Archive for Conifers

New Miniature Garden Trees are for Bonsai and Railroad Gardening Too

Miniature Garden Trees and Shrubs

White Bud Mugo Pine is a favorite for the miniature garden. This one has been groomed for a bonsai start but we can take advantage of that, and use it as a “big” miniature garden pine tree.

New Miniature Garden Trees for Bonsai and Railroad Gardening Too!

The fall shipment of miniature garden trees arrived this week and, as usual, I was chomping at the bit for the truck to arrive. I think it’s seeing them all at once that does it. The miniature and dwarf conifers come in an astounding number of colors, textures and personalities that is simply inspiring.

If you haven’t considered a conifer or dwarf tree for you miniature or fairy garden, please do. It will change the look of your miniature garden dramatically and make it look like a true garden in miniature. See our full line of miniature garden trees and plants here, there is something for almost every zone too.

New “Pre-Bonsai” Trees

In addition to our favorite miniature garden trees and shrubs we received a bunch of pre-bonsai plants too. While they are groomed to be bonsai’d, we know that we can use them in our miniature gardens as perfect “big” mini trees, trust that growth rate will be stable, and skip all the maintenance that comes with the art of bonsai. You can impress your friends AND your neighbors!

Keep them in shape by removing any new growth along the trunk and prune away any wayward top branches.

Click the photos to see more pictures and the growing details up in the store.

Shimpaku Chinese Juniper

Miniature Garden Trees and Shrubs

The Shimpaku Juniper before grooming and growing for a couple of years.

Pre-bonsai trees for miniature gardening

This Shimpaku Juniper after grooming and growing-in for 3 or 4 years. You can see why it’s prized by bonsai artists and desired by railroad gardeners. The peeling bark on the trunk adds wonderful detailing, they are hardy and drought tolerant too.

Valley Cushion Mugo Pine

Miniature and Dwarf Trees and Shrubs for the Miniature Gardeni

The Valley Cushion Mugo Pine is available as a cute little shrub too.

Miniature and Dwarf Trees and Shrubs for the Miniature Gardeni

A bigger Valley Cushion Mugo Pine groomed and grown in for about 3 or 4 years. It’s just too sweet to watch the wee trunk gradually lift the canopy off the ground.

Seiju Dwarf Lacebark Elm

Miniature Garden Trees and Shrubs

Before growing and grooming. You can see how delicate the trunk looks. If you start with young trees, you can have the pleasure of watching them grow up.

Miniature Garden Trees and Shrubs

The Seiju Lacebark Elm groomed for a few years by the grower. Maintain this look by pruning away any new growth along the trunk, and cut any wayward, top branches. In late winter, shear the canopy into shape by looking at the tree as a whole, instead of the individual branches.

See all the new trees and plants that arrived up in the store here. We’ve sorted them for you by zone here.

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A Little Miniature Gardening in the Big State of Texas

Miniature Gardening in Texas

Most conifers and young plants found in four-inch pots can be enjoyed in the miniature garden for years before they get too big. That is a Blue Star Juniper on the left, and the base of a Compress Juniper to the right of the bench – both would do well in the Houston climate.

A Little Miniature Gardening in the Big State of Texas

I was invited to do an interview for Your Livable Garden, the nation’s longest running landscape architecture radio show based in Houston, Texas. Everything is bigger in Texas and that includes miniature gardening – pardon the oxymoron. It remains in our top fives States for our online store sales and our Mini Garden Gazette sign-ups, and it has been for years.

So, it was about time to go digging deeper into what miniature garden plants would grow well in the area. Aside from the usual fall-back-plants for hot climates: sedums, cacti and carnivorous plants – all of which can lend interest to a miniature garden design – I wanted to find a better list of plants that can actually look like miniature versions of full-sized trees to help cinch the realism. And where’s there’s a will, there is a way.

Miniature Gardening in Texas

This is what the Blue Star Juniper looks like when found in found in four-inch pots.

How Did You Do That?

How did I find some ideas of what plants would work in Texas from my desk in Seattle? I first looked at a variety of trees and plants on a few websites and some on Pinterest (focusing only on specific boards titled “Plants for Houston.”) I looked for the similarities or varieties of the same plants that we have been growing with success for years in our miniature gardens here in Seattle. Once I saw a tree or ground cover that I recognized, I looked it up to make sure it fit into USDA Zone 9 and the AHS Heat Zone 9 – focusing on the Houston area where the show was based. The decisions came easy, it was either they matched or not.

