I love silver plated Revere bowls. They are a classic shape and look elegant, making the perfect contrast and compliment for plants, flowers and other natural materials. You can find these bowls in many thrift shops for less than $10, and if the inside happens to be damaged or severely tarnished as it was on the bowl I used here, they are very inexpensive. Since this bowl was already tarnished inside I don’t have to worry about filling it with dirt and plants. If you have a silver-plated bowl that you want to keep shiny on the inside, line the bowl with a heavy-duty piece of plastic before filling it with soil. (Sometimes you can find bowls in the thrift stores or garage sales that come with a plastic insert. Even better!)
A silver-plated Revere bowl complements and contrasts with natural materials so elegantly.
If you want a tower of stones as I included in this garden, put those together at the beginning of the day. Let this dry for two or three hours before adding it to the garden. Use a general silicone sealant or adhesive.
Practice stacking your stones first. It’s helpful to have something like a mason jar to support the pile while you work.
Once you know the order you want the stones in, lay them out in a line so you remember what goes where.
Put a dab of adhesive on each rock and place the next on top of that glue. Lean the pile against a jar or other heavy upright object for support.
Once you reach the top leave it to dry for at least two hours before moving it. It will be completely firm in 24 hours so move it carefully the first day.
While the stone pile is drying, you can create your spring garden.
You need three to five spring plants depending on the size of your bowl. I chose yellow primrose because I love how fragrant they are! I also picked some Tete-a-Tete daffodils and a white-flowering Oxalis. All of these are available in greenhouses and garden centers in the late-winter and early spring. I also gathered some lichen-covered twigs and a small bit of moss that had fallen in a recent storm. Note that although it’s fine to gather mosses and lichens from your own yard, do not collect these from the wild. Look for branches that have fallen and moss clumps that have been dug or disturbed by animals or storms.
Fill your bowl with potting soil. You don’t have to put rocks in the bottom “for drainage.” (Shameless plug for my book: that old myth is one of 71 addressed in my new book, Coffee for Roses. See the Shop page.) Since this is a temporary dish garden you don’t need to worry about drainage holes. Plants in a dish garden like this typically stay in their container for three or four weeks only.
Take your plants out of their pots and arrange them in the bowl to your liking. If you have a stack of rocks or other focal point be sure to leave a space where that will go. Once everything is in place fill in with additional potting soil.
Add bits of lichen, moss or other natural materials to the bare areas, and place your rocks in the garden. One of the nice things about a silver Revere bowl is that it reflects what is underneath it, so use a spring-like place mat to your advantage. Then grab some plant and seed catalogs and think spring.