Cake Stand Greenhouse


I thought I would try to grow some plants from seeds. I don’t have a little greenhouse, but this pretty cake stand is doing the trick. When it’s wet and rainy the lid protects the seeds and holds moisture. When it’s sunny I can take off the lid and let the seedlings soak up the sun. I have basil, tomato, and luffa seedlings growing in paper tubes. After just a few days, many of them have shoots.

Maybe I like that it combines two of my favorite things: gardening and dessert.

My first attempt was to use an egg carton, but the sections were small and the dirt kept drying out. I wouldn’t recommend it. It was on the windowsill and I kept forgetting to water it. I even lost one of the seed pods. I have no idea where it went. 

Not that we need more plants. Our balcony is small and it’s already pretty full. It’s starting to look tropical. I love it this way.


One of the garden regulars is this little baby dove. He was just an egg in my flower box a few weeks ago. The other one has flown away, but this little guy is staying for the free food.


Saturday we went to my favorite nursery in Dallas, North Haven Gardens. It was raining, but we still walked around for over an hour. I am now the happy owner of a lime tree! The new leaves smell like limes. Next to the mint, it smells like a fruit salad out there!

I’m hoping to have lots of fresh key limes this year. Looking forward to key lime pie, sorbet, and I would love to sample the key lime meltaway cookies from Smitten Kitchen. What do you make with limes?

Any garden plans this year?

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. 1hot&tiredmama says:

    Delurking for once. I like to put the pulp and juice of one lime in my homemade salsa. It just adds a little extra zing.

    I really enjoy your blog. Keep up the good writing.

  2. I would never have thought to use my cake stand this way. Very clever. (Instead of having it sit in storage all but about 6 days a year!) Love that you have a lime tree.

    Mrs. E´s last blog post..Across Our State and Country

  3. the picture of the dove is incredible. My garden is going in this coming weekend!

  4. I love to bake the Barefoot Contessa’s Frozen Key Lime Pie! Yummy!!

    Elle´s last blog post..bummis

  5. What a great idea with the cake stand! Our lettuces on the sun porch have already died =), but my three preschoolers are pretty proud of the peppers, sunflowers, beans, and strawberries that are still hanging in there!


    steadymom´s last blog post..Choosing Good Books for Your Children

  6. I love lime juice for savory, ethnic dishes like Thai food, anything Mexican/southwestern and any other Asian inspired dishes.

    Shannon´s last blog post..Garden Update: Baby Plants

  7. How do you keep kids out of the pots and plants? I’d love to do a little patio gardening but can’t keep my busy 1-yr-old out of the mud!

    Evenshine´s last blog post..Friday Foto

    • I never can. When Lane was 1 she was a terror in the garden. I called her Hurricane Lane. Now that she is nearly 3 she can spend all afternoon watering the plants. The plants never get a chance to dry out, but at least she has fun doing it.

  8. I was not quite as adventurous with my gardening this year as I had planned. I’m only growing tomatoes this year.

    I’ll have to keep in mind the cake stand idea though because I have two cake stands that rarely get used and this is a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing!

    Amanda @ Mommy’s Idea Book´s last blog post..Kids Cooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual

  9. What a wonderful idea! I have the same cakestand, a wedding gift that has been kinda neglected (as I have others, too). This would be a great use for it!

    Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage´s last blog post..Building a bench

  10. I envy those who can grow their own lime trees; plants like that don’t grow well in the northeast. What I wouldn’t do for some homegrown limes or lemons???

    Kristia@FamilyBalanceSheet´s last blog post..Front yard landscaping – We did it ourselves!

  11. BRILLIANT use of the cake stand! I have one that’s identical, and you can bet I’ll be using it for this next round of seedlings.

    We have baby doves, too — OH, they’re lovely. Your photograph is enchanting.

