DIY: Miniature Garden

Time to downsize! Create your own tiny landscape out of moss, flowers, twigs and foliage.

Words: Extracted from Play Wild: Nature Craft Projects for Tamariki by Rachel Clare. Photos by Jacob Leaf.


*Pot-plant saucer, ice-cream container or roasting dish to build your garden in
* Sand or soil, moss, pebbles, shells
* Spray bottle of water
* Flowers and leaves
* Twigs
* Plastic bottle or small jar


Feel free to incorporate small toys into your world as well. Perhaps you could create a scene out of your favourite book or show.

1. Find a flat-based bowl or container that will form the base of your mini landscape. An ice-cream container is a good size or look for something else that you can upcycle.

2. Add a layer of sand or dirt that is a couple of centimetres deep so you can easily poke flower stems and twigs into it. Give it a spritz with water to firm it up if it’s a bit loose and sandy. On top of your dirt, you might like to add a layer of moss to create a lush green landscape. Moss grows in damp, shady areas so go on a moss mission and see if you can find some. Otherwise, you could lay out large leaves to create a green surface.

3. Now it’s time to decorate! Pebbles and tiny shells can become pathways. Twigs and bark are ideal for archways, bridges and fences. Create a pond by burying a small jar or a shell into the soil and filling it with water. You can make a river by cutting a plastic bottle in half or adding a plastic biscuit tray. For the garden, add small flowers or break up larger flowers into tiny flower-like blooms.

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Extracted from Play Wild: Nature Craft Projects for Tamariki by Rachel Clare, photos by Jacob Leaf, published by Bateman Books, RRP $29.99, Release Date April 2024.

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