Miniature Garden Fun With Sedums and Succulents

Miniature Garden Fun with Sedums and Succulents

Miniature Garden Fun With Sedums and Succulents

You know how miniature gardeners keep their tiny planted pots happy? We don’t plant them. We just put the sedum and succulent cuttings in the wee pots without soil because they can last for ahttp://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com few months before they need to potted-on to a bigger place to root and grow. Just mist the cuttings, pot and all, or sprinkle water on them a couple of times a week during the hot months and maybe once a week in the winter months. When they start to complain or put out too many roots, go ahead and plant them properly and they should grow into proper plants for you. (Plant them in a sunny spot, let the soil dry out in between watering sessions.)

Here’s a quick chart to help you maintain the tiny pots with success:

  • If the leaves start to shrivel, mist it more often.
  • If the leaves are getting too puffy and pale, back-off on the watering.
  • If the leaves are starting to reach for the light, (grow long and spindly,) it needs more light. Monitor this closely at first, the cuttings won’t recover if they reach too much.

What’s the Diff?

So, what’s the difference between sedums and succulents? It’s a blurry line at best apparently. What I did find out is that all sedums are succulents but not all succulents are sedums. Succulents come in all shapes and sizes, indoor and outdoor, tropical and hardy. Succulent means they store water in their leaves, stem or roots. Sedums have leaves that store water so they can be called succulents. I found this expert definition if you want to dig deeper – pun intended.

And here is a few different sedums and succulents that we now have available for your miniature garden pleasure. Click the photos to see more photos and information.

 

Baby Hens and Chicks!

Baby Hens and Chicks!

See our Set of Baby Hen and Chicks here, in our Etsy store.

Bird's eye of top photo. Tiny bouquets of color!

Bird’s eye view of the top photo. Tiny bouquets of color! You can either mix up all the different cuttings or, for a simpler statement, use multiples of the same in the pot.

See our Small Set of Sedum Cuttings, as in the photo above, here in our main online store.

See our Pot, Tool and Equipment department here.

 

If the pot is big enough, like this 2 3/4" wide terra cotta pot, go ahead and plant them in organic potting soil (not Miracle Gro, it will burn the cuttings.)

If the pot is big enough, like this 2 3/4″ wide terra cotta pot, go ahead and plant them in organic potting soil (not Miracle Gro, it will burn the cuttings.) Steve planted this wee garden. 

See that pot, in a set of two, here.

See our Large Set of Sedum Cuttings here.

Sedum ternatum has big, beautiful, lime-green leaves with yellow flowers. It gets darker green with more shade.

Sedum ternatum has big, beautiful, lime-green leaves with yellow flowers. You can see it start to bloom in the lower left corner. It gets darker green with more shade.

See the Sedum ternatum cuttings here in our Etsy store.

.

Outside of the miniature garden, the cuttings can be a quick and fun monochromatic garden accent for any table-top. These small cache pot containers don’t have a drainage hole. The cuttings are simply placed in the tin. They will last for a few months before needing to be properly potted.

See more weird and wonderful ideas for your miniature or fairy garden here, in America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center.

 Sedum spurium 'John Creech is cold hardy to -40 or Zones 3-9. An outdoor plant, full sun, let soil dry out in between watering sessions to avoid overwatering.

Sedum spurium ‘John Creech is cold hardy to -40 or Zones 3-9 <~ that’s every State of the Union! An outdoor plant, full sun, let soil dry out in between watering sessions to avoid overwatering. I love that hot-pink flower color against the dark green leaves. It blooms in the middle of the summer.

See the John Creech Sedum up in our Etsy store here.

Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' wears a wonderfully bright yellow-green color.

Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ wears a wonderfully bright yellow-green color. Pretty yellow flowers in summer. 

See the Angelina Sedum up in our Etsy store here.

See them in our new Miniature Cinderblock Planter and our new Miniature Palette Planter here.

I love the geometric leaves on this Miniature Ice Plant or Delosperma congesta. They look surreal.

I love the geometric leaves on this Miniature Ice Plant or Delosperma congesta. They look surreal.

See the Miniature Ice Plant here.

