Discover the Truth about Miniature, Gnome and Fairy Gardening
With the surge in interest in miniature gardening over the past couple of years it has been interesting to witness how the many different forms of gardening in miniature have been embraced and have become a part of our everyday lives.
Terrariums, dish gardening or simply a set of small potted herbs on the windowsill are all ways of growing small.
Miniature, fairy and gnome gardens have also become increasingly popular for a growing number of gardeners too. For many, these types of gardens now have a permanent place in the garden, but has anyone ever stopped define them?
What about fairy gardening? What is that? Isn’t that miniature too? And what is a gnome garden anyway?
Here is a brief overview to give you either an understanding, or a jump-off point for more ideas you can add to on your own. (And yes, I actually have thought about it extensively over the last few years, what else is a professional miniature gardener to ponder? ;o)
What is it - A miniature garden is defined by the use of naturally dwarf and miniature plants and in-scale miniature garden accessories that replicate a scaled living model of our full-sized gardens.
Where planted – In containers or in-ground.
Main plants used – Miniature and slow-growing dwarf forms of trees and shrubs. Low-growing plants no more than 3” tall, some flower spikes excluded.
Size or scale used – Dollhouse miniature scales, railroad garden scales and sometimes Barbie or GI Joe scale.
Main themes or accessories – None, any theme can be used.
Identifying characteristics – All trees, plants, patios and accessories are realistic and perfectly in scale with each other.
What is it - A fairy garden is a garden created and nurtured for fairies to live in.
Where planted – Most often in-ground where fairies would have access. Container fairy gardens are what we know as hotels or condos
Main plants used – Any flowering or herb plant. Most trees, flowering shrubs and hedgerows.
Size or scales used – Fairies are approximately 3 ½” to 4” tall, not including the wings.
Main themes or accessories – Tea parties, birthday parties or any seasonal celebration. Furniture and garden structures are normally made from twigs or other naturals but there are many exceptions.
Identifying characteristics – Look for the furniture set up on the patio, fairy houses or fairy doors in tree trunks or along the side of fences or buildings. Most herb and flower gardens have fairies too.
A Gnome Garden
What is it – A gnome garden that is any garden taken care of by gnomes.
Where planted – In-ground.
Main plants used – None.
Size and scales used – Gnomes range in size depending upon where they live.
Main themes and accessories – Anything garden. Accessories include wheelbarrows and garden tools.
Identifying characteristics – Look for the gnomes in the corners of the garden bed, beside tree trunks or peeking out from behind shrubs. Note the odd little pot and shovel that they often leave behind.
With using two very general words “miniature” and “gardening” to identify an emerging hobby, it is no wonder that the definition is vague and often leaves the listener begging for more details.
I hope this helps you identify your type of miniature gardening. For more information on anything true miniature garden, look forward to the release of “How to Create Living Miniature Gardens.” Please sign up for our mailing list for our Mini Garden Gazette, the release date and fireworks here.
Sources for this article: Ten years of professional experience in the miniature garden industry and the fairies and gnomes in my garden. ;o)
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