10 Steps to Renovate a 10 Year Old Miniature Garden in 10 Minutes

 Miniature Garden Renovation by TwoGreenThumbs.com

10 Steps to Renovate a 10 Year Old Miniature Garden in 10 Minutes

“Don’t just sit there, grow a tree!” is my first thought whenever I see the box that’s been kicking around the office since

Miniature Garden Renovation with TwoGreenThumbs.com

Pot finally cracked in July 2015.

2005. I’ve kept it for reference because this is – so far – the only tree seed that has worked for me. The side of the box says, “Guaranteed to Grow! Just add: sunshine, water & love.” For $4 I thought, “What the heck, I’m feeling reckless today, I’ll give it a try.” ;o)

The seeds are from GrowATree.com and the website is still there – in the same condition it was in 2005 if you want to go back in time and see how the Internet looked back then. It’s Picea pungens ‘Glauca’ or Colorado blue spruce. The seeds come from Bucksport, Maine. Apparently I lost the instructions that were included but I recall it said to mimic a forest floor when planting and nurturing them. It worked.

Hover over the pictures in the collage to see the dates the photos were taken. I am missing a few photos – it was used in our A Garden for All Reasons at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in 2008. You can see it on our Flickr page in the front of the display with the black arbor in the back (the photo needs updating to fit in their new format.) And I know I took other shots of it too but they must have been a part of a hard drive crash a couple of years ago unfortunately.

See our 10 minute renovation after the collage.

And just to note, I did nothing special in growing them. The main thing with such a small garden over 10 years is to (a) keep track of it and (b) to water it. Personally, I’m still surprised it’s still alive after a major house-move and three years of writing and promoting a book. I have Steve to thank for that!

How to Renovate a Tiny Miniature Garden

Miniature Garden Renovation with TwoGreenThumbs.com

1. Take the pot off the rootball.

Miniature Garden Renovation with TwoGreenThumbs.com

2. Take all the accessories, the patio and stones out.

Miniature Garden Renovation with TwoGreenThumbs.com

3. Take the moss off the top of the soil.

Miniature Garden Renovation with TwoGreenThumbs.com

5. Gently peel away the roots. You’ll find them wrapped around the edge. Cut the long roots with a sharp pair of clean scissors.

AdS-leaderboard-TGTplants

Miniature Garden Renovation with TwoGreenThumbs.com

6. Gently loosen or divide the trees to fit them into the new pot. The rule of thumb is to never take more than one third off at a time – this means roots and foliage.

Miniature Garden Renovation with TwoGreenThumbs.com

7. Fit the trees into the new pot gently. Arrange them like a forest, plant them off-center for more interest. Face the best side of the tree to the front. Trim off any lower branches that need it.

Miniature Garden Renovation with TwoGreenThumbs.com

8. Put the patio, pond back in. Fit the rocks in where the look natural.

Miniature Garden Renovation with TwoGreenThumbs.com

9. Plant the moss back in the gaps with the bare soil. The moss will help slow down the water evaporation. Trim the moss to clean it up, trim off any lower branches if needed. 

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

Miniature Garden Renovation with TwoGreenThumbs.com

10. Water thoroughly until it comes out the bottom of the drainage hole. Fill in any gaps in the soil if needed. Spray off the patio, clean off the outside of the pot, fill the pool and your done.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on it for the rest of the dry summer months, and we’ll make sure it gets enough water in the winter – and we’ll keep it sheltered from freezing just to be safe. By next year, it should have fully recovered and will be hardier in the dry months as well as the colder months.

Like this? We’re digging deeper and deeper into the hobby every week. If you are serious about miniature gardening, join us! Sign up here and confirm through your email. 

And visit our online store here.

 

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Keep Calm and Make a Miniature Garden

Keep Calm and Make a Miniature Garden

Keep Calm and Make a Miniature Garden

There will be a slight pause in the program as we put the final touches on the new members-only Miniature Garden Society website.

Interested? Your membership will not start until the website officially opens. Get on board today and join us now. We only have one beginning and you can be part of it. 

Here is more information and a list of all the perks – including a standing discount for any of our stores – and if you are aware of my work, you’ll know that there is a lot more coming. Join us here.

 

http://twogreenthumbs.com/Miniature_Garden_Society.html

 

 

 

 

Keepin' it real in the miniature garden with TwoGreenThumbs.com

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How to Get the Garden Into Your Fairy Garden

Put the garden into your fairy garden and create enchantment at the same time.

How to Get the Garden Into Your Fairy Garden

So there is was, a huge box full of soil with toys scattered about, a plant in one corner and a house in the other. I looked up and took in the gorgeous view of Lake Washington.

