Archive for Indoor Mini Gardens

Miniature Garden Ideas for Black Thumbs, Part II

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

With this idea, you can grow a little something just about anywhere.

Miniature Garden Ideas for Black Thumbs, Part II

With a name like Two Green Thumbs, I tend to turn-off non-gardener immediately. I don’t mean to, if they only knew that I’m pretty good at killing plants too. So, the other week when I was brainstorming for my Pottery Barn gig I had to switch my thinking to be more inline with their inventory. It wasn’t hard to get enthusiastic about their products – someone give me a gift certificate and I’ll show you how fast I can use it – but it was a bit of a puzzle to come up with new and different ways to use living plants. Here’s the second half of what I demonstrated for our fellow miniature gardeners at the University Village Pottery Barn store.

See the first blog post here on easy cache-pot gardening, When Pottery Barn Meets Miniature Gardening.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

A close-up shows the hidden tequila bottle that holds the houseplant cuttings. We call them twee gardens.

Twee Gardens: Miniature Fun with Houseplant Cuttings

For the beach garden that looks like a terrarium, I placed a clear glass tequila bottle in the bowl first, then layered in the different stones and sand. Between each layer of stone or sand, I put a piece of landscape cloth to help preserve the layers. Any kind of cloth or paper will suffice because it’s not supposed to get wet.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

I used two Pothos cuttings at first – but it didn’t cut it, then added a couple of Begonia branches for some much-needed height. After they root, I can either plant them in soil by transitioning them from water, to wet soil, to regular damp soil gradually, for the best success. Or, I can leave them to grow in the water. Easy. Peasy.

This can be done with any theme. I always tend to go for a beach theme because its one of my fave places to go and I seldom have a chance to because of my work, so I getaway in small doses. (Ha! Do the puns EVER stop? ;o) The patio was taken out of a regular miniature garden than needed repotting. The adirondack chair , logs and shells with the superfine sand in perfect scale, delivers the message perfectly.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

Now you have an idea for that darling candy dish or vase that you’ve had for years but never used for anything – a twee garden!

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

I’ve been holding on to these small glass vials that I think are from the medical industry – does anyone know what they were used for?

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

Aaaand that little vials sits in this vase just right.

When you put it together, hold the vase at the height that you want inside the vase/dish and then pour the pebbles in. If you mess-up, dump it all out in a tray or cookie sheet so you can corral the pebbles easily.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

Looks like dessert! Wouldn’t this be a perfect centerpiece for a wedding or special event? Those are Hinoki Cypress branches that last for a surprisingly long time – but they probably won’t make a very successful plant start.

The Definition of Twee: In British English it is used much more widely for things that are nauseatingly cute or precious. - The Urban Dictionary

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

This vase is buried about half-way into the pebbles. That is an Adromeda ‘Little Heath’ branch that lasts a long time in water but I don’t expect it to root in soil. Note that the miniature accessories will tell the scale, and the story.

I’m not expecting this Andromeda branch to root although it might if I leave it in the water long enough. With this idea, you can treat it like a flower vase too, and refresh different cuttings whenever you want. A friend with a garden would be very handy to have, and they probably won’t mind giving you a wee branch of something on a regular basis.

A quick list of plants that apparently root well in water: succulents, vines, spider plants, pothos, mint, basil, rosemary, African violets, begonias, coleus, geraniums, impatiens and willow. Experiment!

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

I put in a fresh Andromeda Little Heath branch for a show the Seattle Miniature Show past weekend, and all of a sudden it needed something taller. The miniature tower birdhouse fit the bill perfectly.

See our selection of bird houses here.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

With this Twee Garden idea, you can grow a little something just about anywhere, and you don’t have to worry about the water or dampness. I used a turkey baster to direct the water right into the vase. Squirt gently!

See our selection of miniature furniture here.

Different Ways to Grow Indoor Miniature Gardens

I brought the group to the Seattle Miniature Show and, everyone liked it! I won the second place ribbon!

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Visit our store for more ideas and inspiration here.

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The Miniature and Fairy Garden Entries from the Great Annual Miniature Garden Contest, Part 6 of 6

Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Contest

Another miniature garden from Nirmala of India. It is funny how the same elements in this miniature garden can look very exotic to the American eye because they come from another place.

Miniature and Fairy Gardens from the Great Annual Miniature Garden Contest, Part 6 of 6

And here is the last installment from our series wrap-up for the Great Annual Miniature Garden Contest: the remaining entries! From all over the world, many different gardens tell of the many different personalities that created them. Please comment and share this page to help spread the joy of miniature gardening. You can tell that each and every garden was made with love!

And thank YOU! A huge thank you to all who participated this year to make it the biggest and best Miniature Garden Contest ever! Have a wonderful holiday wherever you are, and all the best to you and yours from your fellow MGs, Janit and Steve.

(Using the Facebook platform for the contest was a bit confusing for everyone in hindsight. Please forgive us if we missed your photo.)

