Need Gift Ideas? Think Outside the Pot

By Cynthia Barsun, Guest Author

Trying to come up with an original Christmas present? Or, just want to brighten a room? I was at a friend’s house recently when I spotted this clever idea: a petite plant in a seashell.

Dish gardens are simple, but unique. They add a spark of interest to a room, and they make great gifts, especially for someone who has everything.

There are only a few simple steps to create a dish garden:

  1. Choose a container – Look around the house, garage, even a second-hand store for an open, shallow container that will hold enough soil to support the plants you choose.
  2. Pick a plant – Root space is limited so opt for a slow-growing plant. Terrarium plantscacti or any small starter plants work well.
  3. Don’t forget drainage – If the container doesn’t have holes in the base, use 1-to-2 inches of pea gravel. If there are holes, place broken pottery over them to prevent soil from washing away.
  4. Select the soil – Use soil with coarse sand or perlite mixed in to promote good drainage.

That’s it. Now let your imagination take over! Use different plants to create dimension and different levels. Happy dish garden gifting!

Cynthia Barsun is a former conservation consultant for San Antonio Water System.

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