Hobbies: Let’s Make A Miniature Garden!


So maybe you don’t feel up to gardening on a large scale – that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy it! We’ll create an ongoing, four-season project that you can enjoy anytime you happen to get that gardening urge. The questions to ask yourself are…

1) Where? Do you want your miniature garden to be indoors or outdoors? Sunny or shady? Wherever you locate it, ease of use is the most important factor. It should be easily accessible both to work in and enjoy. Waist height is best to avoid bending. Do you have a ledge or raised fence, planter, etc. where you can place your garden? It should be convenient to water access (if you include live plants), and not too far to walk to when you’re not feeling well. The only “gardening tool” you need is an old fork!
2) What With? You can make a wonderful miniature garden on a simple glass or ceramic dinner plate, or in a large pasta bowl or flowerpot! Any of these can be kept indoors or out as long as you keep the size portable to carry.
3) Theme? Now here’s where you get to have fun! Imagine a miniature world of… something! What do you love? Where is a favorite place to visit? What are your favorite creatures, real or imaginary? Do you love the mountains? The beach? Fields of wildflowers? Perhaps a forest stream? You can create any of these in miniature with a little imagination and creativity. Do you have a favorite saying? Make a miniature sign and include it!
4) How? Once you have decided on your theme, it’s time to go on a little scavenger hunt! Start gathering the objects you’d like to see in your miniature garden. This is the fun part, because it can be ongoing and representative of your travels, shopping, adventures, etc. Once friends and family know what you are up to, they may surprise you with little found objects for your garden as gifts!
I just started a miniature garden this summer off my front porch. It is very much in the beginning stages. I’m not sure exactly what the arrangement (or the container) will end up being, but I do know it will involve a lot of rocks, tiny mirrors, and seashells my daughter brought me from Florida last year. Right now they are all just situated inside their space in the flower bed.
I adore rocks and collect them everywhere I go, so this is a natural for me. Whatever I pick up on my nature walks gets deposited in the mini garden as I walk up the front walk. Easy! We are lucky to have mimosa tree seedlings all over our property, so I planted a 4″ tall mimosa tree right in the center of it. Eventually I will plant it in the container as a bonsai keeping it carefully trimmed with scissors. I also plan to plant a miniature hosta plant in there which I know won’t get any bigger than about 6″ around and tall. I plan to make some copper wire sculptures of dogs for it, as well as some miniature windchimes to hang from my tiny mimosa tree. I’ll probably glue together some gemstones to make miniature park benches. Beyond that, who knows!
If you are planning to use live plants in your miniature garden, remember that most plants need good drainage. Let’s say you are using a big dinner platter for your garden. You can create drainage by placing a layer of small rocks on the bottom, covering it with a piece of fine netting like cheesecloth or fine mesh plastic canvas, then adding your soil and plants on top of that.
You can use plants that will live year-round indoors such as cactus, miniature palm plants, ivy, etc. Another fun idea would be to use plants that will grow in water-filled rock containers. Mini palms will do that if you wash all the soil off the roots. You can research on plants that grow in just water. A good source for them is the live plant section of the aquarium supplies at your pet store. There you will find plants that can be totally or partially submerged.
If your climate does not support leaving plants outdoors in the winter, you can either plan to bring your garden indoors for the winter or plant only plants that are winter-hardy such as miniature evergreens.
If you want to include a live water feature, perhaps you have an old small fountain sitting around that you can put to use! Just sit it in an area of your garden where the electric cord won’t be exposed to water and plug it in. Better yet, use a battery operated fountain!
I just got the funniest mental picture of a battery operated mini-fan blowing a bunch of colorful streamers – metallic colors of gift tinsel with ends glued to a short pencil with a tiny silk flower glued on top of it – in the “breeze.” Sounds like some kind of beach scene gone way awry!
So have fun with this – let your mind go wild!! Although your other gardens may be full of neglected weeds, this one will always be easy to take care of and will be a source of constant delight!
And P.S. – what a great gift idea to make one for a friend with physical challenges!
Written by: Sheila Talley © 2008, butyoudontlooksick.com

  • ha this made me laugh a little, but it does seem a good way to pass time. If i was going to make my mini garden i would fill it with loads of water features like a beautiful stone water fountain, and maybe some statues, but i guess thats a little over the top for a mini garden but hey everyone different. 🙂

  • What a great idea. I would love to see some pictures of your mini garden. Personally, I would love to see some mini kitchen gardens.

  • Darcy Shaw

    What a delightful, fun idea. This is a great way to be creative in your own special way. It may encourage you to get out of the house & walk, explore, & have fun. Thanks for a great idea!