Miniature Ice Plant's yellow flowers pop up for a day and then disappear. Thankfully, they don't do it all at one time so it's a really sweet surprise to see them.

Miniature Ice Plant’s yellow flowers pop up for a day and then disappear. Thankfully, they don’t do it all at one time so it’s a really sweet surprise to see them. You just never know when you’ll see the next one!

See all our plants for sun and part sun here.

Theses bigger Hens and Chicks come in a set of 4 miniature garden plants, all of which can be divided right away.

Theses bigger Hens and Chicks come in a set of 4 miniature garden plants, all of which can be divided right away. You can see the “chicks” on the mother plant that will roll off when they are ready. That rosette is about 2 1/2″ wide. Pink flowers in the summertime. 

See all our plants, parts and pieces for miniature gardening here, in our main online store.

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Bling Gardens: Kokedama Comes to Americ… Huh?

Bling Gardens

Bling Gardens: Kokedama Comes to Americ…huh?

— This blog was first published 4 years ago. I thought string gardens would be a passing fancy but, no, I was wrong again in calling an end to a trend. Hey, at least I got miniature gardening right, right?? ;o) I still enjoy these photos as I wasn’t able to keep them alive for very long – I was unable to regulate the dampness of the soil that these plants needed. If you try this, chose drought-tolerant plants that don’t mind when the soil dries out, like tropical succulents for example. —

String gardens. It’s the new thing. Trees and plants dangling from the ceiling, suspended by a piece of string.

But, something was missing.

There was certain beauty in the simplicity but these dangling plants were lacking that little something to make them, well, you Fairy Gardening with Two Green Thumbs.comknow, pretty.

So, I spent some time in the studio over the last couple of weekends tinkering with the idea. Yea, I know, it’s how I unwind…

And THEN, my friend Christina Salwitz, author and garden guru of the popular blog, The Personal Garden Coach, highlighted them in her reporting of the big Philadelphia Flower Show this past week so, I HAD to get back in the studio to finish them off last night.;o)

Here’s are the results:

Bling Garden with Green Tara

Bling Garden with Green Tara. Trying different combinations of materials to see what works. That gold band is about 3″ wide. I kept nicking the fragile leaves… !!

Kokedama is the Japanese art of string gardening. It’s kind of like a hanging bonsai in the sense that the plant’s roots are confined to a small space – but without the container. Most of the instructions I found on the Interweb say that you need special kind of soil, Bonsai soil or Akadama soil, but I just used a fine mix of peat, sifted compost and vermiculite. In theory, we are looking for a soil that retains moisture but still drains. We don’t want the roots wet all the time or they will rot – but nor do we want the root ball to dry out all the time. We shall see if that works…

Bling Garden with Buddha

I wanted more than a “string” to hang them with. In this case, with such a chunky chain that I chose, this bling garden needed a bigger accessory, of the same color, to balance the boldness of of the chain. The leaves took more abuse with all the experimenting…

Miniature Garden Center

How-to Kokedama simply put: The plant is planted in a ball of soil, wrapped in peat, then wrapped in sheet moss and tied together with a string. I figured there was lots of room for play…

Bling Garden

After this one was done, I had to laugh. The focus is really off the plant now that there are so many things poked into it. That’s an old doily dyed with paint that is wrapped around the sheet moss.

I put up a hook and chain in the studio where I could see how they hung while I was working on them. It felt like I was dressmaking at times with all the primping and poking. Too. Much. Fun.

Bling Garden

This bling garden turned out to look like a present. Lol! 

I kept fussing and fixing it until I realized that they should be created “in-the-round,” meaning that it’s going to be viewed from all side. So, however it hangs or turns, it will still look good.

Bling Garden

I used hemp string together with the ribbon to tie it up and make it hang securely, the pearls and ribbon are just tacked on. The little fairy house was a perfect fit that worked with the coloring too. I’m not sure how the moss will react with it smothered like that with the doily… I kinda hid the plant though! It’s all bling, no plant. Lol! 

Your Miniature Garden Center

Bling Garden

This poor begonia took some abuse during all the poking and prodding. We’ll see how the plant grow in – and if they can handle all that “bling” too.

