Beds

Broken concrete makes for a beautiful raised garden bed that’s also beneficial to plants.
By Frances Sweeney
June/July 2011
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This urbancrete raised bed was inexpensive and easy to build. 
PHOTO: FRANCES SWEENEY


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After we built our house, I started to plan the landscaping. I decided to create my first raised bed in front of our picture windows so we could look out at something green. Trying to keep things as natural as possible, I decided to use rocks from our property, but soon realized that most of them were smaller than what I needed.

In our local weekly newspaper, I saw an ad for broken concrete being given away right up the block from us. It took many trips to collect this “urbancrete,” but we eventually got what we needed to construct an oval garden bed.

For the last 15 years, the garden has been one of the first things visitors see. Everybody loves it, with comments ranging from “wow” to “perfect!”

Over the years, the added warmth and protective height of the urbancrete has also made this my most productive raised bed. Chamomile, feverfew, lemon balm and mint cascade down the sides of the garden walls, while garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, lavender, lettuce, peas, onions, sage and rosemary cover the top.

Frances Sweeney
Greenbank, Washington








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