Working with Mini and Fairy Houses in the Miniature Garden
Working a tiny house into your miniature garden design can add another dimension to an already existing layout. Once the viewer sees the tiny house, the story starts to evolve and curiosity starts to bubble and perk as the questions begin: Whose house is that? What’s going on inside? I wonder if I can I see inside? Houses and buildings are especially effective with young children because their ability to suspend realism is very endearing, as well as the house being big enough not to get broken or lost in the garden bed.
So, with a little help from Plow & Hearth today, we have a few houses to play with in various ways in our miniature gardens here at our studio. It is interesting to note that the few rules that do apply to miniature gardening apply to using miniature houses too. We found that it is still the combination of plants, patio and accessories with the house, that come together to create that “Aaawwww!” moment that delights and enchants instantly. Let’s take a look at the photos to see what works and what doesn’t.
[Click on the photos to enlarge them.]
In the photograph above, we fit the house underneath the canopy of a Jacqueline Hillier Elm, top-left corner, next to small Shimpaku Juniper shrub to the left of the house, you see the tiny trunk. The tall column of the Sky Pencil Japanese Holly to the right of the house works as an anchor point and helps to put the building into perspective for us. The patio and furniture helps deliver the scale.
The bottom layer is filled with small-leafed Sedums and ground covers to cinch the garden beds and to nestle-in the accessories. I resisted the urge to clean-up the shot and left the fallen leaves and debris alone. Note that the simple things, like a log or a boulder, can add a sense of permanence to the scene.
Here, we’ve used the same house in a different part of the garden – it’s Plow & Hearth’s Miniature Fairy Garden Cottage with Turret. The fine-foliage of the beautiful Tansu Japanese Cedar canopy on the right helps to put the house in scale, the smaller Balsam Fir and ground cover Red Thyme finish the simple scene on the left. If we didn’t have the patio and chair to complete the idea, the house would look a bit lost. This patio is made from rolled marble pebbles and tumbled glass pieces and laid-in by hand with our Mini Patio Mix Kit.
When photographing the houses, we found more mystery by photographing the scene from behind a taller tree or full-sized plant. That is a Pixie Dwarf Spruce on the right and another Balsam Fir on the left. The big trunk behind the house is a full-size Alpine Fir. The patio was made from our stone sheets and locked-in with our Mini Patio Mix Kit. This is Plow & Hearth’s Resin Thatched Fairy Cottage.
It was very fun to walk around the garden and see where the house looked its best but, funnily enough, we had to go back to our main components to get the look that we wanted. The patio and pathway situated the house enough to make it look like it belonged there and the smaller plantings brought the scale down to match the house. Here, in this photo, there were a couple of miniature garden trees and trees to work with: that amber-colored shrub to the left is a small heather and then to the left of that is a Pixie Dwarf Spruce help layer the full-size plants down to miniature.
Now you can start to see how the smaller plantings around the house make it work. Now I want to live there. This is the Plow & Hearth Miniature Stucco Fairy GArden Cottage with Thatched Roof.
Just a little patio is all you need – pardon the pun – this one was made from marble pieces, an ivory stone sheet and our Mini Patio Mix. The Plow & Hearth Adirondack chairs are an invitation to come on in and sit down. The stumps are staked to hold in place in the garden soil. Again, the rocks add a sense of permanence. Find the miniature garden ground covers up the our online store here.
Sedum cuttings in the wee pots make the perfect miniature container plants. Now you can see how aggressive that New Zealand Brass Buttons is but it grows on runners, so you can easily shovel-prune it or pull up the runners by hand. But boy does it look sweet.
Plow & Hearth carries the best book on Miniature Gardening too, if I may add. See Gardening in Minature: How to Create Your Own Tiny Living World up in their store here.
Like this? Then you’ll love our Mini Garden Gazette newsletter. It’s free and its once a month. You get a free PDF upon signing up too. Join us here.