March 04, 2023
Need an inexpensive yet eye-catching pedestal to show off a container or elevate a piece of garden art? Get some concrete pavers in two different sizes, and stack them in alternating layers to create a contemporary plinth.
I made this one using 12-inch and 18-inch square pavers. I’ve noticed lizards basking on the sun-warmed pavers, partly sheltered by the overhangs. Lizard habitat and a display space? Win-win! My metal lizard has new friends.
Before you stack your pavers, take the time to make a sturdy, level foundation. Excavate about 8 inches, digging a hole a bit wider than your largest paver. Spread several inches of paver base or decomposed granite, and use a tamper to pack it into a solid, level base. Stack a couple of pavers and use a level to check that there’s no lean. If there is, remove the pavers and add more base material and retamp it. Make sure it’s dead level before stacking your pavers to the desired height.
Use concrete adhesive on each layer for added stability, if desired. If you have young kids or grandkids who might be tempted to climb it, keep it low and/or use one size of paver for extra stability.
I’ve seen variations of stacked-paver pedestals in numerous gardens over the years. Here’s one made of round pavers in the late Eleanor Pratt’s garden in Austin. An article in Midwest Living shows a variation on this design using two different sizes of round pavers. And somewhere I have a photo of a spiral plinth made of stacked square pavers, each one set at a slight turn from the one below.
Bigger plinths can be made from stacked concrete blocks with pavers on top, like this orchid display table in Michael McDowell’s garden in Plano.
Here’s another one, for displaying a work of sculpture, at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center a number of years ago.
The humble concrete paver can be put to work for much more than paths and patios. Get creative with them to achieve some elevation in your garden and showcase a piece of art, a birdbath, or a planter.
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Make plans to attend the Budding Out Plant Sale & Festival on March 18 at the John Fairey Garden in Hempstead, TX. Rare and distinctive plants will be offered, as well as art, ceramics, jewelry, food, drink, music, and other entertainment for the whole family. Members have early access and get in free. Non-member admission is $5. Children 12 and under are free.
Experience the Surreal Garden at Zilker Botanical Garden, an enchanting neon-art display throughout the gardens, with food and drink, music and dancing, surreal performers, and interactive art sculptures. Surreal costumes encouraged! 25% of event proceeds benefit the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy. Runs April 6 (VIP Night), April 7-8, and April 13-15, from 6:30 pm to 11 pm.
Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. You can find this year’s speaker lineup here.
All material © 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.