How to Make a Holiday European Dish Garden

6 Materials
30 Minutes

European Dish Garden - doesn't that sound fancy? What makes a dish garden European? The secret behind a European Dish Garden is in the way it is put together and what types of plants are used. By definition, a European Dish Garden combines green and blooming plants.

A European Dish Garden is simple to make because the plants are left in their individual pots and grouped together in a basket , container or pot. I have had this terra cotta pot that sits in this rustic candle holder for a number of years. I haven't used it as much as I would have liked. Now that I see how easy it is to use for a European Dish Garden, hopefully I will use it more often!

The first step is to choose your container. You can use any type of container you want. Please take into consideration where your finished European Dish Garden will be sitting. If the container is not water tight, you will want to add a liner or something that will catch the water so it doesn't leak on to your furniture.  I used a small saucer to cover the whole in the terra cotta pot.

Nothing says Christmas more than a poinsettia! Occasionally, I like to use something other than the traditional red poinsettia. I found a Peach Glitter poinsettia. I just love the peach color! This is in a 6 in growers pot. I simply removed the decorative sleeve and placed it in my pot.

While at the grocery store, I saw a 4 inch orange kalanchoe that I thought would look good with the Peach Glitter poinsettia. Bear with me, I will show how orange and peach can work for Christmas!

Normally, I would add a 4 inch pot of ivy or angel vine in the empty spot. I like to use the "thriller, spiller and filler" method of planting. In simple terms, the thriller is the focal point, the spiller adds motion and the filler fills in the "holes". There weren't any plants that fit the spiller requirement at the store or on hand at my house. Not to be defeated, I used an artificial succulent as a 2nd filler and didn't use a spiller this time.

Once everything was in place, I used Spanish Moss to conceal the pots and to help hold them in place.

For Christmas, I added a pair of brown jingle bells which are very hard to see in the picture . I removed the candle holder part and placed the terra cotta pot on a tray that had glittery stars around the edge. I placed a Merry & Bright holiday sign in front of the European Dish Garden. Doesn't it look festive?

Here is how it looks with the candle holder left in place. I used real candles for the picture. I would normally use battery tapers but didn't have any on hand.

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Kimberly Snyder
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