This article was originally posted on one of my other websites, TabletopGardens101.com, on October 10, 2013.
Probably the easiest type of tabletop garden to care for is a sand garden. There’s no condensation, no bugs to worry about, no watering or fertilizing necessary, and it’s impervious to heat and cold. You make it, you place it, you enjoy it.
Another advantage to sand gardens is that they can be as large or as small as you like. And they’re recyclable. When you tire of it, you simply re-use the components.
This sand garden is the last fairy garden in Fairy Gardening 101. I used white horticultural sand ($3.99 for 5 lbs), a twig of fake grass from the aquarium section of PetSmart ($2.99), and a shell. The sand and fake grass will last for many other sand gardens. This one is in an old vintage cookie jar about 5 inches high.
Sand gardens, like fairy gardens, can be easily themed. Here are some ideas:
- Beach theme
- Desert theme
- Cowboy theme
- Farm theme
- Ocean theme
- Japanese Garden theme
- Playground theme
- Medieval Castle theme
- Hawaiian theme
One of my favorite places is the beach. But I also love rivers and lakes. It’s easy to mimic or simulate water in a sand garden with glass, blue sand, marbles, or reflective mosaic tiles. I came across some clear glass soap dishes at Crate and Barrel that are beautiful. Each looks like an oval pool of water.
Alternatively, you can use real water for your sand garden. It wouldn’t be completely maintenance-free, but close to it. Goodwill always has little glass dishes in the glassware aisle. Tiny butter dishes, candle holders, prep bowls, and dessert dishes are always there and run about $1.99 each.
Sand gardens work well as gifts, especially for offices. Put little movable objects in the garden so the giftee can move them around at her leisure. That’s part of the fun of sand gardens. You design it one way, but the person you give it to can redesign it with no muss or fuss.