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Part 1 of the entries from The Great Annual Miniature Garden Contest, the eligible container gardens, click here.

Part 2, the eligible fairy gardens, click here.

Part 3 is the eligible in-ground gardens, click here.

Part 4, the eligible themed gardens, click here.

Part 5, the eligible international gardens, click here.

Like this? Then you’ll love our Mini Garden Gazette! It’s free, monthly and everything miniature garden. Sign up here, confirm through your email and you’ll get a free PDF of The Best of the Gazette, just for signing up!

 

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More About Indoor Miniature Gardening + Gallery

Indoor miniature gardening

Create this Indoor miniature garden as a centerpiece for the holidays at our Nov. 23rd workshop at Swansons Nursery, Seattle Wa. (Click the picture to get to the calendar for more workshop details.) This pot is about 12″ wide.

More About Indoor Miniature Gardening + Gallery

Don’t you just love this hobby? The seasons changing can only mean another miniature garden and now you can make one for the indoors! Do you want a wee beachy-garden scene to get you through the cold months? Or, create a miniature gratitude garden for Thanksgiving? Let’s recap what you need to know, and then follow with a few examples of the different indoor miniature gardens we’ve grown over the years.

Ten Golden Rules are from The Houseplant Expert, Dr. D. G. Hessayon, my favorite go-to book for indoor plants and a great reference for your bookshelf. Here’s a quick summary of his top 10 adapted for miniature gardening.

1. Don’t drown them. Roots need air as well as water. Let the soil dry out until barely damp. Put your finger down into the soil about 1” deep to test and yes, your finger is still the best way.

2. Give them a rest. Plants need less water and feeding in the winter. Some plants may not look as good, or need cutting back, before the new growth signals their return. Be patient and follow the plant’s signals.

3. Accept the loss of “temporary” plants. Some plants are not meant to live more than a season or two. Some miniature gardeners treat outdoor plants as short-lived houseplants during the winter. The Jean’s Dilly Dwarf Spruce, or the Pixie or Pixie Dust, is often used this way because they are true miniature Christmas trees.

4. Give them extra humidity. The average houseplant needs more humidity in the winter as the forced-air heat dries out the air quite quickly. By misting or grouping your houseplants around your miniature garden, you can maintain a better level of moisture in the air around the plants.

5. Treat trouble promptly. With Google at our fingertips, there is really no reason not to be able to identify a plant-problem quickly and easily. State the problem plainly; name the plant and search under Google Images to find it faster. For example, “brown spots on parlor palm leaves.” Search at least two or three sites to get a better perspective of the solution. Not everyone is an expert out on the Internet, most often the most simple and natural solution is best.

6. Know when to repot. When the plants start to look sickly, then it may be time to repot. Look for the roots growing out of the bottom drainage holes to know when.

7. Choose wisely. Right plant, right place. You can’t grow a sun-loving plant in a dark corner nor can you grow a shade-loving plant in front of a sunny, southern window.

Recommended Tools:

  • Water can with a long, narrow spout to get the water through to the bottom of the plants. Get used to how it pours before using indoors or you’ll make a big mess the first time.
  • Mister – but know which plants like more, which like less.
  • Saucers AND protective pads with plastic on one side, felt on the other. Don’t trust any pot or saucer on your good wood surfaces. Use an extra moisture-barrier-pad recommended for plants with a plastic backing to avoid wicking. I’ve seen cork mats, but I’m not sure if they wick moisture or not.
  • Organic fertilizer. Avoid chemical fertilizers of any kind, the plants just don’t care for it and it builds up in the soil.
  • Soft sponge for cleanup.
  • Old kitchen spoon for repotting and fork for raking.
  • Scissors or small garden shears – or both.
  • indoor Potting Soil – Use potting soil without any extra fertilizers or moisture-retaining polymers. Look for an organic, indoor potting mix for a general-purpose soil that will be okay for most of your houseplants. Succulents, cacti and African Violets need more drainage material, like vermiculite or perlite.

You will notice that there is not a lot of variety yet in the plants that are shown here. That is because I killed the rest of them. Yep. I tend to kill indoor plants a lot better than our outdoor plants. The plants shown here are some of the tougher plants I have found for gardening in miniature. For the most part, I’ve included the plant’s names, and the growing notes under each photo.

Indoor miniature tropical garden

A Parlor Palm and Norfolk Pine anchor the garden, filled in with miniature Aloe and Hawarthias as the understory. The Pine was left in its original poly pot to help keep the roots damper than the other plants. The lagoon-shaped pond adds to the theme. (“Janit Calvo’s Lagoon Pond” is now discontinued.) This pot is about 22″ in diameter.

Indoor miniature gardening

One of our all-time most popular plants, the English Variegated Boxwood stands alone to make a simple gratitude garden for a sunny spot. This pot is about 8″ wide.

More About Indoor Miniature Gardening + Gallery

A baby Parlor Palm on the left and a Kingsville Dwarf Boxwood on the right. This miniature mediation gardens need regular water and bright light. This pot is about 8″ wide.

