If you have an old birdbath that’s had its day, give it new life as a miniature garden. But before you begin, think about what kinds of plants you want to include in your birdbath garden. We’ve listed our favorite plants for this project below, as well as landscaping tips for mini gardens.
Miniature Plant Picks
SUCCULENTS: Use them for accent plants.
- Stonecrop sedum
- Limelight sedum
- Blue Spruce sedum
GROUND COVERS: Create a mat of green in the miniature garden, and a “waterfall” over the planter.
- Golden club moss (Selaginella kraussiana ‘Aurea’)
- Scotch mulch (Sagina subulata ‘Aurea’)
- Pink cranesbill (Erodium x variabile ‘Bishop’s Form’)
CONIFERS: Provide woodland “shade” and a layer of realism.
- Jervis dwarf Canadian hemlock
- Mont Bruno boxwood
- Lime Glow juniper
- Old birdbath or other container
- Bagged potting mix
- Planting material
- Small stones, gravel or pine bark nuggets
- Fairy garden accessories (optional)
Place a birdbath or other container, like a terra-cotta pot or wooden box, where it will stay permanently before planting in it. (It will be too heavy to move later.) Play around with the landscape design with the plants still in their pots to make things easier on you and the plants.
Fill the planter about two-thirds full with soil.
Remove plants from their pots one at a time, knock off soil, and loosen and spread out roots. If roots are matted, spray with a hose to detangle them, then gently pull them apart as necessary so they splay out in the soil.
Position the plants in the soil by spreading the roots of each as widely as you can, while leaving room for neighboring plants. This step is especially important if you are using a birdbath or similarly shallow planter. Once you’re satisfied with the arrangement, add as much soil as possible to cover the roots, but not so much that watering will wash it away.
Gently water all plants with a watering can or by holding your thumb over a hose nozzle to make a fine spray.
Add features. Try using everyday items in a new way: Gravel can be a tiny stone path; tumbled glass transforms into a shimmering pond. Fairy garden decorations, sold online or at hobby stores, range from minuscule arbors and bridges to tiny houses and animal figurines. Just one will lend scale to your miniature garden.