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December - making a miniature desert

Miniature gardens can make very attractive windowsill displays. They are interesting in winter and decoration is only limited by your imagination.

How to do it

making a miniature desert

  • Choose a shallow container or pot, such as a pottery bowl, soup tureen, foil dishes, old goldfish tank etc.
  • Put 5cm of clean pebbles and charcoal in the base.
  • Use special cactus soil or make your own mix using half potting soil and half perlite (or builders sand).
  • Spread your cactus soil or mixed compost to within 5cm of the top of the container.
  • Water well, then drain.
  • Plant cacti and succulents so they do not touch.
  • Varieties to choose include echevaria, aloe, kalanchoe, crassulas, sedums or any other cacti or succulents that you like.
  • Spread grit or a shallow pebble layer 1cm (1/2in) deep on the surface.
  • Place in bright, dry air on a windowsill.
  • Water thoroughly when the garden dries out.
  • Don’t water in the winter.

TIP: More landscape can be produced by using stones and pebbles to simulate rocks. Small figures, brightly coloured stones, mirrors, drift wood and other materials could also be added for interest.