More About Indoor Miniature Gardening + Gallery

The tree in the back is the Variegated English Boxwood, to the right is Dwarf Mondo Grass, a small-leafed succulent with an elusive name ;o), in the foreground, two Kingsville Boxwood shrubs. Needs regular water with bright light. Sedum cuttings in the urns will last a few months before needing replacing. Large size or one-inch scale accessories. This pot is about 20″ across.

More About Indoor Miniature Gardening + Gallery

The same garden as above, but with medium size, half-inch scale accessories and gravel mulch in the garden beds. You can see how the smaller accessories are swimming in such a large pot, but also notice how big they make the whole garden appear.

Indoor Miniature Gardening

A custom-made miniature garden planter from England. Elwood Cypresses on the each end, Dwarf Mondo Grass behind the urn, sedum cutting in the urn, a small boxwood shrub to the right of the bench and baby tears as the “ground cover.” (Get in touch with me if you want more info about this handmade planter.) This garden needs bright, indirect light and a very cautious watering schedule as this box has no drainage holes. This container is 21″ wide by 9″ deep.

Indoor Miniature Gardening

A finished project from my book, Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World. Clockwise from the tall Elwood, to the left is a Sugar Vine (Cissus striata,) Baby Tears and a Variegated English Boxwood. Bright light with regular watering, the Sugar Vine will need cutting back every year to slow it down. This pot is about 12″ wide.

Indoor miniature garden

A simple Fairy Vine and a handmade trellis is the perfect place for an daily empowering message. The “boulder” anchors the garden and makes it look established. This pot is about 7″ across.

Indoor miniature mediation gardening

Our Complete Indoor / Outdoor Miniature Garden Kit has our three most-durable indoor plants, from left to right: the Dwarf Mondo Grass, Variegated English Boxwood and Baby Tears. The Kit includes the stone, Mini Patio Mix and different accessories. This pot is about 10″ across.

Indoor miniature gardening

An impromptu miniature garden centerpiece for Halloween that I made a few years ago. It lasted about three weeks before it turned to mush. I would try this again with a taller pumpkin – the candle burnt the top of the “greenhouse.” The pumpkin was about 10″ in diameter.

SEE more of our plants that we recommend for indoor miniature gardening here.

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Gardening in Miniature book

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Indoor and Outdoor Container Ideas for Miniature Gardening

Miniature Garden Houseboat

We made this wood box to hold this house boat idea of pine and stained in on the outside but, as all wood does outside, it will rot slowly. If you want your miniature garden to last, our favorite recommendation it still high-fired pottery, available at your local garden center.

Indoor and Outdoor Container Ideas for Miniature Gardening

We’ve corralled all the blogs about the containers that we use for miniature gardening all in one place this week. There are so many different ways to garden in miniature, and so many different containers to use in the marketplace, this summary will help guide you in choosing the right container for your next miniature garden. But before you start, decide where the miniature garden will live when it’s done, and then you can narrow down your size, color, shape and material.

About investing in the right container.
A miniature garden can stay together for years, choose a container that you will want to live with – for years.

Miniature Gardening in Recycled Containers, Part I
Planting in suitcases, drawers, wheelbarrows, metal water cans, anything metal, wood crates and trugs

Miniature Gardening in Recycled Containers, Part II
Planting in shoes, boots, broken pots, pumpkins, teacups, bowls and dishes.

How to plant a miniature garden in a big pot, part I
Tips and info on how to plant in deep pots.

How to plant a miniature garden in a big pot, part II
What to do before you begin. About water control plus tips for moving large containers.

Keep gardening this winter with indoor miniature gardens.
About indoor miniature gardens, dish gardens, open terrariums. How to make a mini scene with a “full-size” houseplant pot.

How to winterize your miniature garden containers
Tips on how to protect your outdoor containers through the winter.

Your local, independent garden center will have the best selection for all your container garden ideas. Follow their recommendation for durability and overwintering. Avoid the big-box garden departments for your pot-shopping, their staff is usually inexperienced with what works over time.

In our new book, Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World, we explore the different kinds of pots, where they are most useful, and how the pot can help get your theme across to the viewer. The book is quickly becoming the bible for miniature gardening if you haven’t got your copy yet. Here’s a link to read the customer reviews and editorial reviews on Amazon.com.

Miniature Garden under snow

If you like to watch the miniature garden age and grow together, invest in a pot that will last.

Miniature Garden Group #2

All shapes, sizes, colors and materials, the pot choices are endless. START by choosing where the garden will live, then you can narrow down the size, color and shape to look for.

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New Miniature Garden Plants for Indoor or Outdoor

Miniature Garden in a trug

A miniature garden to go. Jervis Canada Hemlock on the left, Elf Dwarf Spruce in the middle and the Jacqueline Hillier Elm on the right. Note the cute little trunk of the Elf Dwarf Spruce.

