How to Make a Tabletop Woodland Garden

Combine foraged finds with a few garden center purchases in this natural display for the patio or an indoor table. See this project and more great ideas in the summer issue of Country Gardens Magazine, on newsstands through August 11, 2014.

Get Started

Arrange a lush centerpiece inspired by the forest floor to bring the wonder of the woodlands to your table.

  • Tray
  • Preserved moss
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
  • Floral adhesive
  • Driftwood
  • Moss ribbon
  • Dried lichen
  • Tree fern pot
  • Plants: air plant, fern, violet, begonia, Peperomia, Pilea, Chinese primrose
  • Florist's wire
  • Spanish moss
  • Miniature accessories, such as dried seedpods, pinecones, and tiny figurines
  • Florist's clay

Step 1:

Cover a metal or plastic tray with sheets of preserved moss to make a watertight base for your tabletop garden. Conceal the edges of the tray with bits of moss, holding the moss in place with dabs of hot glue or floral adhesive.

Step 2:

Enhance the earthiness of the driftwood by attaching lengths of moss or moss ribbon and dried lichen here and there. Moss ribbon comes on a spool; it consists of moss affixed to a woven base.

Step 3:

Before adding a plant to your tabletop garden, transplant a small specimen into a tree fern pot. The fibrous container will provide a well-draining home for a plant with a small root ball. Alternatively, wrap the plant's root ball with moss and florist's wire or wrap its nursery pot with moss, using hot glue to secure it. Cover any bare soil of potted plants with Spanish moss.

Step 4:

Add miniature accessories in scale with the plants to complete the illusion of a woodland garden. Use a pinch of florist's clay to attach a cone, seedpod, and tiny frog or other figurine to the driftwood.