By Jane Milliman
Need something to keep the kids—or yourself—occupied when the weather’s bad? Making miniature gardens is a popular pastime for all ages. The craft has become such the rage that entire stores and catalogs offer up all kinds of tiny accessories.
But my friend Cathy and I decided we wanted to make one with ordinary stuff—and you can too. We started with a bag of potting mix, some coarse sand, a few backsplash tiles, and a simple container.
Much of the fun with mini gardens is imagining little plants as their larger counterparts. You might not give a lot of thought to the various mosses in your backyard, but there are probably a few different types out there. We found one that resembled juniper bushes, and another as flat as a golf green. The miniature roses we bought were a little too big for our needs. So we took apart the 3-inch-wide container, separated the plants, and chose just the smallest one for the mini garden.
We had a lot of fun with found objects, creating a gazing ball on a pedestal by spray-painting a golf tee, and attaching a marble to the top with glue.
A piece of mulch from the outdoor garden made a perfect log. Then we added “mushrooms” by threading beads onto toothpicks stuck into the soil. Coarse sand made a colorful gravel path.
Choosing our pieces carefully, we even made an adorable and realistic-looking granite bench from backsplash tiles. Once you start thinking small, the possibilities are endless. Just think of what you could make from things already in your garage, potting shed, or junk drawer. Have fun!