New Miniature Garden Plants for Indoor or Outdoor

We have been working hard at restocking the store for the fall and holiday season with a ton of new miniature garden plants and accessories – and we’ve outdone ourselves this time. I think we’ve amassed the largest collection of miniature garden trees shrubs and plants for retail sale all in one place. Over 75 different trees, shrubs and bedding plants for your miniature gardening pleasure!

We also had a chance to source some different plant choices for different climates too. The Red Tip Podocarpus is a great plant of for the southeastern U.S.; the Mugo Pines are still perfect for northern climates with a hardiness of -50F. Brrrrr! But let’s run down a few more of the new and exciting plant additions this season.

 

Baby Boxwood for the Miniature Garden

Baby Boxwood plants from left to right: Justin Brouwers, Variegated and Suffruticosa. Slow growing plus a little trimming keeps them small in the miniature garden.

Baby Boxwood

We have two new boxwood trees, the Justin Brouwers and the Suffruticosa boxwood. As with all our boxwood that we use for miniature gardening, these plants are baby plants that you can keep trimmed small for your miniature garden. All varieties can be grown indoors with plenty of light and some direct sunlight. They like regular water, potting soil with no additives, and your container must have a drainage hole in the bottom – these plants do not like their roots wet.

The difference between the two: Justin Brouwers wears a darker green and smaller leaf and the growth habit is more upright or shrub-like. If left outside over the winter months, Justin Brouwers will hold its green color. The Suffruticosa’s leaf is a bit bigger and more rounded but the overall shape is similar to a young tree. If kept in full sun outdoors, it will turn that bronzy color in the winter.

Dwarf Spruces for the Miniature Garden

Dwarf Spruces for the Miniature Garden. The Elf Dwarf Spruce is the one on the cover of Gardening in Miniature

Tis the Season for Dwarf and Miniature Spruces

An accidental moment of cuteness has happened, we have nine different dwarf and miniature spruces all together at once. It’s like a family reunion without the bickering. Big and tall, round and small, we have one to suit almost every situation. Spruces are an outdoor plant but they can be brought in for up to 2 to 3 days to enjoy over the holidays here is a blog on how to do that properly and safely.

Gardening in Miniature book

The tree on the cover is an Elf Dwarf Spruce

As requested, we have stocked up on our cover-girl-tree this season, the Elf Dwarf Alberta Spruce. That is the tree on the front cover of the Gardening in Miniature book. We’ve had that little guy approximately 13 years by our calculations – they are 3 to 4 years old when we get them in from the grower. In a couple of years, you will wake up one fine morning and discover the cutest trunk lifting the wee canopy up off the ground and it just gets better with age.

For the holidays we have a trifecta of Alberta spruces here for your every need. The dwarf Alberta spruces, the ‘Pixie’ and the ‘Pixie Dust,’ are both miniature spruces with slower growth rates than the popular ‘Jean’s Dilly.’ The main difference is the ‘Pixie Dust’ gets a blush of creamy white tips in the middle of the summer that looks somewhat like pixie dust.

 

Dwarf Hinokis  for the Miniature Garden

New dwarf Hinokis for the miniature garden offer new colors, textures and shape.

Oh Hinokis!

We also have several new and exciting and Hinoki Cypress to offer. The new Thoweil Hinoki Cypress proves to provide a gorgeous wall of green-ness for the miniature garden. Look forward to this one growing up and out and provide an upright broad shape that can anchor the back of the miniature garden.

Two new little balls of green goodness have arrived as well. The ‘Ellie B.’ and the ‘Gnome’ Hinoki Cypress look the same when young but will grow up into two different shapes: the Ellie B. will grow upright into mounds of congested foliage, looking like a cloud, and the Gnome will stay globe-shaped and close to the ground.

New trees on standard for the miniature garden

New trees on standard for the miniature garden. Thyme Leaf Cotoneaster on the left, Streib’s Findling Cotoneaster on the right.

Cotoneaster = “Coh-tone-ee-ahs-ter”

And now that miniature garden is out of our backyards, in the mainstream and is practiced worldwide, our beloved local growers have caught up to us and are attempting to furnish our needs. If they would only ask us, huh? But we certainly can give them points for trying. The two plants that happen to be in question are both Cotoneasters on standard. Who’s up for trying one?

“On standard” usually means the plant has been grafted onto a long trunk. For these Cotoneasters, the grower has groomed the plant’s own trunk to be the standard, so you will see new growth along the stem throughout the year. Pinch off any new shoots that pop out when you see them to keep the trunk clean and the plant’s energy going to the top.

The Thyme Leaf Cotoneaster has really tiny leaves and the branches will grow up and out from the middle of the shrub. You can trim it into a ball, square, or any shape you like.

The Streib’s Findling Cotoneaster has larger leaves and will naturally cascade down. This will create an opportunity to trim it into umbrella-shaped canopy, which will be very charming in miniature, especially when it flowers in spring.