Microclimates are Your Friends

The second place I looked was to my Fellow Miniature Gardeners. I looked up what plants my customers from Texas were ordering, double-checked some of the zones, and found out that some of these gals are pushing the zones – which really meant microclimates. Yay, more trees to choose from!

Microclimates are areas in your garden that differ from the regional zone that you are in. For example, if the Houston area is in USDA Zone 9, but your eastern side of your house is shaded by a big tree, you may have a microclimate that could be in Zone 8. That big tree will make air make the air cooler and the soil damper, allowing you to push your zone to accommodate more plants. Awnings, structures, denser trees or shrubs, or a big planter can create different microclimates in your garden, and help plants that need a little more protection from that harsh Texas summer sun. (Here is more information on the Texas’ microclimates from a gardener in San Antonio.)


Miniature Gardening in Texas

Baby boxwoods can be enjoyed while they are young. Pruning it back yearly can help slow down the growth rate and keep its bushy shape. This is the Justin Brouwers Boxwood.

And the Results are In!

Bedding-Plants for USDA Zone 9

(Note that I may be off on the flowering times.)

Vinca minor – Can get aggressive. Trim ruthlessly or let it run behind your garden scene. Flowers in late spring, early summer.

Ajuga reptens – Can get aggressive in-ground but we have had terrific results in containers by trimming back the spring growth. Purple flowers in the summer. We like the ‘Chocolate Chip’ variety.

Liriope spicata – This Dwarf Lily Turf can grow tall in-ground after a few years, and spread somewhat fast. We have found it stays shorter in pots where the spreading can be controlled. There are other kinds of Liriope, look for the clumping kind, it’s better behaved.

Bellium minuta – Miniature Daisies are just the greatest. (We’ll have more in the store next week.)

Miniature Hostas – Love the shade. The miniatures are the cutest ever. Easy to grow. (The only reason we don’t grow them here in Seattle is the snails and slugs love them too.)

Groundcover Thymes – Different than the culinary Thyme and not edible. A pleasure to grow in the minature garden. Flowers in the summer.

Dwarf Mondo Grass – Another favorite. Good for indoors too.

Miniature Garden Trees and Shrubs for UDSA Zone 9

I used the botanical latin names because there are a number of varieties within each of these recommendations that will suit:

Euonymous japonicus microphylla – Look for the babies in four-inch pots as the shrubs can get really big. Start small can keep it small with yearly pruning to help slow-down the growth-rate.

Buxus microphylla – The English Boxwood is another favorite. As with the Euonymous, look for the young babies in four-inch pots and prune them to slow them down. See our selection of dwarf Boxwoods here.

Spirea japonica – Japanese Spireas are available in many different leaf-colors. Start with baby plants in four-inch pots and shear them by third after bloom and again in late winter. (Note that there is a gap in my spirea knowledge – I’m not sure what Spireas do in the winter in Texas. I need a teleporter. Lol!)

Juniper horizontalis & squamata – The Juniper horizontalis is the ground cover juniper that grows sideways. Great in-ground or in pots, just trim the runners (new growth) every spring and winter to slow them down. The Juniper squamata ‘Blue Star,’ for example, is a favorite with a mounding growth habit that can be shaped into a tree. See our miniature and dwarf Junipers here.

Miniature Gardening in Texas

The Juniper horizontalis, or ground cover Junipers, comes in many forms and colors. It really is a delight to grow.

You can start to see a pattern here with choosing young or baby trees with small leaves. If you can find them in four-inch pots, you can enjoy them for years in a miniature garden while watching it grow up. When it gets too big, you can start a “bigger” miniature garden, pass it on to another gardener or use it as in your full-sized garden bed.

And lastly, this is a sampling that other Texans have ordered from our online store where they must have microclimates. All of the plants listed below will need consistently damp soil (as in wrung-sponge-damp) and shade from that hot afternoon sun. Or, try them in containers that you can easily move around as the weather changes but, double-check to be sure that you can push the zones in your garden first.

- Dwarf and Miniature Hinoki Cypress

- Dwarf and Miniature Canada Hemlocks

- Dwarf and Miniature Spruce

- Jacquelline Hillier Elm (Available in Spring)

(The above list is based on the orders from our clients in Texas.)

Got a microclimate in your garden? See all of our “Zone 8 and Up” plants for miniature gardening here.

See all of our plants for all zones here.

