This miniature greenhouse project is an excerpt from the book, Urban Flowers: Creating Abundance in a Small City Garden by Carolyn Dunster with photographs by Jason Ingram. It’s a lovely, compact idea for those of us who dream of a greenhouse or simply want to bring that same beauty to a tabletop.
For more, also see these garden container projects and ideas.
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This excerpt from Urban Flowers: Creating Abundance in a Small City Garden by Carolyn Dunster | Photographs by Jason Ingram is used with permission by the Publisher who also provided a review copy of this book.
Urban Flowers explores the many ways in which you can bring colour and interest to a small city garden, whatever its location and whatever your taste. Garden designer Carolyn Dunster demonstrates hundreds of ways to make your outdoor space bloom.
By using her colour-themed planting recipes, her charming projects, and a palette of reliable urban plants, you too can turn the least promising corner into a thriving habitat for plants and wildlife.
Find out how to:
- Evaluate your city space and be clever with design
- Use plants and materials to reflect your style
- Follow easy practical projects and experiment with colour
- Choose plants suitable for your own urban location
- Prolong the season by drying or cutting flowers and saving seed for next year
Make a Miniature Greenhouse
One of my earliest gardening memories is spending time in my grandmother’s greenhouse. Although I can’t recall exactly what she grew, the scent of damp earth, and the colour of the foliage, fruit and flowers have stayed with me. Here, I have recreated in miniature that romantic sensory experience.
For many people, greenhouses have a special appeal, with their hot-house micro-climate providing the perfect place for horticultural magic to happen.
In a small city plot, a full-sized, stand-alone greenhouse is something of a dream for many gardeners, but with this scaled-down version you can achieve a similar effect. The plant space, which comprises a porous concrete base, will take about three or four small plants, allowing them some room to spread. The most important consideration, however, must be the final height of your chosen plants, which will be limited by the glass roof.
I have selected some gazanias—South African natives, which are available in a range of bright shades, including vibrant reds, oranges, yellows and pinks. These daisy-like flowers love the warmth and will bloom well inside their little house, even when the sun is not shining. They grow to no more than 20cm (8 inches) in height, so will not be restricted by the roof. The ‘Kiss Mahogany’ variety I have chosen is a deep dark red with an orange centre that works beautifully with my strawberry plants, the fruits of which ripen quickly undercover and are also protected from the birds.
You Will Need
- Miniature greenhouse | here’s one on Amazon– be sure to check measurements before purchasing
- Multi-purpose compost
- 2 Gazania plants
- 1-2 Strawberry plants
- Stone chippings
1 Add a 1cm (1/2 inch) layer of gravel over the concrete base to provide some drainage. Then fill the fresh compost to just below the rim of the container.
2 Remove a gazania from its polystyrene tray or pot, tease out the roots and trim off any dead, damaged or overly long leaves. Plant two or three spacing them out equally.
3 Remove the strawberry plant from its pot and shake off any excess soil. Plant it between the gazanias and firm the compost gently.
4 Dress the compost with stone chippings to set off the plants. Water with a small can fitted with a rose head, taking care not the wet the leaves. Put on the cover and admire.
Water the plants sparingly so that the compost is damp but never waterlogged. On hot days, if the inside starts to steam up, adjust the cover so that some air can get in, then close it up again at night.
The book is packed with gorgeous photographs and lots of ideas for grouping plants by colour both in your garden and in projects. It’s delightful eye-candy with helpful information for any creative gardener.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