Both Cotoneasters will produce the cutest little white flowers in spring followed by red berries for the fall and winter months. I’m not sure you can go wrong with either one; we’re keeping a set for ourselves and looking forward to seeing them grow in the miniature garden.

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The Great Annual Miniature Garden Contest

Join us for The Great Annual Miniature Garden Contest – imagine the possibilities!

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The Great Annual Miniature Garden Contest, 2013

The Great Annual Miniature Garden Contest

Join us for The Great Annual Miniature Garden Contest – imagine the possibilities!

The Great Annual Miniature Garden Contest, 2013

Well it is time folks! Time to announce the start of the Annual Miniature Garden Contest! We decided to drag our feet a little bit this year and begin the contest later than unusual to (a) not conflict with all the book launch hoopla and (b) give everyone a fair chance at it because some areas had some really crummy summer weather this year.

So dust off that idea that you have for your latest miniature garden, grab a pot and start getting that garden out of your head today. (Fellow miniature gardeners will understand that last sentence. ;o) You have until November 30th this year, that’s three months to get something together if you haven’t got anything up your sleeve already. See the previous contest winners linked at the end of this blog. See the Facebook Event page here.

Aaaand we’ve added to the “Best of Show Prize” this year! We are tickled to offer a Custom Miniature Garden Kit, a $125 value that includes shipping, tailored just for the winner! Whatever theme you want, whatever plants you like – and if you need help choosing the right plants we are here to help. We’ll roll out more of the details on this wonderful opportunity next week so you can see the possibilities. If you are outside the States and win Best of Show, we will work out a slightly different Custom Kit because we are not able to send plants out of the country safely.

New Miniature Garden Bench

We’ve got some new ideas up in the store – with more coming!! Click the pic to see the new items.

But wait. There’s more. ;o)

Note the new category for Best Fairy Garden. There is some overlap between the two hobbies but they are different. Simply put: Miniature gardening is based on realism. Fairy gardening is based on fairies. Here’s a blog with more about the difference between the two types of gardening small.

SIX CATEGORIES TO ENTER

1. Best of Show Miniature Garden

2. Best Miniature Garden in a Container

3. Best Miniature Garden In-Ground

4. Best Themed Miniature Garden – NEW! Create any type of special occasion or holiday theme!

5. Best Fairy Garden – NEW!

6. People’s Choice Award via Facebook

*We must have a minimum of five (5) different entries from five different miniature gardeners,  per category.

PRIZES FOR THE BEST AND PERKS FOR ENTERING

- Best of Show Award: A Custom Miniature Garden Kit – $125 SHOPPING SPREE! (International winning prize will be customized for international shipping.) Shipping not included. See the prize list here.

- All participants get one coupon each for 25% off our online Miniature Garden Center store at http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com, good until December 31st, 2013. (Cannot be combined with any other offer or discount.)

The winning miniature gardeners will be highlighted in December’s Mini Garden Gazette, our monthly newsletter.  Blogged about in The Mini Garden Guru blog and generally be the center of much merriment and hoopla in and around all our social media channels. And, of course, you’ll win prizes too!

Miniature Gardening has gone to the dogs...

Who let the dog out? More pet options are now up in the store. Click the pic to see more.

HOW TO ENTER

1. Make a miniature garden. ;o)

2. Take a photo of your miniature garden. Here are some tips on photographing tiny worlds.

3. Post the photo on the Two Green Thumbs Facebook CONTEST EVENT PAGE

4, Title the photo: “Contest entry for Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center” and tell us WHAT CATEGORY you are entering.

Here’s how:

  • Click into the Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Facebook Contest event page.
  • Click the Photo/Video link above the comment box to upload your photo.
  • Find the photo on your computer and click/select it to upload.
  • Type in the caption, “Contest entry for Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center” AND the CATEGORY!
  • If you have any questions or apprehensions about doing this, give me a call or email and we can walk through it together. (I’m Janit at 206-352-0494)

4. Post the photo on YOUR OWN FACEBOOK PAGE TOO, and title the photo: “Contest entry for Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center” and tag our page too! 

New Miniature Garden Furniture

A sweet set for the wee patio!

CONTEST RULES

1. There must be at least 3 items, plants and/or accessories PURCHASED from Two Green Thumbs’ Miniature Garden Center’s online store used in the miniature garden submission. All entries will be verified.

2. Join our email list here: http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com/join.html

3. Your miniature garden contest entry must be a living miniature garden. No artificial plants allowed.

4. Your miniature garden can be any size or any scale.

5. You can post in as many categories as you want, one photo per category only. You can only win once.

6. Post your entry on this event wall by clicking into the event and following the steps listed above.

7. Only one discount code per participant will be issued.

8. All entrants will receive their 25% discount coupon on Saturday November 30th via email, valid through December 31, 2013.

