Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dish Gardens Are So Hot Right Now

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What is a dish garden??  
A dish garden is a grouping of tiny plants arranged, you guessed it, in a dish.  
Think terrarium, only open air, not enclosed.  

I have seen these things popping up all over the place lately- featured in several magazines over the last few months, and I even noticed a display in the floral department of the grocery.  Surrounding oneself with live greenery indoors can really help to beat the winter blues!

The history of the dish garden:
 "For more than a century, Japanese gardeners 
have mimicked landscapes in miniature with the 
time honored art of hachi-niwa
or "bowl garden".  
In the West, the concept has resurfaced 
from time to time over the years."
from Martha Stewart Living, January 2012
Imagine the possibilities of the miniature landscapes to re-create... 
deserts, jungles, under-the-sea-scapes...   

My sister has a collection of funky shaped, clear glass thrift store treasures and she's been dying to stuff them full of dirt and tiny green things!  

How to make a dish garden:
  • Gather Supplies-
    • A fun dish 
    • Small rocks/gravel
    • Activated charcoal (related to fish tanks, we had to search a bit and finally found ours in the pet section of a big box store).  
    • Potting soil
    • Tiny plants
  • Put the first layer into the dish: the rocks/gravel go first.  This layer allows for some drainage.
  • Second layer: Add some activated charcoal.  This helps prevent mold, and keeps the garden smelling fresh.
  • Next, add a layer of potting soil and pack it down. (Note: if you use cacti or palm varieties, you can buy a special potting mix to help these little guys thrive)
  • Remove your plant(s) from their pots and add them to the dish.
  • Then, add some more potting mix to fill in around the roots and pack it down.
  • Finally, water your plants, and remember to water them about every7-10 days.
  • (So, I'm obligated to admit that when my sister mentioned that she had a squirrel figurine to add here... let's just say I was skeptical.  Looking at the finished product, I love it!)

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