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Imagine if you could enjoy a garden inside all winter long. A miniature garden is just that. Whether you’re seeking fresh air, greenery, beauty, or a small patch to care for, a DIY mini garden can meet all of your gardening desires and do it at a manageable scale. In a few steps, you can have a container of succulents, herbs, or a fairy garden ready for your holiday decor or to give to a loved one this year! 

Any dwarf or small houseplants may be grouped together in a miniature garden, as long as they enjoy the same light, water, and soil!        

 

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Supplies for a Miniature Garden


The key item for a mini garden is a container. You can use a single one with a wide opening or several small pots grouped together. Shallow pots work just as well as deep pots here. The main thing is that they have proper drainage holes. The place where you’d like to keep your garden may decide the depth of pot you use. For example, a shallow pan-like pot may work better on a desk or table, whereas a deep pot may sit nicely on the floor.

Besides this key item, you’ll want to consider different supplies depending on your design. If you’re going for a fairy garden, you may want some miniature furniture, perhaps a little cottage house, a quaint fence, and stones or broken pottery for a path. All of this decor can be easily crafted with little more than a glue gun, some sticks, and your children’s imagination. Preserved moss also adds a beautiful touch. 

Terrariums, herb, and succulent gardens may include less decor but still benefit from zen-like stone paths, edging, or pebble mulch. You’ll also need potting soil, depending on the plants, and then, of course, there are the plants themselves!

 

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Plants for a Miniature Garden


As you can guess, the key is to use small plants. All of the plants should have similar soil, water, and lighting needs, especially if they are in the same pot. Hungry for herbs? Try your hand at sage, rosemary, chives, mint, thyme, or oregano. Searching for succulents? Aloe, Burro’s Tail, Echeveria, Haworthia, and Jade Plants gel well together. Fawning after a fairy garden? Visit your local garden center in Chicagoland and see what you can find. Any dwarf or small houseplants may be grouped together in a miniature garden, as long as they enjoy the same light, water, and soil!

 

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Steps to Building a Miniature Garden

  1. Choose your location. It’s wise to know what lighting you have before you select the plants.  
  2. Make your plant selections. 
  3. Fill your chosen pot(s) with the appropriate potting soil mix for your plants.   
  4. Dig small holes and plant the plants. 
  5. For fairy gardens: decorate the garden with mini pathways, fences, cottages, preserved moss, or items of your choice.
  6. For a zen or succulent garden: add any design of colored pebbles or stones on the surface of the soil. 

 

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Taking care of plants is rejuvenative in itself, not to mention the beauty and fresh air that they provide. Though the winter is here, we can still enjoy the benefits of gardening by keeping a DIY mini garden. If you’re looking for more gift ideas and indoor plant inspiration, download our Winter Garden Guide. And if you’d like something professionally arranged, check out our ready-made mini gardens and terrariums at our nurseries!    

Platt Hill Nursery is Chicago’s premier garden center and nursery.