A while back I had a discerning client who was also an interior designer. We got along great and she was easy going…all she asked for was something nobody else had or that she’d never seen before. Sure, no problem. I come up with those ideas 20 times a day (okay, that’s a total lie…I wish I came up with them 20 times a day). But I accepted the challenge and started looking for inspiration. And then I was struck…
While looking through a building material yard for another client, I came upon these cinderblocks. The ones with the circles were used for sewer lines and I thought they’d make amazing planters but then I saw the half emptied pallet of the other cinderblocks, ones that are usually used to build walls, and I knew I had it…something I’d never seen before!
And here is our cinderblock wall. A friend of the store, Laure Joliet, is an editor at Apartment Therapy and when I told her about the idea and how easy it would be for people to do themselves, she was excited and asked me to let her post it on the site. This blog post was reposted so many times it was incredible (and we were just a little bit proud.)
Here is a version in Texas from Pam Penick’s blog Digging. Â In her wall she made it double sided which I thought was a great extra. Â She also goes on to show how she did it which apparently involved chicken wire and landscape cloth. Â I just filled mine with soil and it seemed to work just fine. Pam also used different cinderblock than I did which I think worked better for pulling them out without creating a void behind them. The larger blocks I used gave you more room for soil however which I think is a plus. I saw another reposting using these cinderblocks as well.
Here is Form LA’s booth at the recent Dwell on Design Show at the LA Convention Center and I was thrilled to see yet again the cinderblocks. I loved the addition of the bench and the black “grout” they used between the blocks (it was actually thin plywood painted black but I think for a permanent installation they would use actual grout…for our wall, we used liquid nails).
It’s a handsome planter. The possibilities are endless. If you’ve tried a version of the cinderblock wall, please send them to us. We’d love to see them all. And if you have any ideas for things no one has ever seen before, by all means please send those along too.
PS…as I was about to post this, the picture above came up on Urban Gardens Blog. Too funny.
PSS…If you are concerned about safety, you should reinforce any wall you build with rebar and mortar. The first one I did was only 4 blocks tall and stacked against another cinderblock wall. Use common sense…any freestanding wall should probably be reinforced.