Make a Springy Pussy Willow Tabletop Garden

Bring spring indoors with an easy tabletop garden!

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Break out of the winter doldrums with an enchanting little weeping pussy willow tree. Legend has it that willow is bestowed with magical power capable of fulfilling wishes. Combine the graceful little tree with a selection of small spring-flowering bulbs and a few cheery annuals in an adaptable container to create a delightful tabletop garden to enliven your household for weeks. In spring, you can transplant the dwarf weeping pussy willow into the garden, where it will entertain for years to come. Follow our step-by-step instructions to make your very own!

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What You Need

  • Container (Ours is 16×10×6 inches.)
  • Acrylic paint in desired color
  • Sheet plastic or tray
  • Cotton batting
  • Soil scoop
  • Potting soil
  • Dwarf weeping pussy willow (Salix caprea 'Pendula')
  • Prechilled spring-flowering bulbs (hyacinth, grape hyacinth, dwarf iris)
  • Annuals (sweet alyssum, Scotch moss)
  • Preserved moss
  • Miniature decorative fencing

Step 1: Prepare the Container

This inexpensive wooden container is ideal. Whatever you use, make sure it's deep enough to hold the willow. Paint the container and let dry. Line the bottom with a sheet of plastic or set the planter on a tray to protect the tabletop from moisture.

Step 2: Place the Liner

Cotton batting makes an excellent liner for a small container garden. Cut the batting to fit the container and press it into place to hold the soil. Using a liner means you'll water less often.

Step 3: Position the Willow

Cover the bottom of the lined planter with potting soil. Slip the dwarf weeping willow out of its nursery pot and set it in the planter. Gently add potting soil, surrounding the tree root ball, up to about 2 inches below the container's rim.

Step 4: Add Remaining Plants

Add other plants in a pleasing arrangement of colors and textures. Include small prechilled or forced bulbs and/or annual bedding plants. Nestle their roots into the soil. Fill in with bits of moss, and decorate with mini fencing.

Tip: Transplant the bulbs into the garden or add them to the compost pile when done blooming.

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