Roadtest: Microgardens

Even small spaces can be enlivened by a touch of greenery. On the back of the tiny house trend, Emma McConnell tests her green thumb on tiny, tiny gardens.


These miniature hanging gardens (pictured above) are a great way to brighten up an unused nook or cranny. They’re a little tricky to assemble at first, however, they require very little maintenance. At least if you pick a plant suitable for the space – typically ferns or succulents work best indoors. A combination of peat soil and potting mix will make the perfect base for your kokedama and sphagnum moss and twine keeps the entire piece together. Tease the soil away from the root of your chosen plant before placing it in the kokedama and wrap securely before hanging. These unique planters make lovely gifts and look fantastic when strung up together.

Stacked Planters

If you need more than one plant to satisfy your green thumb but lack the space then try making your own stacked planter. To construct this kind of garden you need to choose pots that nestle inside one another to create a tiered effect. Then, find similar sized pots (plastic is best) and invert them inside their corresponding pot. Continue stacking in this manner until you reach the desired height, fill with soil and plant your new leafy friends. Upcycle old pots with the paint of your choice to really bring your garden to life (and save some cash) or place wheels underneath the bottom pot to make your planter portable. Too easy!

Pallet Gardens

Give abandoned pallets a second chance by converting them into a space-saving vertical garden. It will take some time to construct these living walls although it is certainly worth the effort! After cleaning the pallet, line the back and bottom with shade cloth followed by plywood (or alternatively more pallet lumber) to help contain the soil. Next, place the garden in position by either securing to a wall or leaning it at an angle and pack it with the appropriate potting mix. Wet the garden and be sure to allow the soil to settle and become compact before adding the plants between each board.


If you’re someone like me who relies upon fake plastic plants to add a touch of greenery, perhaps consider giving terrariums a go – they’re essentially mini ecosystems! Do some research to ensure you choose the right plants for this project, as some varieties may outgrow their containers or dominate their neighbours. Glass jars of almost any size will do the trick, providing you allow for adequate drainage by lining each vessel with pebbles. Place a layer of moss on top of the pebbles before firmly packing in damp soil. Position the plants, clean the exposed glass and feel free to add any extra decorative touches you like!