Inspiring a Winter's Table Top Garden

The Gardenist

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At this time of year, when the days are noticeably lightening but are still too dark for the gardener, the itch of spring almost becomes unbearable. Mini table top gardens might be the answer to Spring Fever, and after researching a range of ideas, I set out to make my own.

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I took inspiration from a few places, including Rad Megan's water garden. It is so out of the ordinary and unexpectedly charming (indoor water gardens are an exciting idea that I'd love to see become a trend).

She uses a large clear glass mug for the tiny garden, and lets the whole thing overflow onto the table around it. I like the idea of the garden arrangement not being confined to the vessel. Water plants are not something I know a lot about, and I would love to experiment with them in the depths of winter. Perhaps it might inspire me enough to dig a hole big enough for a pond — just as soon as the ground thaws.

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Francoise Weeks also provided some input into my ultimate design. Her florals — and particularly her woodlands inspired work — are as much a 'mini garden' as they are a 'bouquet'. Using wood scraps, less florals, and more texture to create something that is more reflective of the nature that currently lies under a foot of snow are ideas I enjoyed playing with.

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Lastly, this springy garden dining display by Rogers Gardens — which highlights rotten logs and moss — helped me to remember that the haphazard-ness of nature and messiness of the moss can be far more attractive than something that is overly styled or trying too hard.

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So this is what I came up with (also pictured up top). Is is happily sitting in my living room, where I have to regularly shoo the cat away from eating it. The white Phalenopsis isn't a proper toad lily like I might find peeking through the ground in a few months' time, but I think it conveys the same surprising preciousness. I also didn't agonize over my materials. I used what I had at hand — including some silk flower leaves here and there. I enjoyed being creative and bringing together bits and pieces of things to make something beautiful. If you want to see the whole whole step by step process, you can check it out here.

(Image credits: Rochelle Greayer; Rad Megan; Francoise Weeks ; Rogers Gardens)

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