Did she know who I was? Should I tell her?

I didn’t know what to say. The woman only knew I was into miniature gardening, she didn’t know my history nor my day-job.

Maybe I could switch the conversation to the sunset.

But I see it everywhere on the web these days. Boxes, wheelbarrows, pots, containers and even in-ground: fairy gardens without any sort of garden element, maybe a plant or two. Perhaps we should start calling them fairy sandboxes? Fairy soil-boxes?

You can get the garden into your fairy garden even if it’s in a pot. Here is a short visual essay, using fairy accessories, to show you how planting a few trees and shrubs for your fairies to hide in, can increase the enchantment dramatically.

Click the photos to enlarge them.

Tip 1: By using the accessories in the garden as you would in your full-sized garden, you can begin to sort out your garden rooms.

Tip 1: By using the accessories in the garden as you would in your full-sized garden, you can begin to sort out your garden rooms.

The little shrub on the left is a Duflon Fir. The tree on the right is a Majestic Japanese Holly.

(Garden at top: Elwood Cypresses with ground cover Thyme on the left and Cranesbill Flore Pleno on the right.)

Tip 2: Create garden beds like you do in full-sized gardening. Include plants with different heights and textures.

Tip 2: Create garden beds like you do in full-sized gardening. Include plants with different heights and textures.

The tree is Jervis Canada Hemlock.

Tip 3: Less is more. One idea at a time, one idea per pot.

Tip 3: Less is more. One idea at a time, one idea per pot. Keep it simple.

The tree is Nana Hinoki Cypress.

Tip 5: Let it grow. Give the miniature and dwarf trees a chance to grow in and up. You will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Tip 5: Let it grow. Give the miniature and dwarf trees a chance to grow in and up. It may take a few years, but you will be pleasantly surprised with the results. You can always start with bigger trees, but be prepared to pay dearly for them.

The tree in the back is Jean Iseli Hinoki Cypress (we don’t see that tree very much these days, the Nana Hinoki Cypress is very similar.) The bushes in the front are Podocarpus babies.

Tip 5: If you have a large container, create garden rooms by dividing up the space with garden beds or rockeries, like you would do in a full-sized garden.

Tip 5: If you have a large container, create garden rooms by dividing up the space with garden beds or rockeries, like you would do in a full-sized garden. Above, I made one side a realistic garden and the other side was very fairy.

This was an indoor garden I made for a Plow & Hearth store. I used Wilma Cypress and Variegated Boxwood trees, combined them with Dwarf Mondo Grass, Baby Tears and small ivy starts.

Tip 6: Make them work for it. We have a tiny secret garden behind this patio. Only the very observant see it.

Tip 6: Make them work for it. We have a tiny secret garden behind this patio. Only the very observant see it.

The tree is Jervis Canada Hemlock (can you tell it’s a favorite tree of mine? More coming in the fall.)

**Not all trees are available at all times. Please join our email list to get notifications when new and different trees arrive here.**

Sophisticated Fairy Gardening, by Janit Calvo

Our new eBook! For Advanced Fairy Gardeners only. Click the picture for more.

Want to know more about getting more garden into your fairy garden? Here is our new ebook, Sophisticated Fairy Gardening: Advanced Techniques and Imaginings. It’s an addendum to our Gardening in Miniature book – kind of like the missing chapter but a whole lot more.

Like this idea? We dig deeper than anyone into the miniature garden hobby. Join us for your free monthly Mini Garden Gazette newsletter. You’ll get a free PDF after confirming through your email. Join us here.

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Light Up Your Miniature Garden with Festive Outdoor Mini Fairy Lights!

Lights for the miniature garden or fairy garden are water resistant and have a timer too!

Light Up Your Miniature Garden with Festive Outdoor Mini Fairy Lights!

We finally found some! Miniature outdoor light strings AND they have a timer too.

Awesome sauce.

Now sing with me: “You, you light up my life, you give me…”

With the long hot days of summer upon us, we are hanging in the garden longer at night when the temperatures cool off a bit. We are watering the gardens at night too, something we don’t usually do because it encourages that ugly powdery mildew but, with this heat, it’s so dry that it can’t grow. In theory, the evening watering session cools down the plant’s roots for the night, to gives the plant a chance to rest before the heat arrives the next day. So far, so good, we’ve only lost two of our trees – but they were big, established Sky Pencil Japanese Hollies. Ugh. The grapevine was sheltering them from getting any water and we didn’t realize it until it was too late. Ugh x 2.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

New 13 foot miniature lights strings are water resistant. The battery case is sealed and clicks closed with two easy to open tabs.

