Five miniature table gardens

Awright… here we go! The five little table gardens I made for Joy Creek this week, and wrote about in yesterday’s Vignette post.

Beach table

I have wanted to make a beach inspired table garden forever. Think warm sand, flotsam, driftwood, polished rocks and sea shells. The plants used were: Allium senescens ssp montanum var. glaucum,  Armeria maritima ‘Alba’,  Laurentia fluviatilis (Blue star creeper),  Nasella tenuissima (Mexican feather grass),  and Thymus pseudolanuginosus (Wooly thyme).

Orange table

The little Freesia laxa looked so good against that old rotting log, I just HAD to use it. Complementary puff cloud of flowers provided by Diascia ‘Blackthorn Apricot’. Thymus s. coccineus will (once it rises again after my abuses) add a lovely shade of purple flowers and fresh green leaves. That tight little carpet of green on the left corner is Thymus polytrichus ‘Minus’. Wonderful Sedum spurium ‘Fuldaglut’ ties it all together with its woodsy tones. What you sadly can’t see in this photo is fine-textured Sedum brevifolium ‘Red Form’, suggested by Kit. This addition kicked it up a notch further in my opinion – I wish you could see it, but since you can’t, you just have to trust me. Kit, who is a new employee for this year, took great interest in this in this project, was a great cheerleader, and also helped me secure these little compositions with fishing line – which quite frankly was a pain, so a big shoutout to him!

Red table

Not the best photo, and certainly not against this background, but hopefully you get the idea. I totally fell for the little Dianthus deltoides ‘Flashing Light’ – such a great red! Acaena in. ‘Purpurea’ can be expected to start spreading quite quickly, and I hope the same for Thymus s. coccineus. There is also Monardella mac. ‘Marian Simpson’, which supposedly will appreciate the excellent drainage in this kind of thing, Sempervivum ‘Icicle’, and finally a splash of green and a nice bright accent with the light pink flowers of Persicaria affinis.

Soft yellow table

I really should have photographed this before I watered it, as all those yummy Erodium chrysanthum flowers got all floppy after that. The basal rosette of Limonium sp. ‘Blue Diamond’ adds such a cool, bluish accent, and will soon erupt in a purple cloud. Sedum cauticola, Saxifraga k. ‘Foster’s Red’, and Thymus ‘Silver Posie’ will soon disrupt the cool elegance of this one, but for now I really like the way this works – despite the crappy perspective of this shot. Not sure what I was thinking when I took this – it looks WAY better in person.

Shade table

I meant to make two shade tables, but in the end, I had so much fun making sun-loving ones that I ran out of blocks, so this is the only one I made for shade. Adiantum venustum (Himalayan Maidenhair fern) adds the frothy green goodness on the front corner (one of my favorites!), the Acorus gramineus ‘Pusillus Minimus Aureus’ looks much bigger than it actually is, against that upright log. In front of it is what will eventually be the main fun feature of this table – the little butter yellow lollipop flowers of Leptinella pyrethrifolia (which right now are kind of floppy after being pried apart, pushed around, and watered), the glossy dark green of Asarum europaeum, our native little Polypodium scouleri, and the awesome chartreuse fluff of Selaginella kraussiana ‘Aurea’. You can’t see it in this photo, but there is also a Saxifraga umbrosa ‘Variegata’ on the backside of the upright chunk of wood.

Since each of these portable tables is only a square foot in size, even a little 4″ pot was often too big. Often, a plant’s root structure determined its ultimate use. My best friend throughout this process was my horihori knife which I used to half and quarter the small plants. No wonder some of them look sulky after such rough treatment! Fingers crossed that they perk up soon!

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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21 Responses to Five miniature table gardens

  1. Beautiful arrangements

  2. tonytomeo says:

    I was sort of wondering if I could not see the pictures earlier.
    There is a lot to these, in less than a square foot each!

  3. bergstromskan says:

    Very fun, interesting and beautiful. I can see this idea fitting all those longing for a garden from their apartment balconies. Thank you Anna, I am looking forward to build one, at least.Will think of a place

  4. Tina says:

    Wow, Anna–those are gorgeous! They really are perfect for folks in apartments or small lots, but are also wonderful accents for a patio, etc. Good job and thanks for posting the photos!

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks, Tina – so glad you like them! Yes, the whole idea is to offer a fun (and more long term) alternative to a hanging basket or container arrangement. They are great by the front door, too!

  5. These are wonderful!

  6. Nice work! I first thought your title was “Five minute table gardens” and couldn’t imagine how you put any of these together in just 5 minutes!

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks, Loree! Haha – no, they did take a bit longer! We calculated that including the time spent gathering materials, and selecting plants, a good average was an hour and a half. Some were decidedly trickier than others.

  7. Kris P says:

    Simply wonderful. My favorite is the fern table – the one that has the least chance of survival here, of course.

    • annamadeit says:

      Of course! Falling for the least obtainable is a main trait of the human condition, I’m afraid! Just like I always lust over your Proteas… 😂

  8. rickii says:

    So many people admire the fern tables at Joy Creek but can’t quite spring for the price or the weight. These should sell like hotcakes while in the meantime we will get to enjoy them. Good work, my friend.

  9. Brennie says:

    Sensational. Love them all, but on a burgundy plant fix at the moment, so number two is number one for me 😉

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks, Brennie! Maybe you should build your own burgundy-themed one? Seriously, they are so much fun to make, I really don’t want to stop…

  10. mmwm says:

    It’s a bit like ikebana, yes? I like the one with the red dianthus! All of them are interesting and I’m sure will look interesting in different ways in a year and beyond, as they grow.

    • annamadeit says:

      Yes, doing them in this small size felt very much like Ikebana. I hope they will continue to thrive, but I also hope they will sell before I have time to see them grow too much. Fingers crossed!

  11. Pingback: Create… create! | Flutter & Hum

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