We are just stocking up the online store this week and next to to get ready for the fall planting season! Want to be on the inside of the hobby? Join us for your FREE monthly Mini Garden Gazette newsletter. Sign up by using the form here.

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A Favorite Miniature Garden Tree: The Tansu Japanese Cedar

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This Tansu Japanese Cedar has been with us for over eight years. It’s 15″ tall right now.

A Favorite Miniature Garden Tree: The Tansu Japanese Cedar

I was cleaning up our in-ground miniature garden the other day and found this miniature garden gem, our Tansu Japanese Cedar, (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Tansu’) growing happily in the back corner underneath a big Azalea. We’ve had an incredibly dry summer, but the Tansu is now established (meaning the roots can find their own nutrients) so we water it sparingly with our other established plants in the same bed. It lives in a part sun / dappled-shade spot which helps keep the soil damp. “Right plant, right place” is so true, especially when planting in the ground.

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The same Tansu in late fall of 2007 and looks to be about 6″ tall. It’s planted in a container with a Mother Lode Juniper on the right, Elfin Thyme in front and small Hens and Chicks in the front, left.

The different colored foliage on the Cryptomeria japonica ‘Tansu’ above, is its winter blush. In areas where temperatures dip in the winter, Cryptomerias change color dramatically. It’s a nice change when you need it most. The Mother Lode Juniper on the right is blushing too, the yellow will change to plum and amber in the cold air. Both plants will turn back to their rich green color when the weather warms up in the springtime.

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When you find the Tansu in 4″ pots, they are only 5″ tall.

The Dwarf Japanese Cedars are suitable for zones 6 through 9 or to -10F. You can overwinter it in a garage if you are in a colder area, or treat it like an annual and enjoy it for as long as it lasts – which will certainly be longer than a bouquet of flowers for the same price. If you do, remember to take photos of your miniature garden when it’s done so you can show it off to your unsuspecting friends and family. Lol!

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

The Tansu Japanese Cedar is also available in 2 ½” pots and are cuter than cute. They are 3″ to 4″ tall in this size. Available in a set from our online store linked below.

Enjoy the tiny, 2 ½” conifers in a container for a couple of years to let them get a bit bigger before planting them in the ground. The 2 ½” conifers are available in sets here, in our online store. We’ve paired them with plants that like the same placement, but mix up the textures to make garden design more interesting to the eye.

The growth shape is quite charming as the Tansu gets slowly bigger. They are under 5″ tall when found in the 4″ pots and start as an irregular cone-shape leaning to one side, then the branches billow up to create a gorgeous rich-green canopy. Find it in the 4″ sized here, up in our online store.

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Fine foliage is critical for realism in the miniature garden. Mix up the textures with broadleaf plants, like the Variegated English Boxwood, another perfect candidate for a part sun / part shade spot. 

Companion miniature garden trees and shrubs for the Japanese Cedar are Hinoki Cypress, Balsam Fir, Hemlock, Elm, Boxwood, Dogwood or Spirea. Miniature garden bedding plants that will work well are any ground cover Thyme, Brass Buttons, Cranesbill, Dwarf Mondo Grass or Fairy Vines.

See all our plants here.

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The same Tansu in 2012, we planted it in spring of 2010.

See what’s available now in our online store – we’ve sorted our trees into hardiness zones for your convenience! Shop by Zone here. We ship all year long safely, from our studio in Seattle. We are online online only and do the odd show in the Seattle area. Join us here to keep up to date on where we are.

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Miniature Gardening: Get Outside and Play

Our first garden in Seattle in 2002.


Miniature Gardening: Get Outside and Play

It was when I first moved to Seattle that I found myself looking at my container garden and wanting something to do. The plants were trimmed, watered and fluffed, the pots rearranged, the veggies were fertilized, weeded and growing. There was nothing to do. I wanted to be in my garden doing something creative and playing with plants. It was hot and sunny, but I had the perfect table/umbrella set-up that would suit any tabletop project. I just wanted something to do and to be outside doing it.

Click to enlarge the photos.

Cue: Miniature Gardening

With the sporadic and/or extreme weather across the globe, you might find yourself in the same spot. It’s risky to plant anything in-ground during a heat wave although it is possible (see below.) You can damage the soil by planting when it’s really wet. And, in either circumstance, it’s a bit uncomfortable to be outside too. But you can always put together a container garden or a miniature garden pot and have the satisfaction of a job completed in less than a few hours.

