Make a Desk Garden Oasis

Bring your desk to life with this simple plant project.

Make a Desktop Garden

Bring your love of all things green indoors and create this lovely living desk- or tablescape to brighten any room.

Gather Your Materials

You will need: 1 long, low planter (6 or 7 inches wide)/ miniature tree or shrub that can be kept indoors and pruned "bonsai style" / two more plants of varying texture and color / trowel / gravel / soil / decorative rocks / sticks and twigs / sheet moss / heavy gauge floral wire / wire cutters.

Add the Gravel

Add about 2 inches of gravel to the bottom of the container for drainage.

Add the Soil

Add about an inch of potting soil to the gravel as a base.

Add the Tree

Place your tree at the very end of the container. Fill in with soil as necessary. Note: some miniature trees do not like to have their roots "handled." Check with your local nursery before loosening the root ball.

Add the Plants

Add your other plants fairly close to the base of the tree to create your vignette. We used selaginella to go in the ground. Our other plant is an air plant and does not go in soil. Fill in around the plants with potting soil and fill the rest of the container to about 1.5 inches from the top.

Add the Rocks

Add rocks, large gravel, or other decorative material to the remainder of the space. The rocks should go right to the base of the plants.

Add Decorative Elements

Add sticks by moving a few of the rocks and poking the sticks into the soil. Cover the base of the stick with rocks.

Create the Moss Picks

Cut the floral wire into 5 inch pieces. Bend them over at the halfway point to create a U shape. You'll need about 10 to 12.

Add the Moss

Tear the sheet moss into manageable pieces. Work them around the base of the plants and to the edges of the planter. It should overlap the rocks slightly for a natural look.

Add the Moss Picks

Add the moss pick at places where the moss overlaps by poking the end directly into the soil. Secure other spots as necessary.

Add Other Plants

If you are using an air plant (ours is Tillandsia oaxacana) add it to the finished surface. It will be fine on the surface of the moss or the rocks.

Water the Garden

Water the soil and give the plants a good misting.

Your garden's needs

Choose plants that can tolerate medium to medium low light conditions. If you can read a book without turning on a light in the space, your plants should be fine. Consider moving them closer to a window over the weekend.

Grouping your plants

Group plants closely together and overlap some of the foliage where appropriate to create a natural setting.

Choosing your plants

When looking for plants, choose a variety based on height, texture and color.

Caring for your plants

Most miniature trees benefit from routine pruning. Ask your garden professional for care instructions on your specific plant including pruning, watering and light preferences.

Choosing the decorative touches

Choose natural items that speak to you or remind you of a faraway place you have visited or would like to one day. For the example, we "bleached" a stick slightly by rubbing it with white shoe polish. The two light stones are Petoskey stones from the shores of Lake Michigan.

Desktop Garden Oasis

Conjure up images of far away places right on your desktop with this fun project.

Shop This Look