But, on a brighter note, ;o) we can now add lights to our miniature garden that are water-resistant, the right size and the battery case is sealed too. The timer function, once clicked, will stay on for 6 hours and turn off for 18 hours every day. Very cool. Very easy-peasy. We have been testing these lights for the last six weeks, we are still using the same batteries – and the string has been on almost every night during the test. The LED lights have faded just a bit, but it’s still bright enough when it’s dark outside.

The tiny lights are encapsulated in silicon.

The tiny lights are encapsulated in silicon.

The lights are miniature, tiny lights encapsulated in silicon, the wire is a bit delicate and comeswith a warning to not cut it or us excessive force or bending. As you know, when you bend a wire enough it will break. But in playing with our set, with a gentle touch I’m able to take them on and off the trees and fences without problem.

Miniature Gardening with Janit CalvoThe white lights come in two sizes, the 13 feet (4 meters) string comes with a sealed battery pack. The 25 feet (7.6 meters) string has a plug and a decent length of cord before the lights start – no built-in timer on this one, we have it on a separate electrical timer. We’ve plugged this 25 foot string in to our white Christmas lights that we keep up year ‘round to light up the front of the house in our dark neighborhood.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

Add Romance

Be sure to plant some white flowers around your lights too. They will get picked up by the light and add to your evening scene. We love our Miniature Daisies (they are sold out for the summer but we should have them back in stock in the fall) and right now we have the white Cranesbill in stock, it’s a bit hardier than the daisies.

We are still experimenting with ways to mount them in the miniature garden.

We are still experimenting with ways to use them in the miniature garden. Wrap them around your trees, on your fences or, as you can see in the photo, we made some light posts from sticks and staked them on a rod to hold up in the soil (or you can just plant the stick of course.) For the hook at the top, we use floral wire and round-nose pliers to make the hook. Drilled a hole for it and used two-part epoxy glue to hold it in place. More experimentation is needed with them, I’m not sure how they will work with a really long strand and it may be a bit tedious to get it to work. In the photo, I used four posts, and then went into the trees to help keep it in place.

Orange light string will be perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Mix it with silver, red and green decor to make it Christmas-y.

Orange light string will be perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Mix it with silver, red and green decor to make it Christmas-y. We’ve gone ahead and pre-wrapped this arbor, it’s up in our Etsy store linked below.

Oh! And we have one for Halloween too. Cute!! See the light string here. See the arbor with lights shown above here.

Find them here, up in our online store, along with our other “new or back-in-stock items.” We just got some new pot sets in that are cuter than cute. We are  America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com!

Love miniature gardening? So do we! Join us here for more, we dig deeper, grow smaller and cultivate creativity.

And apologies for the earworm! Lol! Is that song that is now stuck in your head? I had forgotten how well Debbie Boone just rocks the vocals at the end. It made me tear up! See her here up on youtube. ;o)

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

 

 

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Miniature Gardening is Growing Roots Worldwide

TurkishCover

The Turkish version of Gardening in Miniature! Yay!

Miniature Gardening is Growing Roots Worldwide

I do believe the appropriate terms is, “AWESOME SAUCE!!”

Lol!

Yeah, a surprise from my publisher arrived earlier this week: the Turkish version of Gardening in Miniature!

Thank you, Timber Press!

It was just a couple of weeks ago that we learned of a Korean version in the works. ;o)

‘Mom spricht kein Deutsch’ is German for Mom Doesn’t Speak German

And a funny thing happened the other day. My Mom was trying to order a couple of copies of the German edition of the book from Amazon.de website and, no, she doesn’t speak or read a word of German. (How she was able to navigate the site is beyond me but I was reminded of where I get my tenacity from. Lol!) So, we ended up with a few extra copies of Gardening in Miniature in German now available here in the USA!!

We have them up in the Etsy store here.

German edition of Gardening in Miniature

Gardening in Miniature – now available in German in our Etsy Store!

 

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How YOU Can Help Save Our Environment and Our World

Please join us and millions of other concerned citizens throughout the world, by simply signing a petition at SaveTheArctic.org

Please join us and millions of other concerned citizens throughout the world, by simply signing a petition at SaveTheArctic.org. Pictured above is Shell’s Polar Pioneer drilling rig that illegally docked in Seattle and is now on its way to the Arctic. This is not about oil.

How YOU Can Help The Pope Save Our Environment and Our World

The world needs your help!