Note that “right plant, right place” still applies to container garden plants too. Choose plants that are at least one to two zones colder than yours. Plants in any kind of pot will be more sensitive to the cold because it doesn’t have the earth to insulate the roots.

The first miniature garden.

Another version of the original miniature garden. The scene is 10 ½” wide. I used lettuce and herb starts to get add texture – needless to say they quickly outgrew the garden. 

The first miniature garden.

The patio made from sand and stone was finicky – so I developed our Mini Patio Mix Kit to create a custom miniature patio that won’t wash away when you water or when it rains.

The first miniature garden.

A baby Monkey Puzzle tree is now 2′ tall and has since been kicked out of the miniature garden. Behind the Hen and Chick is a spinach start.

How to be Stubborn

If you are stubborn like I am, and choose to plant in extreme heat, it is possible. I’ve had success with this method with all kinds of plants: conifers, perennials, some tougher annuals (like zonal geraniums) and tomatoes so far. In general, the tougher the plant, strong stems, thicker leaves, etc., the more tolerant the plant will be in adapting to its new environment.

  1. Make sure the plant’s roots are wet. (You can tell by the weight of the pot. If the pot is light, soak it in a bucket of water until the plant sinks.)
  2. Dig the hole twice the size than you need for the plant’s root ball
  3. Fill the planting hole up with water, let the water drain into the soil.
  4. Repeat step 3.
  5. Pop the pot off the plant, remove all flowers & buds, loosen the roots, plant it.
  6. Make a trough in the soil to corral the water.
  7. Soak the plant and soil again with water, fix the corral if you mess it up.
  8. Shelter the plant with an umbrella.
  9. Give it regular water to maintain the dampness of the soil and do not let it dry out.
  10. Once you see new growth of any kind, you’ll know the roots have recovered and are now ready to give energy to leaf and flower production. (A plant can’t do two things at once.)

Here are more blogs about gardening in the heat and watering tips to help your garden beat the heat.

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The first miniature garden.

The original photo that triggered the idea, a one-sixth scale garden. The fence eventually fell apart. 

The first miniature garden.

That’s red-leaf lettuce beside the golden leaves of the Acorus. I think that was a baby Fir tree in the back.

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Happy Canada Day in the Miniature Garden

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

This garden was made for the Lakeside Hideaway project for the Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World book. It’s two years old now. It was starting to look like my home and native land, Ontario, so I went with it.

Happy Canada Day in the Miniature Garden

Taking some downtime and enjoying my national holiday from the comfort of my Seattle garden. Of course, I can’t leave well-enough alone and had to make a miniature garden for the occasion. I kept it simple this time, with only a handful of items to help deliver the message. Happy Canada Day!

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

I wanted it to look like central Ontario so I didn’t have to do much to clean it up. I relied on the bushes and rocks to help deliver the theme. (There is a huge swath of rock the goes right through the country left by the retreating glaciers, called the Canadian Shield.)

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In the back, left corner is a Fernspray Hinoki Cypress with a small Nana Hinoki is in front of it. To the right of the Nana is a Kingsville Dwarf Boxwood and a Golden Devine Barberry on the right. Platt’s Black Brass Buttons mixes in with the moss in front. 

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

The “stubbie” beer bottle is from a Bob & Doug MacKenzie toy. Every weekend until Thanksgiving Day in October, the city of Toronto drives north “to the cottage.” It’s a huge exodus that you can actually feel if you live in a dense area like downtown. 

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

The textures are subtle: an Elf Dwarf Spruce on the far left mingles with a Chabo Yadori Hinoki Cypress. That a Pixie Dwarf Spruce behind them, and another Elf Dwarf Spruce on the right. I found the miniature totem pole at Disney World’s Epcot Park, funnily enough.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

What the garden looked like before I spent 5 minutes cleaning it up. Lol! If you are comparing it to a photo in the book, you’ll notice we had to take out one of the Dwarf Spruces – it was suffering from being too crowded so we pulled it out last year. 

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New Miniature Garden Trees for the New Hobby, Part II

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

The Fairy Puff Sawara Cypress eventually charmed us with its soft, feathery texture and great color.

New Miniature Garden Trees for the New Hobby, Part II

We are catching up to the new miniature garden plants and trees that we have in stock this season. The last blog covered a few of them, find it here in case you missed it. In this post we have quite the selection, from Siberia to fairies to a new dwarf willow that we are playing with. All are very fun – do keep in touch if you are one of the lucky ones to get your hands on these gems, and let us know what you think of them!