Bling Garden

Now the plants become trees with a smaller accessory at the base. The pink ribbon is reinforced with fishing line.

Bling Garden

As with miniature gardening, the personality of the garden changes with the accessories. This one takes on a rustic air with the wagon wheel and bucket.

Bling Gardens

Small toys work too… Lol!

Bling Gardens

Keeping it simple is very sweet – and puts the focus back on the plants.

Water them often because they can dry out pretty quickly. I use a spray bottle but I take them to the sink to do that – it’s the only way to water the moss to keep it green. You can use a squeeze bottle too, and squeeze the water directly into the root ball. Again, watch where they drip if they are hanging inside and protect your surfaces from the water. Note that any cloth you use, like the lace doily I used above, will get dirty quickly and start to look messy. Take a photo of your work for your brag book.

Bling Garden Ad

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Dog Days of Summer Sale at Your Miniature Garden Center!

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Dog Days of Summer Sale at Your Miniature Garden Center!

The the dog daze of summer upon us, we are taking a break this week too. Orders are still being shipped as they come it. We may delay shipping plants for a day or two to avoid the box sitting somewhere strange over the weekend. Please email us for a faster response here.

Please enjoy some eye candy on our Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/janitc/

Please enjoy a rare, surprise sale for your Miniature Garden Center Store!

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We wrote the book on it. Get an autographed copy from our store or find it on Amazon.com!

We wrote the book on it. Click the photo to get an autographed copy from our store or find it on Amazon.com! (An affiliate link.)

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5 Ways to Start Your Own Miniature Garden

How to Start a Miniature Garden

There are many reasons to grow your own world – they are fun to give and fun to get! This scene is approximately 10 inches wide.

5 Ways to Start Your Own Miniature Garden

I’ve made well over 1,300 miniature gardens since I started this business in 2001, [Update to 2015: we are over 3,000 gardens, in-ground and in containers.] and I have found that there are a number of ways to begin the journey of creating your own wee world.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Choose your site for your mini garden

Right plant, right place applies in miniature as well. Where is your miniature garden going to live: In ground or in a container? Indoor or out? Then figure out what kind of light does that spot have: Full shade? Morning sun? Then choose the plants that will do well in that environment. (Note that indoor plants are tropical plants that like to stay 60 degrees or above all year ‘round. No, you can’t grow an outdoor plant indoors.)

See our miniature garden plants sorted by zone here.

2. Choose your favorite tree

If you have the luxury of planting anywhere, checkout the miniature and dwarf trees and shrubs that are ideal for miniature gardening, and pick a tree that sings to you or tweaks your interest. Some trees can be “limbed-up” to show some more trunk so it looks more like a tree than an shrub. Choose your “mini bedding plants” (a.k.a. ground covers) by matching the same light and water requirements as the tree. If you haven’t been bitten by the miniature conifer bug yet, be warned: they are both numerous, gosh-darn cute and easy to grow.

See our miniature plants sorted by light here.

3. Choose your favorite theme

Forest? Backyard? Formal? Rustic? Re-creating your grandmother’s life-sized garden in miniature? While there may not be an exact miniature version of the full-size tree, you can more-than-likely find a similar, slow-growing, small foliaged tree that is similar in growth shape. Use images of life-sized gardens to help kick-start your brainstorming session and Google it. Look for iconic items that will weather well, classic a rose arbor or grandma’s favorite garden chair, to add to your miniature garden rather than clutter the small scene with tiny details that will get lost in the living miniature garden.

See our Theme Department here.

4. Choose a container

Sometimes the container just beckons to have a wee world in it. Let the colors and the personality of the pot help or dictate the mini garden theme. An unglazed, terra cotta pot would be the perfect pot for a rustic backyard garden-theme. A big, black, glazed, ceramic pot would look smashing with a formal-style miniature garden planted with a Blue Pygmy Juniper, Hens & Chicks and Wooley Thyme for the understory that all enjoy the full sun and tolerate the odd dry soil.

See all our miniature garden trees and plants for miniature gardening here.

 

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5. Try a complete kit.

