Saturday, January 28, 2012

Indoor Activities: Easy and cheap tabletop garden

I thought I'd take a moment to show off an easy indoor project for those of you craving a little gardening fix in the middle of winter. I'm totally in love with miniature worlds indoors, be it dollhouses, or terrariums. And while I didn't have the skills or materials to create a terrarium, I did have this great collection of stuff that we could put together in a tabletop garden.

This is such an easy project, I let my kids do it. (Well, most of it; I'm kind of OCD about the messy factor, so I did the dirt part...). I used an outdoor planter that was shallow and wide. This was a cast off from one of my aunts, so it didn't cost anything. Since it doesn't have any holes for drainage, we filled it half way with gravel I scooped up from the road (why pay for fancy river rock that no one is going to see anyway?). I added a couple scoops of topsoil, and then placed the large items.

My son found the large fossil rock at the river this summer and he added a couple pieces of turkey tail fungus and pinecones for variety. We also dug a few tiny ferns up from the woods.

I had a sad miniature palm that was barely hanging on; only a few tall sections were still growing, so I put those in the planter for a bit of height. I bought the pink plant new for a couple of dollars at the grocery store. Any small scale plant will do, but I liked this one for the bit of color it added. 

We peeled up some moss from the yard and used it to cover all the remaining dirt. Every few days I just add a bit of water to the plants and spray the moss with water from a spray bottle. My kids added the army men, which I think came out pretty cool- kind of an homage to jungle warfare- without being too kitschy! 


  1. What a neat project to do with your kids! I love the colors and textures.

  2. Love it, especially the army men. I find myself pouring through seed catalogues every January, even though I never buy anything. I just like the potential.

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

  3. As kids we would occasionally set plastic army men on fire and drip the wax on ants, a boy thing. Cool project!

  4. Excellent and lovely idea! Thanks for taking the time to post this.