Drainage or no drainage?
You can drill holes in the bottom of your container, or plan to water very carefully
Don’t need gravel for drainage. Make it all soil for root space
If the container doesn’t have drainage, does it seep? You may want to consider lining it with plastic.
Permanent or temporary? Design your garden accordingly
Permanent – tropical plants, succulents, mosses, herbs. Leave space for things to grow.
Temporary – forced bulbs, veggies, annual plants. Make it easy to pull apart and replant when the display is done.
Use fresh, sterile potting media
Don’t use the stuff from your garden. It will come full of bugs you don’t want inside, and probably won’t drain well enough or hold enough moisture.
Choose soil according to the plants you will be using. Cactus will need a sandier, faster draining soil than other
If your container doesn’t have drainage you may want to add some horticultural charcoal to the soil.
Choose your plants wisely.
Look for dwarf or slow-growing varieties, or things that can be easily pruned.
Consider light and water requirements and choose plants accordingly.
Choose plants of varying color, leaf size, and texture for visual interest. Don’t choose too many differing elements, however, or the design will look too busy.
Lay out your design before planting for reference.
Adding props such as fairy garden items, shells, dinosaurs, or interesting rocks can make your design more fun.
Give your design a finished look by mulching with moss, gravel, bark, sea glass, or whatever else strikes your fancy.