To Fidget: A Garden in Miniature

The rheumatic, the sufferers from lumbago, and the merely elderly, would all be well advised to try a little experiment in sink or trough gardening…raised to hand-level on four little piers of brick or stone, may provide in this their second life a constant pleasure and interest to those keen gardeners who for one reason or another can no longer stoop or dig, but who still wish to fidget happily with their favourite occupation.
Fidget is perhaps the right word, for this is indeed a miniature form of gardening.  The sink gardener is like a jeweler working in precious stones.

-Vita Sackville-West
In Your Garden
June 12, 1949

Perhaps smaller than a sink, but still useful for my purpose is this pot I made above.   I had a bird bath in my garden last year.  Unfortunately during one of our heavy winds the bath portion fell to the ground and broke.  Perhaps it would have been clever to cement it back together but instead, I sweep the sad pieces away and into the garbage they went.  I tossed the bottom half aside determined to find it a new purpose.

Well as fate would have it, at the same time I had a fig tree that was also destroyed, not by winds, but rather my ignorance of how to keep a fig tree alive.  So its pot was remorsefully shuffled alongside this bird bath stand in the corner of our yard.

Seeing the two side-by-side I was struck by what I thought was a rather good idea.  They both had holes in the center just large enough for a pole to fit through and secure them together.  So with that plan in mind I went to the hardware store and employed a inch wide pole to serve as the pot’s stabilizer.


It now serves as the focal point of my garden.  I planted white petunias whose subtle beauty attracted my eye immediately.  Cast against terracotta, the color combination turned out heavenly.  They will eventually drip over the sides creating a sort-of fountain effect.

Its structure stands at waist level for me and it’s such a pleasure to not have to bend or scrounge about on the ground.  My back is killing me enough with all the planting and transplanting I’ve done.   So it really is a relief when I walk right over to this pot and simply bend my wrist to release the flower’s drink.   Also, plunking out the spent blooms is an easy delight.

So at home, lift your pots up with some unused material around your garage or basement.  Or find a neat way to display your flowers in a miniature garden that won’t hurt your already breaking back.  God bless you for moving earth and planting life.

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