In case you missed it, an important protest is going on online and here in the PNW to stop Shell from drilling in the pristine arctic. THIS IS NOT ABOUT OIL. It’s about putting corporate responsibility over greed.

There is a 75% RISK OF DISASTER that can NOT be fixed if anything does happen. A no-brainer you would think, but Shell is forcing their way up to the Arctic, ignoring rules and regulations along the way.

Simply put, the Arctic has a extremely important role in maintaining the balance of the earth’s climate.

Please join us and millions of other very concerned citizens throughout the world, US and Canada, by signing the petition at the very least at http://www.SaveTheArctic.org.

Your kids and grandkids will thank you – and we do too.

YOU can help. Please sign the petition at SaveTheArctic.org and boycott Shell gas stations. Let’s see if we can ruin their environment before they ruin ours.

‪#‎ShellNo‬‪ #‎boycottshellgas‬

And Here’s The Pope’s Petition:

Pope Francis has launched his own petition to help save the environment and needs 25,000 signatures to bring this issue to the December Climate Change Conference in Paris:

To the Heads of State and the Governments of the nations participating in the 21st International Climate Change Conference, scheduled from November 30 to December 15, 2015 in Paris, France.

On behalf of our children, who without your commitment and action will inherit a degraded and dangerous planet.

On behalf of the poor of the planet, the first to be victimized by pollution and the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

On behalf of the whole human family, for which we all have a responsibility to care without regard to national borders or social divisions.”  – From the http://www.thecallofpopefrancis.org/en website where you can sign the petition.

(To my regular readers: Apologies for the soapbox. If we don’t stand for something, we will fall for anything. Together we can make the right change for the health of our climate, and our children’s climate.)

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

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Declutter Your Fairy Garden with the New Bestselling Ebook!

 Sophisticated Fairy Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

Thinking like a fairy can help you declutter your fairy garden, save money and make a prettier display. Our new eBook will help you do that.

Declutter Your Fairy Garden with the New Bestselling Ebook!

Decluttering is all the rage now with the new book that is making us tear apart our closets and cupboards. In the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, (affiliate link) Marie Kondo tells us to only keep what brings you joy. Funnily enough, that’s what we said except we called it love! In our new, bestselling ebook, Sophisticated Fairy Gardening: Advanced Techniques, Ideas and Imaginings, An Addendum to Gardening in Miniature.

Click to enlarge the photos.

Sophisticated Fairy Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

A set of handmade fairy wings are ready to strap on so you can fly with your fairy.

Here is an excerpt from our Sophisticated Fairy Gardening ebook on decluttering and simplifying:

“Less is More

The three critical words of design: less is more. Focus on doing fewer things really well to create more of an impact. This idea resonates through all types of design, not just garden design. The smartest-looking interior design photos are usually very simply decorated with clean lines, patterns and colors that are chosen individually for their strong presence. The reason books are printed with margins around the side, and why paintings look better in frames, is because of the white-space, or visual-relief, that is created around the words or artwork. The white-space gives the chance for the eye to rest and it balances the visual impact in our brains so we can see and synthesize the information more efficiently.

Doing more with less is may be why your fairy garden doesn’t look right. By cluttering the scene with multiple patios with pathways going to and fro, filling the patios with swings, furniture sets, houses and fairies with stairs leading here and there to nowhere, nothing really stands out to the viewer. The scene is clumped together in the mind as one heap of accessories.

To undo and redo, clean all the accessories out of your fairy garden and sort them into two groups, ones that you really love and adore, and ones that you don’t. Put only the accessories that you adore back into your garden by grouping them into smaller scenes. Gift the rest to your local girl scouts, sell them at a garage sale or give them to a thrift store.”

Sophisticated Fairy Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

It is a lot more than child’s play when you add a little sophistication to your fairy gardening. The baby carriage is made out of walnut shells and lined with feathers.

There is more insight on fairy garden design, miniature garden plants, landscaping and to learn about why we are having a hard time making the fairy garden look realistic, in our new ebook Sophisticated Fairy Gardening: Advanced Techniques, Ideas and Imaginings. By Yours Truly, Janit Calvo, is available in digital PDF dowload from our online store here so you can get it right now. Note that is an addendum and it references our Amazon bestseller, Gardening in Miniature many times throughout the PDF for more insight and information.

And it’s coming to Kindle soon too!

Like this? Then join us as we dig deeper and deeper into the miniature garden hobby right here. [Warning: May or may not contain fairies.]

Sophisticated Fairy Gardening, by Janit Calvo

Our new eBook! For Advanced Fairy Gardeners only. It’s an addendum to our Gardening in Miniature book. Click the picture for more.

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