Tabletop Woodland Garden (no maintenance)

When I saw the article on a Tabletop Woodland Garden in the May 2004 of my Country Gardens magazine, I knew this was something I wanted to try making. There’s one difference, however. Their garden needed watering and mine doesn’t! I didn’t want to mess with watering little miniature plants and besides the artificial succulents look real anyway. I figured I would try to make mine no-maintenance! Then, when we go on vacation, I don’t have to worry about watering these little plants!

Tabletop Woodland Garden

Here’s my inspiration article from Country Gardens (May) 2004

Tabletop Woodland Garden


The Tabletop Woodland Garden looks like a miniature peek into the deep woods. It’s fun to discover lichen covered wood, various types of moss, and small plants tucked into little nooks and crannies. The interesting nature display invites close-up looks for sure!

Materials Needed:

Tray ( This was their suggestion, but I found this wasn’t needed as you can duplicate various heights with layers of cardboard or poster board. Because my version didn’t need watering, the tray wasn’t necessary for protection. The tray pictured was from the Dollar Tree. Because I had it, I used it anyway for a layer of height.)

Poster Board, scrap wood pieces, styrofoam balls, etc.

Moss Collection  (found at Michael’s) this had various kinds of moss and lichens

Decor Naturals (found at Dollar Tree)

Spanish Moss ( found at Dollar Tree)

Miniature accessories – turtle, small pinecones, seedpods, pieces of wood, rocks, etc.

Glue Gun

Small artificial plants…   succulents, ferns, etc.  Small pieces of artificial plants cut from larger ones.

With these supplies, you have more than enough for more than one Tabletop Woodland Garden.

Tabletop Woodland Garden


When I first thought of doing this project, I asked my grandson to search for some interesting pieces of wood that I might be able to use. He found my main piece of driftwood. Besides the driftwood, he found the interesting tangle of wood or roots. How excited I was that he found them! They were perfect!


Work on this project outside. You’ll have lots of debris so make it easy by working outdoors on a picnic table and let the wind clean it up!

Step 1

I covered the base (included the upside down tray) with the display moss and glued it to the items. Cover a piece of styrofoam or small cardboard box for a  small  “hill” to vary the different levels of the base.


Step 2

Next, I started placing the various items on the base. I didn’t glue them until I  liked  their placement. Add lichens on the wood and a moss strip on the wood piece (cut from the sheet of display moss). Notice the  piece of styrofoam with Spanish moss to make a small mound to vary heights. Keep building and adding until you like the finished product….

Tabletop Woodland Garden


Step 3

Add miniature cones, seeds, etc. and a cute turtle or mushroom. (still looking for a small mushroom)  Now, one last check just to see if it looks interesting from all angles! Notice the little turtle climbing up the driftwood?


When satisfied, check all views from front, side and back.

Back view……

Tabletop Woodland Garden

Side view……. Tabletop Woodland Garden


Interesting from all sides!

Tabletop Woodland Garden

This craft is nature inspired for indoor enjoyment. It will last a long time with no upkeep or watering!  Each one you make will be entirely different.

Tabletop Woodland Garden

Now, I’m still on the hunt for some small artificial mushrooms! I’ll add them later.

Start collecting those interesting driftwood pieces and other nature finds!

Enjoy and have fun creating!


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