No Maintenance Miniature Gardens

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No Maintenance Miniature Gardens

I love miniatures and I’ve been collecting various diminutive things from the dollar store and other places, for years. The popularity, in recent years, of miniature gardens has prompted me to try my hand at creating some of my own.

Because I have a hard time keeping plants alive, I have opted to use fake plants in my gardens. You may choose otherwise, but for our purposes here, plastic is the plant of choice and I’ll show you how to use what you find in the dollar store as shrubbery, trees and grasses.

Here’s what I came up with using different containers. If you see something you like, feel free to copy.

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Gazebo in the Garden

I used a low glass bowl for this mini garden. Start by filling the bowl with soil, tamping it down as you go. Even though I wasn’t using real plants, I needed a solid base on which to build the garden. If you have a plant that needs to be repotted, using that depleted soil would be a good use for this.

I used sheet moss to cover most of the area.

There was a bare spot near the edge, so I lined it with mini stones to make a border for a flower bed.


An indentation in one area was turned into a stream using flat blue marbles. I planted some lavender plants, pulled from a dollar store bush and added a gazebo and a figurine I found at Dollar Tree. The mini stone path was made using some leftovers from a teacup garden that had been gifted to me, which I reworked after the plants died. 

A piece of wood I found in the package of sheet moss becomes a
rustic log bridge.

The completed mini garden.

Turtle’s House

For this simple mini garden, I used a low Terracotta pot filled with soil and added sheet moss to cover it.
The house and figurine are from Dollar Tree. Small flat stones make the walkway and some pieces of plastic greenery stand in for bushes.

I can’t remember where I got the little metal water pump; I think it was among some dollar store accessories I bought years ago for my Christmas village. It wouldn’t stand up on the moss, so I put a flat stone under it.

The tiny bird on the roof is from Michael’s. They have a whole bunch of mini garden things that are to die for, but you’ll pay a premium price. Two itty bitty birds in a package cost almost $4 with tax, on sale. They’re the only store-bought things for my mini gardens that I didn’t get from a dollar store.

To ensure that neither the bird or the pump would tip over, I attached them with a small square of two-sided tape. A dot of hot glue will work, too.

Seaside Getaway

For this, the largest mini garden, I used a galvanized metal tub I had on hand, that had once been filled with gift items. I packed it with soil, as before.

Add an assortment of blue, light green and white flat gems for water and create a stone shoreline using large river rocks and one or two larger stones. I found the larger stones outside. The white stones are meant to represent the sun shining on the water.


I had a tiny rowboat I wanted to add, so I cleared away some of the ‘water’ so that the boat wouldn’t appear to be floating above it.

Here’s the little boat pulled up on shore.


You would expect to see some grasses along a shoreline. I cut several 3-4-inch pieces off the tips of some onion grass I had on hand and inserted them along the shoreline in bunches of four to five.


The trees behind the house are fronds pulled from a plastic hanging plant. Sheet moss makes up the rest of the scene. I dotted it with little white flowers, which are fake baby’s breath cut off a floral stem.


Your can add small touches like this pile of logs for the house’s fireplace. They were made by cutting pieces off of a thin, decorative wood stem I had on hand.

The little houses and figurines used for these miniature gardens were found at Dollar Tree. These houses can be outfitted with tea lights or string lights, in the same way a Christmas village house can, so you can light them up if you want to.

Items similar to those used in this post that you can find on Amazon


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