9. Contest ends at 12 noon, Pacific Time, Saturday, November 30th, 2013.

10. Winner will be announced on Saturday, November 30th on the Facebook page and will be notified by email.

11. The category winners are not eligible for the entrant discount.

12. Shipping costs are not included in any of the discounts, offers or gift certificates offered here EXCEPT the Best of Show prize.

13. Winning and entry discounts cannot be combined with any other offer.

14. Be sure to note which category you are entering. Any photo that includes fairies will be automatically entered into the Fairy Garden Category.

15. We must have a minimum of five (5) different entries per category.

OUR PREVIOUS WINNERS

From 2012

From 2011

Halloween, 2011

Like this? Then you’ll love our Mini Garden Gazette Newsletter! You need to join to win too and you can do that right here: Join us.

NEW Miniature Garden Accessories

Put on your thinking cap and get out your best idea to WIN!!

Gardening in Miniature

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The Most Creative Review on Gardening in Miniature Book

Texas Triffid Ranch

The Texas Triffid Ranch – Odd Plants and Oddities For Odd People – another source for creativity and ideas. This is his masthead.

The Most Creative Review on Gardening in Miniature Book

As the book reviews keep flowing in and around the Internet, one stands out among the rest as the most creative book review I’ve read – never mind receiving. Paul Riddell is the imaginative brain behind The Texas Triffid Ranch. His slogan is “Odd Plants and Oddities for Odd People,” he had me at the word “odd.” Lol! Check out this book review and let me know if you’ve ever come across one that is more creative than this:

Review: Gardening in Miniature by Janit Calvo

And here’s a couple of more links to his miniature garden research and suggestions on his blog. Paul has had a love for dinosaurs since childhood and miniature gardening was one of the ways he would play and learn about them. Do a search on his blog for ‘miniature garden’ and you’ll get to more of his info, resources and ideas on tools, books, dioramas and more. Especially if you have young boys around – you’ll love his take on miniature gardening.

Paul’s essential reading on miniature gardening 

Walking with Miniature Gardens

From the gallery of Texas Triffid Ranch

Paul’s miniature gardens aren’t just gardens. They usually contain a link to the past – or the future. Click the picture to go visit his gallery.

Paul also does a ton of work with promoting unusual plants through his nursery, lectures and trade shows in the northern Texas area. One of his specialities is carnivorous plants – some of which come in miniature, I might add! He also specializes in prehistoric plants and vivariums. Check out his main website, see his gallery and event schedule here: http://www.txtriffidranch.com

Follow his journeys on his Facebook page and I guarantee you’ll never look at life the same again, https://www.facebook.com/txtriffidranch.

Gardening in Miniature Book

Now available at a bookseller near you!

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Caring for Your Indoor [Miniature] Gardens

Caring for your stressed out indoor plants

Our regular houseplants got a bit stressed out during the flower show. This is our front room after the cleaning. We kept the two possibly-problemed pots separated after finding the source and cleaning all the other pots, the shelf and the general area. 

Caring for Your Indoor [Miniature] Gardens

With all the hustle and bustle with the Northwest Flower and Garden Show last week, our office, home and studio quickly disintegrated into mayhem. Add a houseguest that stays for the 10 night duration and we have ourselves a perfect storm of disorganization and chaos.

But it was fun, wasn’t it?

So, I wasn’t surprised on the Monday after the show when Bruce found some eaten leaves on one of the houseplants in the front room – thankfully our miniature plant nursery is outdoors where the weather takes care of the inventory for our store – but our full-sized indoor plants were just as about as stressed-out as we were.

The one pot that came through unscathed? Our tropical miniature garden!

Whenever I find some evidence of one unwanted visitor on my plants, I go into stealth-cleaning-mode, stop everything, inspect and dissect everything around the houseplants, and look for the source. Heck, I can catch up on work later, right? Ugh.

Here are some quick pointers that came out of this latest cleaning binge. Now that the winter is waning, your regular indoor plants may be griping a bit too.

1. Inspect all leaves, stems and trunks for anything outside the norm or any sort of damage. For example:

  • edges of the leaves are missing
  • rolled edges of the leaves
  • tiny spider webs
  • weird casings attached to stems
  • little green/white/black bugs hanging out on new stems or new leaves2.

2. Inspect all the pots on all sides, underneath the pot, under the saucer too. Look for tiny eggs of any sort and bugs of any kind, of course.

3. If you aren’t afraid of bugs, squish anything you find instantly with your fingers. (I know, it’s gross, but they piss me off! Lol!) I’ve heard of gardeners getting tweezers and dropping them into a bowl of vinegar and water, or water and rubbing alcohol, the main idea is to get something the bugs won’t like in the water so they die.

Indoor Hibiscus

Insect damage on our baby Hibiscus! Look for the source in, on, underneath and around all your pots when you see something like this. The little critter was rolled up inside the leaf.

What to do?

What to do if you find something more than a bug or two? Then it’s time to kick some butt and take no prisoners!

