Creative Ways to Enjoy Tiny Gardens

Teacup Gardens by The Inspired Room


While I admitted my plant challenges with the tale of my Fiddle Leaf Fig troubles, I still adore creative gardening in small spaces. It doesn’t matter whether the small garden is in a tea cup on my window sill, an old box on my porch, a pot on the deck, a pallet or even a little courtyard or small patio in my backyard. I just love being creative with plants in small spaces! I am not a plant or garden expert at all, it is just something I find therapeutic and fun! I look forward to creating more little spaces for plants every year. Eeek, I’m excited for spring!

front porch decorating ideas spring

This front garden near where I used to live in Lake Oswego used to always intrigue me. Such a small space, but so charming with all the plants! It was gazing and dreaming about gardens like this that inspired me to find creative ways to have my own tiny gardens inside and out!

back yard stone patio

This was one of my own small backyards, where we lived about 12 years ago in the Eastmoreland neighborhood of Portland. I designed the patio and planted the gardens myself and it is still one of my most favorite memories.

pea gravel patio progress

Last summer we created our own pea gravel patio and it is just begging me for a tiny garden with pots and plants! WOO HOO! I can’t wait! I’m going to have so much fun with this.

Whether you have space for a small backyard garden or only enough room for a tabletop variety, I’m rounding up some of my own little garden creations for you today!

potting table vegetable garden

I love using this old cement table for potted plants and herbs! I even grew some tomatoes! You really don’t need much space.

pallet garden

You might remember my pallet garden, it is fun to find new creative ways to showcase plants and flowers and gain a little privacy too!

teacart patio planter

Last year I used my teak teacart to show off herbs and plants. It provided plenty of room for plants but also brought lots of personality to the deck.


I loved how cute the succulents were peeking out the bottom of the cart!

flowers in the kitchen

Just one sweet potted plant in a unique container  is like a small flower garden!

Small Container Fairy Garden in a Wood Crate

Of course, I am always a sucker for a little fairy garden! FAIRY GARDENERS, UNITE!

Fairy Garden planted in a Crate

tabletop garden centerpiece in a crate

I loved putting together these sweet little boxed gardens in a crate, too. The crate had six sections so I just stuck some plants and random things in each section.

Glass terrarium with plants rocks and small chair

A terrarium is also a fun way to have a little tabletop garden and they are so easy to make!

backyard secret garden planting

You might remember we started planting a very small secret garden in my backyard last summer! Soon this will be my very own space to hide away.

Well, I guess I’ll actually be sharing it with Jack & Lily if they get any say in the matter! They can’t resist a small garden either.
I cannot wait to do more planting here!

Front Porch

A front porch is a perfect place to create a small garden — a few plants make such a welcoming place to come home to.

autumn porch

A dresser or table top is a fun place for tiny gardens, too! We set  an old dresser outside and it’s a unique statement for plants on our porch.

front porch 2 (1)

Look for unexpected containers for your plants, you can put plants in just about anything! We used our fireplace log holder for mums this fall.

front porch

And, who can resist a funny little owl with purple hair? No one.
Happy Gardening!

Do you love tiny gardens?

PS: Have you heard the NEWS?!? Better Homes & Gardens has nominated The Inspired Room as one of the TOP FIVE bloggers in the Decorating category of their Blogger Awards!

If you have a second, I would so appreciate a vote from you! It’s an easy one-click vote, you can vote every hour or anytime you think of it, and you do NOT have to have the vote published to Facebook for it to count. I’m so excited to find other new blogs too, I’m pretty blown away by the talent and just humbled to see my face there. I am so grateful for your support. Thanks everyone, you make writing this blog so fun and quite a wonderful journey! Click here to vote!

The Inspired Room Decorating Blog

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  1. This is so inspiring! I was just looking at some really cute clearanced mugs wondering what I could do with them and now I think I know! I can plant a little window sill garden at the kitchen sink window. I love plants but with two little ones I haven’t had any in the house in a while because of them getting in to them, but this would keep them totally out of reach and give me a little pop of beauty in the kitchen. Thank you!
    Cat recently posted..DIY Kids Table & ChairsMy Profile

  2. I love this! I confessed to you on FB that my fiddle leaf fig had a dismal fate, but I am so eager to master the art of gardening, indoors and out! I find myself pinning garden tips and plans because I want to be surrounded by plants!
    Rhonda recently posted..A New Bookcase and Reading CornerMy Profile

  3. Loved this post! You are inspiring me to keep trying, in spite of my lack of gardening talent/know-how. Baby steps!

  4. YAY for sweet little touches of spring! How long we’ve waited for these sparkling green moments …

    Linda recently posted..On Dormant GroundMy Profile

  5. I wouldn’t classify you with a black thumb at all. By the looks of all these recapped photos you’re really not a bad gardener after all. Give yourself credit. I don’t recall ever having seen the back yard photo from your Eastmoreland home. You designed and installed it?! Amazing! I am thinking you have another level you could add to your design business!

  6. I love teacup gardens! They’re so cute! What plant is in the teacup on the far right in the first photo (the one sitting in a saucer)?
    Courtney recently posted..Teeny Teacup GardenMy Profile

  7. I’m loving all the green that is finally popping up again in the blogosphere and I enjoyed seeing your post. I don’t have much of a green thumb, but I do enjoy treating myself to some fresh flowers every once in a while. And I’m finding a little joy in a couple faux plants I bought at IKEA last week. :)
    Jill recently posted..Trying To Find Some InspirationMy Profile

  8. I love Spring, it is got to be my favorite season! I can’t wait to get out in the yard and start planting and pruning. Beautiful yard!

