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May 27, 2006

Glass Mulch in the Landscape

Glass mulch has gained popularity as a unique alternative to traditional bark or gravel mulches. The material, often recycled tumbled glass shards, gives a wider variety of colors and textures than traditional mulches. One supplier, American Specialty Glass, offers a wide array of glass mulches that can be used in the landscape. The drawback to using glass- the cost. From the supplier mentioned above, a 50lb sack of glass ranges from $1.00-2.00 per pound. Obviously this is going to be cheaper in bulk. But consider that gravel mulch that probably has a similar density, I would guess weights out at one half to one ton per cubic yard.

The best example locally of glass mulch used in a landscape is the Cost Plus Plaza in Larkspur designed by Topher Delaney.

For More:
SF Chronicle Article on Cost Plus Plaza
Glass Rocks

Posted by Michael O'Connell at May 27, 2006 09:43 AM


I've been interested in using glass mulch in the landscape for a couple of years now ... there is one place locally that manufactures glass mulch from recycled bottles. Yet I hesitate because I can also imagine another drawback beside cost (which for sure is a drawback ...) and that would be how to keep the mulch "clean." I'm not a stickler for a perfectly clean landscape ... on the contrary, I like naturalized landscapes, informal, slightly on the wild side. But my clients have raised that objection whenever I have mentioned glass mulch. Unlike river rock or bark mulch, if leaves, dust, blowing soil, mineral deposits from irrigation water, etc. get into the glass mulch, it seems to me that would detract from the sparkling, colorful appearance pretty rapidly. That stuff just kind of disappears or blends into rock or bark mulch.

Have you had experience with using glass mulch in your projects? If you have, what has been your experience with keeping it relatively free of litter and other stuff?


Posted by: Maureen at May 27, 2006 12:22 PM

We have never used glass mulch in one of our projects. This post was spurred because I received a informational postcard from a supplier. I can see the possibilities for problems in the long run with cleanliness. It's not like you can refresh the glass mulch easily either, like you can with bark or gravel.

Posted by: Michael O'Connell at May 27, 2006 06:43 PM

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