1. Take apart everything in your plant area.

2. If it’s warm enough to put all the plants outside – 50 degrees is a tolerable temperature for indoor plants for a couple of hours, I think. Use the kitchen floor if the weather isn’t cooperating with your plans.

3. Hose the plants down with a gently but firm spray from the hose to knock off any bugs or pests. Give the saucers a good spray.

4. If it’s not warm enough, the shower will work. Use a screen in the drain to catch any soil or leaves so they won’t plug up your plumbing.

5. Gently wash each leaf with your fingers. Tilt the pot so most of the hose/shower spray goes over the pot through the leaves, not into the pot – you are trying to wash the bugs away, not down into the pot.

6. If the invasion is extensive, deep-six that plant! Get rid of it and throw it out. If it’s a precious or rare plant, connect with your local garden center for specific recommendations. You can bring in a leaf or stem for inspection but make sure it’s sealed in a zip-lock bag.

7. Be sure to inspect the under side of the pot, it is a perfect environment for critters: barely damp, dark and out of the way.

8. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the pots and saucers.

9. Cut off and throw out in the trash, any dead, diseased or dying foliage.

10. Remove any dead leaves from the underneath the plant – they give the pests a place to hide.

11. Churn up the top layer of soil with a rod or a fork.

Miniature Indoor Garden

Our tropical miniature garden was in the middle of it all – and remains healthy and happy! Right plant, right place is key.

12. While your plants dry out a bit, wipe all the shelving down in your plant area with vinegar and water.

13. Sweep corners, underneath and around the plant area.

14. Top-up any container that needs a bit of soil.

15. By now the plant’s leaves should be dry. Use Safer’s Soap and spray all the plants that were directly affected by the pests. Note that this spray sometimes comes in concentrated form and follow the directions carefully. Safer’s soap is an organic pest control and is earth-friendly.

16. Put everything back together and place the non-infected plants back in place. Give every pot a thorough watering.

17. Keep the infected plants separate from the healthy ones. Take a week to monitor the infected plants before putting them back with the other plants. You can baby them with a soil-conditioner like Moo Poo Tea but wait until spring give them a proper fertilizing.

18. Pat yourself on the back, you just got a leg-up on your spring cleaning.

Take a moment to figure out why the invasion? When plants are healthy, they are able to resist pests and diseases. It’s only when they are stressed out that they get “sick.”  In our case, almost all our plants were super-dry and they didn’t get their regular watering with all the hub-bub going on. But all-in-all, I lost one plant but saved the 14 others. Whew!

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Miniature Gardening

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Miniature Gardening at Your Local Garden Show: Shopping Tips, #5

Miniature Gardening at the Garden Show

Looking for the right Miniature Garden plants at the garden shows this season? Here’s what to look for.

Miniature Gardening at Your Local Garden Show: Shopping Tips

Looking for the right Miniature Garden plants at the garden shows this season? We have some examples from our Northwest Flower and Garden Show that’s going on right now in Seattle. Here’s a quick overview what plants to look for.

(Here’s the rest of the series in case you missed it: #1 of the Series,  Part DeuxPart III, and #4 from yesterday.)

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Miniature Hostas are usually less than 3″ tall and great for dry, shady spots. If you’re in the PNW and have snails or slugs, they are great in pots too. ~> At the Naylor Creek Booth, (from the Olympic Peninsula) in the NWFGS plant market. Owner Jack said, “Any one called “Mouse” is a miniature!”

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Miniature Trees and Shrubs: Look for a growth rate of under 3″ per year. And note the overall shape – upright column, upright broad, globe or spreading. The young conifers will grow to their adult shape after a couple of years. It should say on the tag!

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Ravenna Gardens from right here in Seattle, have some really cute Monteray Cypress in 4″ pots. The Monteray cypress is a bit faster growing than 3″ per year but with plants this small, we can still enjoy them in the miniature garden for several years. (Note that there are several common names for this one, Lemon, Wilma Goldcrest, etc.)

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

You can find an wide selection of ‘miniature bedding plants‘ or ground covers. Look for slow growing, short and small-leafed. Think about layers in the garden bed while you shop – different plant heights create a more interesting garden.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Air plants (tillsandias) are great miniature garden plants for your indoor pots. Easy to care for. Visit Rick and Barb at Owens Gardens in the plant market. They are just north of the city and they have been at every single Northwest Flower and Garden Show since it started 25 years ago.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Several vendors have miniature and dwarf conifers for sale. Think about where your miniature garden will live first, and get the appropriate tree to suit. Full sun plants for full sun, shade plants for shady spots, etc. Canadian shoppers at the NWFGS can get their plants certified by the USDA right here at the show so you can bring them across the border.

Miniature Plants

Miniature Roses!! They are just the cutest thing in the whole wide world AND they HAVE TONS OF THEM here: http://www.HeirloomRoses.com. Even the leaves are miniature! 

Like this? Then you will like our monthly Mini Garden Gazette. It’s free and delivered straight to you inbox each month. Join here.