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Follow the delicate, creamy tips down the branch and you’ll find a rich, gray-green color. Shear it in the winter to maintain this great color scheme.

Fairy Puff Sawara Cypress

A sweet lil’ puff of green goodness! The Fairy Puff Sawara Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Fairy Puff’) has lovely coloring and whimsical branches leaping out of the globe-shaped shrub, just so. The creamy buds on the tips of grey-green branches can easily be paired with dwarf or miniature spruce, juniper or mugo pines.

To keep the foliage soft, fluffy and bushy, shear it in late winter and it will stay in that tight, cute ball. It grows 1 to 3” per year, but with the shearing, it will slow it down to well under 2” per year. Prefers cooler sun, or a sunny spot where the soil won’t dry out. Hardy to -20F (or -5F in a container,) cold zones 5 – 8, heat zones 8 – 1.

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Put this into the hands of a miniature gardener, and it will champion the garden when it blooms. Ruby-red bloom turn to pink against the pretty chartreuse green leaves.

Alpine Spirea

Okay, my old sales rep recommended this one to me. If it doesn’t work, I’ll give you his email address. Lol! But he has assured me that the Alpine Spirea (Spiraea japonica ‘Alpina’) is a perfect for the miniature garden – and it certainly looks like it will be a gem. The leaves are the perfect scale with tiny, chartreuse foliage and distinctive, ruby-red flower buds that open up to pink. Let me repeat that just in-case you missed it: ruby-red flower buds that open up to pink flower clusters on top of chartreuse foliage – well, need I say more?

Like all our dwarf Spireas (pronounced spy-REE-ahs,) it will need shearing in the wintertime when it’s dormant. This will help slow-down the 2 to 3” per year growth rate and keep it’s globe-shape. And shear after flowering to clean it up a bit. Hardy to -30F (or -15% if it’s in a container,) cold zones 7 – 9. Heat zones 9 – 1. It likes full-sun but don’t let the soil dry out between watering sessions, I think it will get a bit cranky.

Miniature Garden Plants

The new Siberian Cypress is a ground cover cypress. It will grow to about 1 foot tall and then spread out gradually.

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Double Delight: A very hardy ground cover cypress AND the lacy foliage is airy and can lend itself to fairy gardens or whimsical themes.

Siberian Cypress

The Siberian Cypress (Microbiota decussata) is a promising candidate for the miniature garden because it’s really a ground cover. It grows to about one foot tall then it will start to grow prostrate (sideways.) The feathery foliage turns bright green in the summer, and a bronzy purple in colder areas in the winter. Apparently it does well in poor soil and windy areas too.

Hardy, hardy, hardy to -40F! Take that polar vortex! It will need full-sun and well-drained soil, leave the soil to dry out to barely damp in between watering sessions to avoid over watering. Prune to control wayward growth. Hardy to -25F if planted in a container, cold zones 3 – 7, heat zones, 7 – 1.

Miniature Garden Plants

The Dwarf Willow in the spring time. Some pruning is necessary to shape it up and to keep it in shape. A flush of tiny green leaves follows the catkins.

Miniature Garden Plants

The red catkins on the Dwarf Willow. They flush out in the springtime followed by the tiny, shiny green leaves.

Dwarf Willow

We’re still playing with this little Dwarf Willow (or Salix lindleyana.) We had a ground cover called Salix lindleyana last year, and here it is in a tree-form looking all cute and pretty. This must be its natural height, and then it will grow prostrate (sideways.) The pink catkins are very pretty to see in the springtime. We are keeping one trimmed by pruning away the bottom-most branches to show off the trunk. Note that the trees come un-pruned, so you can do what you like with it. See the photos below how we pruned ours, we would love to see what you do with yours.

We know that Willows don’t mind moisture so use this gem in a place where the soil will never dry out and it will be able to handle cool, full sun. Keep it in partial shade if it’s in a pot to help maintain the dampness of the soil. Hardy to -10F (or 5F if in a container,) can be grown in cold zones 7 – 8, and heat zones 8 – 7. Rare, quantities are limited.


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The same tree as above, a few weeks later. Steve and I went back and forth on how to prune this new Dwarf Willow. I liked keeping a couple of the “‘suckers” on the base of the tree to keep the look casual…

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

… so I Photoshopped them them out to see if it looks better! Lol! Okay, it does change the look from casual to a more formal look. It will depend upon how the growth reacts to the pruning now. Stay tuned!

