This Cactus Dish Garden brings three of my hobbies together. I love creating, flower gardening, and thrifting. The funny thing about thrift store projects is that you can’t really plan them, since you never know what you’re going to find. I’ve taken trips to Goodwill where I come out with bags full of “upcyclables” (Yes, I totally made up that word.) However, sometimes I’ll go to several thrift and consignment stores and not find anything that catches my eye.
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- Upcycle an item(s) from a thrift store, resale store, or garage sale into a new piece of decor.
- There’s no monthly theme.
- There’s no budget to stick to.
Meet the Hosts
I found this really cool brown pottery bowl at a local store called Salvaged Treasures. It’s not really a thrift store. They have antiques, collectibles, and new items. Everything is clean and nicely displayed. The owners are really nice too, and the selection changes regularly.
This bowl caught my attention, because I have tried hand built pottery, and it is HARD! I took Art my senior year in high school. We made pottery on a wheel, which was challenging and not nearly as easy as the professionals make it look. Then we start building our own pottery. I started off making a pencil holder, and ended up with something that resembled a strawberry shaped cookie jar. I’m not kidding!
After my pottery experience, I was amazed how smooth and symmetrical this bowl was. The sides are straight, and for the most part it sit level.
Supplies Needed for Cactus Dish Garden
- Shallow container
- Cactus and succulents
- Figurines, miniatures, and decorations
- Potting soil or sand
- Rocks, seashells, or aquarium stones
I love cactus and succulents, and thought this shallow dish would make a cute cactus dish garden. I’ve been fascinated with fairy gardens since they became popular. I love looking at all of the miniature garden decorations and accessories that you can add to them.
My dish isn’t very big, and since I fell in love with the large windmill, I only had room for one cactus. If you want a larger selection of plants with your decorations, use a larger container.
I started my cactus dish garden by adding the soil to my container. I used regular potting soil, but you can buy special soil just for cacti and succulents. As long as you don’t water your plants too much, potting soil is fine.
I started building my cactus garden by adding the taller elements first.
Be careful when handling cactus. Those prickles hurt! Use garden gloves to protect your hands.
Joy Us Gardening has a clever way of avoiding be pricked when Planting a Cactus Garden.
Then I added my gnomes. I really like the fairy figurines, but they didn’t really match my dish or the cactus. It was difficult to get the gnomes to stand up at first, so I tamped the soil with my fingers to create flat spots. When I added my stones for decorations, I set some at the base of the gnomes to help keep them standing.
Use your imagination to create a little scene. Colored sand and aquarium stones can me laid out into paths, and sticks and twigs can for fences.
Caring for your Cactus Dish Garden
Some people think that cacti and succulents don’t need water, but they do. Since my container doesn’t have any drainage holes, I need to be careful not to over water it. Also, you don’t want to disturb the decorations in your garden by using a watering can. I put an ice cube by the cactus every 2 weeks. The slow melting doesn’t make puddles and leave holes in the soil.
I’m planning on leaving this cactus dish garden on my kitchen window sill, but if want to make some for outside, Day to Day Adventures will tell you How to Grow Hens and Chicks. They would be a great choice for an outside succulent garden.
Once you make one themed dish garden, you’ll want to make more. I’m already planning what I can create next!
And now for more thrifty goodness!
Check out what my fellow upcyclers created below!
I’m loving this display. The whole garden is adorable, but I can’t pick a favorite. The windmill is perfect for the garden. The bowl is amazing. I have no idea how potters (don’t know if that’s a word) do it.
Chelc | Inside the Fox Den
Oh my, this mini garden is just the cutest thing! Love this idea and the gnomes! Pinned!
I love it! I plant things in my thrift store upcyclables all the time!
I want to make a cacti garden now 🙂 so cute
Love the dish and the windmill! Visiting from Thrift Store Challenge.
Linda at Mixed Kreations
What a cute cactus dish garden! I love going thrifting but I come out empty handed most times.
The cactus garden is so sweet. It will make any spot so cheerful.
Pam, that is so darn cute! I love the fact that you used a real plant, not that there’s anything wrong with faux. I also like your watering tips. I never thought of just putting an ice cube by the cacti. That sounds like good advice to me. You’ve got a good start on your gnome/fairy gardens now.
Love your mini garden, the windmill is such a great addition!! Pinned!!
This is such a great project! I love the cactus and the little garden gnomes!
I opened this post because of the windmill. I love the windmill!!! And what a clever way to water the cactus with an ice cube. I’ll keep that in mind.