  9. Oh Melissa, you are a girl after my own heart! I love all of your tiny garden eye candy. Thanks for the reminder that spring is coming!
    Kerry recently posted..The Gathered CenterpieceMy Profile

  10. I LOVE creating little gardens, especially in the winter months, which can last till May around here in Colorado. I think plants bring a sense of home to a space and make it feel complete. When I’m at someone’s house and I’m just uncomfortable for some reason, I always look around and lo and behold there are no plants in this persons house! For me a house without plants feels cold and incomplete. I even made some using dollar store items.

  11. Ooooh, I already have Spring Fever and this just adds to it! So ready to hook up the water to the greenhouse again (we shut everything down so pipes don’t freeze) and get seeds started. Fun post!
    Barbara (WA) recently posted..a quilt storyMy Profile

  12. Love the teacup plants!! I would love to do that with some thrifted vintage teacups! Thanks for the inspiration!

    xox, Rachel
    Rachel Linn recently posted..What to Wear: Corporate America Part 3 (The Shoes)My Profile

  13. You have inspired me! I am so ready to start planting.
    Lisa recently posted..Updates and UGA {Miguel’s Missionary Moment}My Profile

  14. You have a beautiful Green Thumb. Your Eastmoreland garden was truly beautiful. I tend to
    kill everything unless it’s planted in the ground and the Good Lord waters it. *sigh*
    Can’t wait to see what you do with the pebbled garden.

    Jake’s a Girl

  15. I just LOVE all your tiny garden inspiration. Each one is so unique and lovely!
    Mindy recently posted..Going DeepMy Profile

  16. So much inspiration! We still have another month or two of snow here in Michigan but I am inspired to pick up a few potted plants to brighten the indoors.
    Cindy recently posted..The Spoon TheoryMy Profile

  17. Love all the inspiration, Melissa. A few buds are peaking through in my yard and it really has me thinking about working in the dirt. And, now your post!! I love that picture of the little courtyard in your old neighborhood — so inviting and lovely! Of course, your former backyard is absolutely beautiful as well! I can’t wait to see how your backyard turns out. :)

    I am jealous of your climate — if only things would stay lush and green here in Texas past June…it would make my gardening efforts more worthwhile. This year I’m going to try more succulents in place of annuals. I hope that will be the ticket!! Have a great day!
    Julie {Lilacs & Longhorns} recently posted..I’m Ready for Spring!My Profile

  18. Oh…almost forgot…congratulations on the BHG nomination! Headed over there to vote now!
    Julie {Lilacs & Longhorns} recently posted..I’m Ready for Spring!My Profile

  19. Your little gardens are beautiful! I have a question though… Are you constantly moving your containers to water them? How do you not ruin your cute little tables, desks, etc with all of the water? I always wonder this whenever I see beautiful displays of plants on various furniture items. I’m curious how people keep the areas clean and pretty with regular watering and the mess that comes with good drainage. Thanks!

    • Hi Molly! Good question. Yes, I move containers around if I don’t want to ruin a table. I will often take the indoor plants into the kitchen sink and then put them back when they drain. Often I will keep plants in a saucer or on a plate, that way no water will leak out. For outside I don’t worry about it as much, the cement table is out in the elements year round. For the front porch, I usually take the plants off the dresser to water and put them back after they’ve drained. But even if I get lazy and water right on the dresser it isn’t a big deal, its shabby anyway but I can repaint the top at some point if I need to. But for nicer wood furniture or tables, I would definitely use saucers and water them in the kitchen sink!
      Melissa recently posted..The Tale of Fiddle Leaf Fig Fail {CONFESSION}My Profile

  20. Love the first pic of the deep blue teacups … I immediately went to Home Goods to look for similar and didnt find anything that looked right, so bought $269 worth of other stuff I didnt need…but asthetics just call to me. We are working n our kitchen now and yours gave me some of the fine details I was missing. I love your blog and am working on one of my own too. Thank you so much for the “inspiration”, which I voted number one as well. Keep up the pretty!

  21. Very pretty! And your dog in that chair is hilarious! :-)

  22. Thank you! Yes! Small spaces!
    My home garden is compiled of small spaces brought together by the original landscaping design, as well as a reclaimed brick patio I put in two years ago. It sectioned by hosta break, with a ‘nibble’ space as my daughters call it with black berries and raspberries, leading into a strawberry patch. Shade tress draw in birds, and offer a refreshing respite at the end of the day.

    Thank you! (And congrats;)

    WT Abernathy recently posted..Post State of the Union Address – Waste-to-Energy addresses all of the President’s Issues on EnvironmentMy Profile

  23. Loved this post. I’m moving to a new home…your blog is so inspiring…I was in search of a home decor blog and have visited all the BHG NOMINATED BLOGS.. They are all good but I like yours the best. Keep up the good job. You have a very good taste

  24. Love your gardening….it definitely looks like you were born with a green thumb. I wish I had more time to work in the yard but here in the south….after the middle of June it is too darn hot to be outside:)

  25. I love the teapots they are so classy!
    Brandy recently posted..Thriftthread.comMy Profile

  26. This post made me smile Melissa! :)
    jessica recently posted..Our Quick Dinner Ideas {February favorites}My Profile

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