I have a variety of Miniature Garden Kits in my online store, to suit a number of different environments. They come complete with full color instructions that guide you through the simple steps to create a mini garden in a container, and it can be applied to an in-ground garden too.

The kits come with a mini or dwarf tree, matching bedding plants (ground covers), my own Mini Patio Mix Kit, rocks or brick sheets for easy install, and miniature garden accessories to finish off your wee landscape. Once you do this kit, you’ll know how to do it again and again.

Miniature gardens make great gifts for that hard-to-shop for person in your life, hostess gifts, centerpieces for family gatherings or weddings. They do very well at charity auctions and raffles too.

There are just as many reasons to grow your own world, as there are reasons to live in this one. Enjoy your mini garden journey and adhere to the most important, number one rule of gardening in miniature: Have fun and grow your own world.

Need more?

Visit the source of the miniature garden hobby here.
Visit America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center’s here.

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Plant an Effortless Understory for Your Miniature Garden Bed

Understory Plants for the Miniature Garden

The White Diamond Sedum is named after the way it captures water in its rosettes – the droplets look like diamonds. It’s deciduous in that it dies back a bit in the winter months. A truly charming sedum. 

Create an Effortless Understory for Your Miniature Garden or Fairy Garden Bed

I just love that word, “understory.” It sounds so mysterious to me like it should be some sort of literary reference to a subplot in storytelling. Understory. Whoa. Lol! Google’s definition is “a layer of vegetation beneath the main canopy of a forest” and, for us miniature gardeners, it’s what makes a miniature garden come alive and look realistic, like a true garden in miniature.

When you start to think about your miniature garden bed, it follows the same rules in full-size gardening. Start with an anchor plant, this is usually a tree or three, and fill in the understory with layers of shrubs and plants to form a wall of texture, color and green loveliness. Look to the full-sized garden designers for inspiration and ideas to add to your own garden. (Um. Wait. By “full-sized garden designers” I’m talking about the scale of their work, not the size of the gardener. Lol!)

Here are some of our favorite summer “miniature garden bedding plants” or ground covers or understory plants, whatever you want to call them. Click the photos to enlarge them.

Understory Plants for the Miniature Garden

Dwarf Hens and Chicks off a completely different texture to the understory in the miniature garden bed. We find the smallest ones we can for our Miniature Garden Center. Very hardy and very drought tolerant.

Find the Dwarf Hens and Chicks here.
(Sempervirens tectorum)

Find the White Diamond Sedum here.
(Sedum pachyclados ‘White Diamond’)

Understory Plants for the Miniature Garden

One of our all-time favorite miniature garden bedding plants because of it’s grassy texture, and it’s resilience. I’ve see a thriving full bed of this Dwarf Mondo Grass in full sun – and it can do well in part shade too. Inconspicuous lavender-colored flowers in the summer.

Find the Dwarf Mondo Grass here.
(Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’)

That fern-like plant is Platt’s Black Brass Buttons, find it here.
(Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’)

 

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Understory Plants for the Miniature Garden

This Miniature Ice Plant is a slower, more congested from of the regular Ice Plant that can be invasive. Bright yellow flowers pop up for a couple of days through out the summer when it’s established and happy. A full-sun succulent and drought tolerant.

Find the Miniature Ice Plant here.
(Delosperma congesta)

Understory Plants for the Miniature Garden

“The hills are alive….” Our Irish Moss grew into a hill in our in ground miniature garden. Irish Moss is not a moss, it’s a perennial. Regular water, don’t let this one dry out, it will go brown and not recover. You can’t beat that lawn-look in miniature though. That’s a rare miniature dogwood behind it.  

Find the Irish Moss here.
(Sagina sublata)

So you can see with these few miniature garden bedding plants, just how much you can mix up the textures in your miniature understory. Like full-sized garden design, be deliberate and mix up the size of the foliage and the colors. If you choose all fine-leafed foliage it tends to blend together and look messy. By adding the grassy Dwarf Mondo Grass or the rigid leaves of the Miniature Ice Plant for example, it defines the different plants in the garden bed – meaning you can see what each separate plant is and they don’t all run together.

Here’s more about learning from the “big” garden experts here.