Can’t get to any garden shows? Stay tuned, we’ll get you some more show-happenings right here!

Wanna start shopping? Visit our Miniature Garden Center now.

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Miniature Mediation Gardens: Create Your Own Peace

Miniature Meditation Garden

Create a tiny garden place for calm reflection. It’s a gentle reminder to take a break and breathe – even if just for moment in the middle of your busy day.

Miniature Mediation Gardens: Create Your Own Peace

I wrote about about miniature prayer gardens back in September, 2011, and since then, we have enjoyed having a miniature buddha garden and a miniature gratitude garden in our office as a reminder to stop, breathe and say thanks.

Prayer, thoughtfulness, meditation, personal reflection, deep thought or quiet time – whatever your preference – are activities that seem to get missed in our busy lives. Having a simple reminder or a “place to go” can help nudge you to take a moment or two out of your day and align your thoughts and emotions so you can carry on with a clearer purpose.

Miniature Garden Engraved Heart Rock

Add a little love to your meditation garden with a simple miniature heart rock. Click the picture to take you to the details in the online store.

And a miniature garden is the perfect idea to help you do that.

Prayer garden, meditation garden, gratitude garden and peace garden are some of the general names that have come up. Miniature grotto, miniature altar, miniature zen garden start to get more specific as will the individual dieties that you can include in your mini garden, Madonna garden, Buddha garden. A candle, heart or a flower can also stand in for the focal point and symbolize whatever is needed. You can rotate the accessories in and out of your mini garden whenever you want so, as with all things miniature garden, never feel that it is a permanent, undoable decision. Give yourself some freedom to play with your different ideas.

We went over some general guidelines in the previous blog that will help you create a wee sanctuary to evoke peaceful mindedness and calm. Here’s a quick review:

  1. Lots of plants.
  2. Minimum clutter.
  3. Pathways can evoke flow. (Of breath, of calm flowing in, for example.)
  4. Focal point can help keep your thoughts focused.
  5. Include a spot to visually sit or kneel to inject yourself into the mini space.

Now you can start to go into a bit more detail as you now that you’ve spent some quality time with your little garden

Miniature Gratitude Garden

Our mini gratitude garden. A simple reminder to be grateful can change your thought process in a heart beat.

altars:

6. Tend to the garden. Maintain the health of your plants. Snip off any brown leaves or dead branches. Gently wash off the branches with a soft rag. Or give it a tepid shower with water* then gently wipe the leaves. (If you don’t wipe the leaves, you won’t get rid of the dust. Yes, I know, you may have a lot of leaves but this task in itself is very meditative. ;o)

7. Aerate the soil. Use a fork to break up the top layer of soil if it is crusty. Use a skinny dowel to poke into the soil, going right down into the pot, around the plant’s roots, to get some air down into the soil.

8. Wash and clean. Give your rocks, patios and accessories a wash or wipe. Use an old toothbrush and mild dish soap and give your accessories and furniture a bath. Sweep off the patio area or fluff and flatten out the gravel on the path and patio.

9. Water well. Put it all it all back together and water* until the water comes out of the drainage hole on the bottom. If you are miniature gardening indoors, put the miniature garden in the sink or tub to do this and let it drain before placing it back. (Make sure you have a sink filter/screen to catch and prevent any chunks of dirt from clogging up your plumbing.)

Miniature Prayer Gardens are very adaptable

Remember that you can swap out your focal point if you want to focus on another aspect of your life. You can change or add to it at any time. Click the picture to go to our Etsy store and see the possibilities.

10. Get specific. Use a direct symbol, figure, representation or icon that will direct your focus and attention exactly where you want it to go. Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, would direct your thoughts to clearing away your mental clutter. A pretty rock that says, “Thanks” is a direct reminder be grateful. A small figure of St. Francis will keep the Prayer of St. Francis in your thoughts. Interchange or swap out the accessories whenever you feel the need or to get refocused.

Miniature gardening is a very adaptable hobby that can be very personal, or shared and explored with others too. Arrange a workshop for your group or club to create a miniature garden altars, gratitude gardens or apply any of your group’s purpose to it. It’s a fun way to connect with others and you’ll get something purposeful and meaningful from it.

*Water from your taps – Let your tap water sit for a couple of hours before using it to water your plants so the chlorine can evaporate. Let the water come to room temperature too – as opposed to freezing cold water from outside. Your plants will thank you.

Here are some more ideas to get you started. The links will take you to either our online Miniature Garden Center or to

Miniature Garden with Madonna Figure

Miniature Madonna Figure for your prayer garden. Click the picture to see her up in the store.

our Etsy One of a Kind Store. Also visit the previous blog post on Miniature Prayer Gardens here.

Miniature Heart Rock

 

Madonna

St. Francis of Assisi

Buddha – Ceramic or Metal

Hindu Deities

Like this? Then you’ll love our monthly Mini Garden Gazette, it’s free. Join here.

 

 

Miniature Garden Plants & Accessories

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