Zoned Out (ICYMI from Part I)

Don’t know your zone? The USDA developed a general cold zone map. And the American Horticultural Society developed a heat zone map for the other half of the country. Put the two together if you are in the southern states, and be sure to double-check to see if the plant you want is the correct heat-zone rating. Right plant, right place – but you may be surprised with a little experimentation too.

USDA Cold Zone Map is here.

AHS Heat Zone Map is here.

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Adjusting to the New Winter Weather in the Miniature Garden

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Oh how we love the miniature and dwarf Mugo Pines for hardy miniature gardening. Most are hardy to -40F. This is a one inch scale garden. The Sedums on the right turn red when stressed and they’ll go back to green when the spring decides to stay. This pot has been together for several years.

Adjusting to the New Winter Weather in the Miniature Garden

As our winters get colder and more ruthless in some parts of the country, we are finding ways to garden around the extreme temperatures and endless snow by planting in-ground, choosing hardier plants, and re-thinking of the ways we use plants. New challenges are in every part of the country it seems: drier in the southwest, colder in the southeast, more of everything in the northeast and a lovely combination of no rain/torrential rain here in northwest.

So as we move into spring, here are some changes that I’ve made to avoid disappointment that you might find useful too. I know I’ll keep killing plants as every gardener does – that is part of the journey of being a gardener – I just hope I don’t kill as many of them if I change, or, ahem, adjust the way that I garden.

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A half-inch scale garden with a Pixie Alberta Dwarf Spruce flushing out for spring. The plants fared well, the pot didn’t. It was one of my most-favorite pots too and I should have protected it over the winter by bringing it under our covered porch and keeping it close to the house. I knew better… I did!

Container vs. In Ground Gardens

When considering what hardy plants to use, note that the difference between gardening in a container and gardening in the ground is about 15 degrees. Plants grown in a container do not have the protection of the earth to keep it insulated, only the walls of the pot which don’t amount to much if Old Man Winter unleashes his fury. For example, the Mont Bruno Boxwood is hardy to Zone 4 or -30F. It was planted in a pot; the tree would only be hardy to -15F or to Zone 6, (USDA Zones.) So choose hardier-than-needed plants for your pots and you may have more success. (Here’s an overwintering blog for future reference.)

Choose Plants that are Hardier than Your Zone

A fellow gardener chided me on Twitter after I said I’m Zone 5 during a #GardenChat session one Monday night, “You are zone 7.” Not if you take into account the container rule and that’s where I was loosing most of my plants over the winter. Zone 7 means hardy to 0 degrees, Seattle’s coldest temperature to date from the 1950s. Seeing how the climate is changing, we just might get there again. But, I think (Yes, “think” – don’t ya love gardening?) despite the plant’s noted hardiness on the tag, if the plant isn’t ready for a drastic dip in temperature, it is not going to survive that cold snap unless it is hardier than we need it to be. So, I’m going to stay at Zone 5 for my plant choices just to see if that will work. Then I won’t have to worry about where I plant it either – in a container or in-ground – in theory.

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A quarter-inch scale garden with a Dwarf Pagoda Japanese Holly. My in-ground Japanese Hollies fared much better than my potted hollies and I lost several of them this past winter – they are hardy to -20F but they were planted in pots. That’s ground cover Elfin Thyme on the right.

Treat it like an Annual

It’s amazing that we will easily spend $20 on a tray of annual bedding flowers and not consider a tree in the same way. A large portion of our miniature and dwarf conifers are hardy to -20F but in some areas of the country, that is no longer the lowest temperature. So, why not think of that mini garden tree as an annual? Get it into your miniature garden design in early spring and you can enjoy it until the fall. If it overwinters, great! If not, then toss it in the compost and begin again next spring. A $15 tree that will last 5 months works out to cost $3 per month – half the price of a latte that lasts a half hour or a bouquet of cut flowers that only last for 5 days. It’s a bargain!

“You can’t control the direction of the wind,
but you can adjust your sails.”
– adapted quote from Jimmy Dean

So, what about you? Have you made any adjustments on how you chose plants for the changing winters in your area? Please leave a comment below and include where you are and what zone you are in. Don’t know your zone? Here’s the USDA site where you can look it up with your zip code:

And see our unique and specialized collection of plants for miniature gardening up in our online store here.

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