Martha Stewart shares her favorite planting tip for small gardens

The gardening guru has the key to an abundant small space – and she's just tested it in her little greenhouse

Martha Stewart's head shot in garden
(Image credit: Matt Winkelmeyer / Staff)

Martha Stewart has shaped a career around her domestic secrets – but her latest tip may just be her most accessible to date. 

Talking about her small garden ideas, Martha shared an insight into her aptly-named 'small greenhouse,' where the space is limited – but filled with abundant greenery. 

But what is the secret to this space? Martha explains the key involves using leftover cut tree stumps that allow her to grow vertically. And, alongside their space-enhancing qualities, these offcuts will help protect your plants from the harsh winter climate. 

In her blog, she explains her compact greenhouse ideas that will transform your small space and ensure your plants continue thriving throughout the cooler seasons. 

Greenhouse with pink flower planters

(Image credit: Future)

Martha Stewart's small garden tip

'Because the "little greenhouse" has limited room and my cymbidiums are growing so well, we needed to be a bit creative with their storage. We often use leftover stumps from cut trees as bases for our pots and container garden – these can make better use of the vertical garden space,' Martha says in the discussion of the leftover cuts. 

These stumps elevate and separate the plant, while Martha uses smaller scraps of wood as 'shims for under the pots' to level the planters and promote better drainage. 

The gardening and lifestyle expert further demonstrated her tip on the cymbidium plant, explaining how the side with no stump looks' quite crowded and the plants are too close together'. However, on the right side, where the wood sits, there is 'more room and air circulation between the plants.'

Very small front garden ideas utilising climbing plants behind a built-in seating area.

(Image credit: Future / Mark Bolton Photography)

Plus, Martha isn't alone in her admiration for vertical planting, especially in small gardens. Backyard Envy star Garrett Magee similarly recommends Martha's tip to his clients in New York and Los Angeles' compact courtyard gardens, where he has practiced space-saving techniques for a decade. 

In an interview with H&G, Garrett says that he too raises his pots and planters onto pot feet – to create extra space underneath the planter. 

'It helps with drainage, and – in the winter – it helps keep the pots off the floor and above the harsh winters that can be hard on the plant. Just raising them by one inch can help so much,' he adds. 

Backyard Envy’s James DeSantis garden renovation tips, city garden designed by the Manscapers

(Image credit: Dane Tashima)

Their garden idea will elevate exteriors beyond the city, but it's a great place to start – and as Martha suggests – the time is now.  

Gardening 101: Learn How to Plan, Plant, and Maintain a Garden by Martha Stewart

Gardening 101: Learn How to Plan, Plant, and Maintain a Garden by Martha Stewart

For more tips from the expert, you can pick up Martha's guide, Gardening 101: Learn How to Plan, Plant, and Maintain a Garden, on Amazon now. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.