5 Ways to Use Cinder Blocks in the Garden


Concrete, or cinder block, is an inexpensive and organic building material for the garden. Easily picked up at your local home improvement store, with a little creativity you can use it to create garden hardscaping that will last. It combines well with other elements such as wood, and is easy for even the beginning DIY’er to work with. What are five ways to use it in the garden?

Planters  •  Steps  •  Fire Pit  •  Furniture  •  Privacy Wall



From ‘J Peterson Garden Design’, this cinder block succulent planter is a scaled down (read : easier) version of a planter that made it’s way across the internet last year. We understand the appeal, we created our own mini version of this with our DIY cinder block vertical planter. But we love the large scale this project is done on, and the steps are easy!



Here is another version of a cinder block succulent planter by ‘Zack Benson Photography’…




From ‘Step by Step’, these DIY concrete block stairs are so much better than using wood… they won’t rot away in a couple years! I like the idea of planting them with a stepable ground cover… Really complete tutorial with TONS of step by step pics…

5 Ways to Use Cinder Blocks in the Garden


Another example, this inspirational photo of concrete block steps is from ‘Sustainable Urban Living‘… Love how they just seamlessly merge into the side of the hill!

cottage E steps


Fire Pit

What is nature, and therefore a garden, without fire? Fire is a necessary element in the world of nature and should be respected in the garden. Many trees cannot even release their seeds without the heat of a fire. This simple DIY fire pit by ‘Must Add Fabric Softener’ is another good example of the simplicity of using concrete block. And for all of you who have heard these fire pits are dangerous, read their take on this… which I happen to agree with.



This easy fire pit was done by ‘The Dirty Loft’, and he also addresses the “concrete block will explode” controversy… BTW… Lowe’s themselves list these blocks as fire resistant.




This DIY cinder block bench was created by ‘Decoist’ during their front porch makeover, and has a complete tutorial. They also show several different variations of adding the planter sections.



From a Pinterest user, this bench follows the same principles…



Another Pinterest find, this bench incorporates stacked cinder block. You can use exterior landscaping adhesive to secure the blocks together if you wish.



This cinder block potting bench is a great idea, and is a much more stylish version college bookshelves!



Privacy wall

From ‘The Info Mine’, I love the Southwest look of this DIY cinder block planter wall… They used ‘Deck Restore’ to seal and add the color.



Here is the unpainted version.

5 Ways to Use Cinder Blocks in the Garden


This inspirational photo from ‘Houzz‘ shows you that even in an upscale design, like with this Eichler home, cinder block is a great building material!


Image Credits: Decoist, J Peterson Garden Design, Zack Benson Photography, Step by Step, Sustainable Urban Living, Must Add Fabric Softener, Dirty Loft, Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest, Info Mine, Houzz/ Huettl Landscape




  1. Dan Carlisle says:

    I recently saw a feature article from you dated May 2011. You show a form used in creating a cobblestone looking landing area. Pour concrete into it, remove form, finish the edges go to next area. Do you know where one can buy the form itself? it looked to be roughly two feet by two feet and maybe 2 inches thick?

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      I believe you can get those at most home improvement stores now… Ive seen it at Home Depot in our area…

  2. would like to know what i can add to a concrete wall for privacy plz let me know ty

  3. Hi,

    WoW!! All I can say, great ideas for the left over blocks keep going.


  4. The possibilities of cinder blocks are endless and you don’t really see them as much these days. I think they make a unique finished product that takes me back to my youth. I really love the planter idea. Thanks for sharing!

  5. The idea of using cider blocks is good. Instead of wood if you have any pipes which are unused you can use them and place colored tiles on the pipes it would look nice.

  6. I had no idea that concrete blocks could be used in so many ways. I love the planter you have there, it looks like a giant game of Tetris. We are actually looking at remodeling our backyard a little, so thanks for the inspiration and concrete ideas!

Speak Your Mind