A Mini Garden at The Base of the Tree

Today, as I was hauling all the holiday decorations down from the attic I was reminded of the fact that the tree stand we have been using for years had cracked and broke as I was putting it away last year.  Not wanting to make another trip to the market, I improvised, and now I think I may never go back to the old way.

Our tree was cut about 50 paces out the back door.  It was a stray tree whose chosen point of origin wasn’t particularly to my liking . It looks a lot better in the living room. But, given the broken tree base, and the fact that this Charlie Brown tree cousin barely has a 2″ caliper stem, I’m not sure the base would have worked well, even if it wasn’t a pile of plastic shards.
So I had to get creative.


A couple of years ago I picked up a few olive straining buckets from Italy at Brimfield. Their shape is perfect but while their texture is beautiful, the holes pose a few problems.  But, I have quite a few empty buckets of polymer sand and one of those suited the task of lining the pretty container.

This is one of those cases where the mother of invention is not necessity but rather availability. Needing something to hold up the tree, my many many garden rocks came in handy.
But once the tree was in place, locked into a bucket full of rocks, I suddenly realized the beautiful opportunity before me.

This rocky base was perfect for making a miniature garden arrangement.  I’m kind of  tired of the whole drape-y fabric base anyway.

To the rocks I added wet moss here and there and now it appears that my cut tree is actually a cute baby tree that looks like it charmingly grew out of a little container garden.   If I had a few miniature toadstools on hand they would certainly have been added.  Tomorrow I  will go for a hike and gather some mushrooms and other elements from the woods to add.

My little people excitedly swooped in with traditional decorations and  finished off the decorating task.



With the little garden in place and the tree decorated, we turned to a few other holiday projects.  We planted our paperwhite and amaryllis bulbs (which at this point will provide lovely cheer — in January – but that is exactly when we need it most).

This year I planted the bulbs deep in a tall glass containers which will help to hold them up later.  Add to that we played with making a cute little arrangement for the dining room table from the tree cuttings and a few goodies from the flower shop and I think our holiday decorations are just about done.  How about you?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lowes.  This is a series that I am doing through the end of the year.   I am not an employee of Lowes and all opinions are my own.  See the other posts in this series. 

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

1 Comment

  1. Amy Murphy on December 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Really fun idea, Rochelle.

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