By Julie Martens Forney
Hone your garden design skills by planting a miniature garden. These tiny gardens capture all the magic of their full-size counterparts in pots that fit on tabletops. This miniature garden features foliage plants for greenery, and miniature tools and ’shrooms to give it a lived-in look.
Choose Your Pot and Plants
A pebbled succulent planter provides a playful setting for my miniature garden. It’s 10 inches across, which is a good minimum size. I like this size because it’s not too heavy when planted and it’s still easy to carry.
Choose plants to suit your garden design. I selected fuss-free foliage plants for a traditional backyard garden setting. Gather materials, such as moss sheeting, glass beads, and polished rocks, to give the miniature garden a finished look.
Design Your Miniature Garden
Fill the container with a quality bagged potting mix. Prior to planting, arrange plants to achieve the look you want. I added an empty plastic spice container to serve as a water feature.
Tuck Plants into Soil
Plant the largest foliage plants first, then the fillers. I wanted white polka-dot plant (Hypoestes) as an understory and edging plant. I could only purchase it in a 4-inch pot that contained several colors, so I carefully separated the white-speckled plants. I’ll use the remaining polka-dot plants in spring containers destined for partial shade. Remember to water after planting.
Focus on Details
Two mini mushrooms add pops of color to my green-and-white design. For the water feature, blue glass beads (used in floral arrangements) give the illusion of water without the chore of adding or changing it.
Don’t Forget the Grass
For a grassy look, top the soil mix with moss and water once it’s in place. The moss acts as mulch, slowing water loss from soil. I set the tiny wheelbarrow on a path of polished stones. Miniature pots and tools, along with a dried lotus pod, provide finishing touches.
A sunny window is enough to keep this miniature garden thriving. As the foliage plants grow, I prune them to yield cuttings I can root for use in summer container gardens.