NCGW Things to do

Make a Mini Garden

With just a handful of basic supplies, you can turn a plant pot or tray into a fabulous miniature garden.

Here’s what you’ll need!

Container – this could be a plant pot, a hanging basket, a tinfoil tray, an old washing up bowl, a big teacup or a bucket

Compost or garden soil

Natural materials to make your garden – twigs, leaves, stones, flowers, moss and tiny plants all work well

Small pieces of fabric, plus string and glue (optional)

Wildflower seeds (optional)

This fun gardening project is one of 52 nature activities from the book A Year of Nature Craft and Play by Catherine Hughes & Becky Goddard-Hill.  As well as gardening ideas there are crafts, games, art projects and science experiments to explore, all designed to connect children with nature and keep them active all year round.


  1. Start by drawing a rough sketch of how you want your garden to look.

  2. Fill your container with compost or soil to create a base for your garden.

  3. Build your pathways and any solid buildings first, then add in your smaller decorations.  Leave anything that’s delicate until last, so it doesn’t get covered in soil.

  4. It’s fun to include a star of the show or a main feature in your mini garden.  This could be a plant or something you make from your natural materials.  We made a colourful washing line by tying string across two twigs, cutting up old bits of fabric and gluing them onto the string.

  5. You might like to sprinkle some wildflower seeds on any soil areas too, this will help to keep your garden growing and looking good.

  6. You can also raid the recycling bin for things to decorate your garden – just make sure they’re weatherproof if you’re building an outdoor garden.

  7. When your garden is finished, water it carefully.

  8. If your garden is going to live outside, place it in a sheltered area to protect it from the weather.  Tend to it now and again, replacing or removing things that have died and giving it a little water.

Click here to buy a copy of A Year of Nature Craft and Play by Catherine Hughes & Becky Goddard-Hill.

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