    Limes? Lime roasted vegetables! For tacos or as any Mexi food accompaniment. Cubes of onion, sweet peppers, sweet and white potatoes, tomatoes, squash (any kind: crook-neck, zucchini, patty pan, acorn, butternut….) Add minced or chunked garlic, kosher salt, a dash of black pepper, juice and zest of a couple limes and olive oil. Roast in the oven (450) until the vegetables are cooked through and slightly caramelized. Mmmm. Also we dress up any plain rice with cilantro and lime juice and zest. Add salsa verde and / or chopped fresh spinach if you like. Green is good. Oh, and then there are lime rickeys…. Lime. Yum.

    Ms. Booty Homemaker´s last blog post..A bird’s eye view.

  12. Francis says:

    I used the paper roll idea for seeds too (You Grow Girl blog). They are ready to be transplanted to pots so I need to do that asap! The kids loved seeing them come out.

  13. Denise C. says:

    Ahhhhhhh, I love the idea of using a cake stand as a greenhouse! (Now if only I had a cake stand!) I am growing some herbs this year, Italian parsley, basil, thyme and dill.

    Since I have a “killing thumb”, I purchase the plants that have “semi-bloomed” and leave them out on my patio table. Thus far the plants for 2009 have been alive since the beginning of April! Woo Hoo! ;)

  14. Apologies to the mom to be but limes love tequila very much. I shall imbibe in your honor until you can join me once again.

    Juliet´s last blog post..10 Things SAHM’s should stop doing right now

  15. That baby dove is SO SWEET. I’m glad it’s hanging around…!

    As far as limes…I love to use them in marinades. They add great flavor, zest and they tenderize the meat…chicken, steak, shrimp. SO good…

    Hmmm…I kept meaning to get a lime tree. I may have to bite the will go nicely with my Meyer lemon!

    Michelle´s last blog post..The mood is lifting…

  16. Antigone says:

    Just a thought – we live in AZ and have a lime, lemon and orange. You might want to go back for a second citrus tree…. I am no expert but I thought you needed more than one for pollination. We use ours for drinks, marinades, gauc, and we freeze the juice when a big crop comes in (usually from my grandma)….. we freeze in ice cube trays to use through out the year. My neighobr makes the meanest Corona-Lime Ice Cream which has to be the BEST use of fresh limes! Ah, but the recipe is not forthcoming :) Must stay in her good graces!

    • I never thought to freeze the juice, that is such a good idea! This tree is self-pollinating, but I do have an orange tree too. I would love to have a Meyer Lemon tree when we have more room.

  17. I’m jealous, baby birds have never been born on any of my balconies!

    For a slightly healthy dessert, you could try making a simple syrup with some lime juice and then toss your favorite fresh fruit pieces with just enough to barely coat them. Pineapple, strawberries and blueberries are my favorite trio to do this with.

    Fern @ Life on the Balcony´s last blog post..Neat Way to Incorporate Pots into an In-Ground Garden

  18. We make whiskey cocktails with lime or tomato chilli and lime chutney *yum*
    Great idea with the cakestand it looks so good too. Lots of envy for your baby dove it is so cute. I wish we had more birds in the garden. We have cats so bird visits are few and far between. :(

    Maxine x

    Maxine´s last blog post..My Freedom Garden Update

  19. I love your greenhouse idea, how pretty and practical! We transformed our south facing window into a makeshift greenhouse for our sprouts this year. It worked pretty well, we just planted half of them outside yesterday, the remainder need a few more weeks indoors to mature.

    I posted this week about a quick and yummy key lime pie – I’m not sure if this will work with your diet restrictions, but maybe you know of some substitutions that will work.

    Steph @ Problem Solvin Mom´s last blog post..Sweeter than a flower

  20. This is so cute!

  21. March 13, 2010

    I think that the cake stand greenhouse is a great idea.

    Sincerly yours, E.R. Chase Jr.

  22. I like your pictures…

  23. Love this! I’ve been using empty berry containers. This is much more attractive though. :)
    Hannah´s last post…33 Cupcake Recipes