Miniature gardens have taken the workplace by storm. Some look like scenes from a storybook.
Other gardens bring a sense of calm and thoughtfulness to our desks. We’ve picked out the cutest DIY mini Zen gardens for desk areas. You can create almost every project listed in an afternoon.
The original Zen gardens found in Japanese monasteries have key elements.
Many of the gardens here also include these elements. Plants, sand, and pebbles are the main features. Stones often represent other elements, such as bridges and islands. Sand often serves a dual function and will represent water and itself.
The point of this is to inspire you and calm your mind. Focus on your garden a few times every day. You’ll find it releases tension and sparks creativity.
1. A Messing Herb Garden
We admit this is less about Zen and more about being a garden. It does have a cascading look to it, which reminds us of the waterfall element found in Zen gardens.
This also works as a table centerpiece. Having a few herbs to snip off and add to your meal is an irresistible idea.
2. Adorable Mini Zen Garden
This cute and unconventional garden was inspired by the lobby at a clothing store’s headquarters.
The idea is to make the garden unique to your personality. Pick up the bowl at IKEA. Paint small pebbles with nail polish. A crochet doily adorns the large stone.
via Blog 25
3. Air Plant Display
Yes, air plants really can survive in air. Create a wire hoop to fit around the base of any variety of Tillandsia.
The wire shouldn’t touch the roots themselves and the plant should rest in the hoop. Anchor them to stones that have a flat side.
Air plants do need watering. How often to do so depends on how humid the room is. When watering air plants, don’t use chlorinated water. Chlorine will turn the leaves brown.
Soak them in a shallow dish for about ten minutes. Rest them on towels to dry them out thoroughly before returning them to their hoops.
4. An Air Plant In Jar
The best way to care for an air plant is to ignore it. That’s hard to do when they look so pretty.
Create a little space for your plant by putting it in a glass jar. Be sure to include some sand and a few smooth stones. Hide the jar’s lid ridges by wrapping it with jute.
5. Cacti Display
Another species of plants that do well when they’re ignored are cacti. Just drop them in some sandy soil and enjoy.
The colorful cacti are the result of grafting. You can learn to do this yourself or buy them at any nursery.
6. DIY Pot Plants
The size of the succulents hints that this is a miniature display. Plastic bottles and quick setting cement are the only things you’ll need to make sturdy pots.
Sitting on a slice of wood, the collection will bring an organic vibe to your desk.
7. DIY Succulent In Red Bricks
This is a great way to repurpose old bricks.
It’s another way to bring warm organic elements into an uneventful setting. If it’s been sitting outdoors, bake it in the oven for a few minutes to clean out any bugs.
8. Easy Container Water Gardens
Reuse an old enameled piece of iron cookware. The water hyacinth adds wonderful color while the floating fern creates the coverage.
You’ll find the water hyacinth multiplies at a fast rate. Give them away as gifts or compost them.
9. Fairy Garden
There’s something wondrous about a miniature garden. Nurture this garden by paying attention to the details.
The heart of this design is a bonsai tree. If you’re more interested in the look than discovering bonsai, a fake tree will work, too.
Create a lovely display where your imagination can play. It’s a fun way to keep your inner child alive.
10. Indoor Plant Arrangement Idea
Growing a Zen bonsai tree is a simple practice that yields stunning results.
This Variegated Ming aralia is in a shallow bowl. It’s resting on a stack of cement coasters. This species grows well in diffused or medium light.
11. Indoor Succulents Grow In Logs
Succulents shown here are planted in a hollowed-out log. Vegetation tucked around the cacti provides moisture.
A lining inside the log provides a moisture barrier. This prevents the log from deteriorating too fast.
12. Indoor Tabletop Water Garden
Tiny plants are anchored or float in a glass coffee cup. Moss and other organic matter rest around the base.
The result is beautiful and a little mysterious.
13. Industrial Tiered Tabletop Succulent Garden
If you want the look of a Zen garden without compromising your industrial décor, try this project.
Galvanized vent caps provide the foundation. You can get all the materials at a local hardware store.
14. Lovely Painted Tin Can Planter
Tin can planters work well as a collection such as those shown here.
A simple facial motif painted on all the cans legitimizes the idea.
15. Mini Zen Garden
If your desk features geometric patterns, this kit will fit right in. The moss is flanked by wood chips and pebbles. If the kit is unavailable, the box can be made from scrap wood.
Colorful sand is readily available from pet stores or any reptile store. Make your own rake from dowels and craft sticks.
16. Quick Zen Garden
The beauty of Zen is that it transports us to a place of tranquility. This is simply sand, an unadorned glass bowl, and a tiny succulent.
Many people like to trace water ripples in the sand using a single chopstick. It’s minimalism at its finest.
via Dwell Beautiful
17. Succulent In Mini Wooden Box
A trio of succulents in a miniature crate box. You can choose from a variety of colors to match your décor.
Stamp your own message on the side of a plain box sold at craft stores.
18. Succulent Terrarium
A quick search for hanging glass candle globes will bring up some votive candle holders.
A single Moonglow plant is about all that fits into these delicate wonders.
19. Succulent Zen Garden
Tuck tiny succulent into a paper cup. Hide the cup’s edges with tiny polished rocks.
Two contrasting colors of sand are used in the same container. Zen gardens usually contain one color of sand. This is so lovely, it gets a pass.
via Garden Therapy
20. Succulents In A Coconut Half Shell
If you can’t get a coconut shell in the grocery store, try your local garden center.
It’s worth it to bring this organic look onto your desk.
21. Tabletop Zen Garden
We can all learn from this Zen garden. It’s a yin and yang exercise. There’s a round and square plate holding black and white sand and rocks. In a Japanese garden, angular rocks represent fire.
The small cluster of rocks in the black sand would then represent fire in water.
via DIY Network
22. Teacup Mini Gardens
Mini gardens in teacups are a great way to bring a little imagination to a desk.
The miniature tea set isn’t about Zen. It’s about creating a calm space for your imagination to grow.
23. Wine Glass Succulents
If you have an incomplete set of wine glasses, here’s an upcycling solution.
Beach sand, potting soil and a jade plant create the perfect terrarium in a glass.
24. Zen Garden Centerpiece
A small box sets the stage for colorful sand, votive candles, flowers and stones. Create patterns in the sand.
The size works as a dining table centerpiece or on a coffee table.
via Cut Out Keep
25. Zen Garden Ideas
The Zen desktop garden comes complete as a kit. That makes it a great gift for just about everyone. If you’re lucky enough to receive one, learn about raking patterns. This is a very calming and meditative exercise.