I absolutely love vintage milk glass. When it’s tiny, it’s even better! I decided to combine my love of vintage milk glass, succulents and itty bitty tiny things to create these sweet mini succulent gardens.
I started by putting together a nice little collection of vintage glassware. I included a few white milk glass toothpick holders along with a tiny vintage children’s play cup. I thought a lovely little white milk glass creamer/sugar set would work nicely for this project. I also found several bubble glass candle holders and the most gorgeous antique pink pressed glass toothpick holder. I just fell in love with all of them!
We made a trip to our local nursery and found a great selection if itty bitty 2″ succulents. Now that I am trying my hand at propagating them, I will just pull from my own little succulent nursery next time!
I found that it’s easiest to collect all of my “ingredients” – just like when baking. I made sure I had some larger rocks, some smaller pebbles, chose my container & the succulents I wanted to plant. I had a little pitcher of water and then realized later that I had forgotten my little paintbrush.
I decided to use the sweet tiny milk glass child’s cup glazed in a wonderful salmon/pink color. I started by adding a few larger rocks in the bottom of the cup. I was lucky enough to have some in the yard. We just finished putting in a pond and waterfall in our backyard & these rocks are the transition between the pond and the patio. I think it’s called “road base”. This helps with drainage. Succulents definitely need great drainage, so they don’t rot.
I topped the larger rocks with tiny pebbles. These happened to be in our kids’ play area. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed pebbles. Adding them under the play structure was the best idea! I snag them all the time for projects and gardening.
For my first succulent, I chose the largest one I was going to plant. I used the cactus mix that was in the little 2″ pot that it came in. However, if I end up figuring out how to propagate my own, I will make sure I have a little bag of succulent mix on hand for when the mood strikes. There’s nothing worse than having a brilliant idea and then having to stop everything so you can run to the store to pick up a supply!
I had several succulents that were taller. I wanted to be sure to include a tall succulent in each little garden to help balance it. I took one of the stalks of succulent & carefully cut it down at the base. I ended up snapping the one next to the one I was cutting! Luckily I only broke one, so I used that one for the little garden.
Succulents work a bit like cut flowers – you really don’t want to plant the leaves under the ground, they will rot. Just like keeping leaves out of the water when you put cut flowers in a vase. So I very carefully stripped off the bottom leaves. Succulent stems can be quite fragile, so be careful when you snap them off. Don’t throw them away! You can start new plants from each of the leaves. Hooray!
I finished planting my little garden with another little flowery-looking plant along with a few strings of pearls (my absolute favorite). I had cut my strings of pearls a couple of weeks ago & put them in my window to sprout roots in a little jar of water. But I heard that’s not necessary. you can just cut off the end, remove a few of the pearls & stick it directly in the ground. Voila – new strings of pearls! I chose the use a nice long piece (in comparison to the size of the tiny cup) because I wanted it to drape on the table a bit. But if you prefer them to not hang to the table, you can definitely cut them shorter.
My dirt was CRAZY dry. My poor plants – I neglect them. So what I do is fill the little planters until the water is almost to the top. I let them sit for a few minutes to be sure everything soaks in well. With my larger succulent gardens I do this only once or twice a month. I’m assuming with my little itty bitty cutie gardens I’ll need to water them more often. I water them when the dirt feels dry to the touch.
After they’ve soaked for awhile, I hold the succulents very very carefully with my fingers and dump all of the excess water out of the container. I’m sure there’s a more scientific way to water succulents, but this method seems to work for me.
When you’re all done planting there’s always dirt and little rocks and just general stuff everywhere. I first blow off my little succulent garden and container, but to remove everything from all of the lovely little nooks and crannies I use a soft paint brush. I just stole this one out of the boys’ watercolors. Nothing fancy needed although a softer brush works better for me than a stiff one. I just take my time and get in all of the little places to remove the bits of dirt and mud.
Each garden is different and turns out SO CUTE! I love to play with different colors and textures in each little garden to make it interesting. I made this one just for me. It sits on my window sill above my kitchen sink and smiles at me with her pretty little pink petals. So sweet! I just love them. I think I need to fill up all of my little vintage containers with tiny succulent gardens and randomly put them on friends’ doorsteps this fall. I think that would be fun! What do you think? Would you like to open your door to find a tiny succulent garden on your doorstep?