See all our miniature and dwarf trees, shrubs and understory plants up in America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com. We have them sorted by light here – and they are sorted by your USDA zone here. Right plant, right place applies in miniature too AND you can plant a miniature garden in a container any time of year!

Like this? Join us and thousands of like-minded miniature gardeners each week with a blast of mini garden goodness delivered to your inbox every Friday. Join us here.

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Have a Little Fun With Miniature Cinderblock Gardening!

Miniature Cinderblock Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

This tub is usually reserved for our halloween garden but it offered a big space to demo some ideas for today instead. We replaced the cemetery with the deck and walk-way and installed a veggie garden and compost area. Whew! ;o)

Have a Little Fun with Miniature Cinderblock Gardening!

No, we can’t leave well-enough alone. We have to dabble, play, test and play some more – it’s all for YOU! Okay, it’s for me too, you know I love this stuff! (Now before you think, “Must be nice!” This part of the job makes up for all the hair-pulling, hard drive-crashing, software conflicting, techno-glitches of working in the online world. Seriously!)

ICYMI following this blog for the last few weeks, we had fun with a Miniature Cinderblock Planter and Hand-Built Garden Furniture in [Modern!] Miniature. This week, we played around with the new cinderblock and came up with a few more fun and easy ideas that you can build in your own miniature gardens. Check it out. Click the photos to enlarge them:

Miniature Cinderblock Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

I tried putting sedum cuttings in all the cinderblock-holes as well but that cluttered up the intent of the vegetable garden. The “Keep it Simple Silly!” KISS rule applies in miniature as well.

See the Cinderblock Set here.

See our Sedum Cuttings here.

See our Larger Sedum Cuttings here.

Miniature Cinderblock Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

Stacked cinderblocks in a curved shape to accommodate the compost pile. The holes in the top cinderblocks were a perfect spot to keep the garden tools safe. The “compost” is from the garden bed. Way fun.

See the Miniature Garden Tool Set here.

See that Miniature Hand Tools here.

See all our miniature pots, tools and equipment here.

Keep Calm and Make a Miniature Garden

 

Miniature Cinderblock Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

The miniature cinderblocks worked perfectly with our micro-pebbles! The size and the coloring was just right. We had to work the pebbles in between the blocks a bit so no one will break their ankle on the path. ;o) That deck is made in the USA too. 

Find the Large Cedar Deck here.

Find the micro-pebbles here.

See all our patio and path solutions here.

Miniature Cinderblock Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

Peekaboo. Lift the cedar deck up on cinderblocks – and just show the top of the cinderblock. This is one of those realistic details that only adds to the fun.

Miniature Gardening: Go Ahead, Act Your Shoesize

Miniature Cinderblock Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

Our Miniature Palette Garden is doing well. It’s been planted for about a month now, with no problems. It gets watered along with the rest of the miniature garden with the over-head water wand (we have a drainage hole in the bottom of the tub.) The trunks of the trees have thickened up over the years and are maturing nicely. 

See our Miniature Palette Garden here.

See our Miniature Palette Garden KIT here.

See all our miniature and dwarf plants for miniature gardening, sorted by zone here.

Miniature Cinderblock Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

The big containers makes room for little vignettes. The different plants in the understory have been left to weave together naturally over the years. This garden is perfect for sun, but since it is in a metal container, I move it into the part sun for the summer so the soil can stay evenly damp.

See our medium-sized Miniature Terra Cotta Pots here. (Available in three sizes.)

See the Miniature Driftwood Stump here.

See our miniature garden bedding plants for full sun here.

Miniature Cinderblock Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

Our dog Kitty is my favorite photo bomber. She’s just a little nosy! 

See the Miniature Cinderblock Planter here.

See all our New and Back in Stock plants, parts and pieces for your miniature gardening here.

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Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture in Miniature

Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture in Miniature

Miniaturizing full-sized projects isn’t as hard as you think but you need to pay attention to scaling down the measurements accurately to create a true miniature. 

Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture in Miniature

Lounge chairs, birdhouses and tables, oh my! I’m a nut about do-it-yourself projects around my full-sized house. So, when this new book from Timber Press arrived in the mail, Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture by Katie Jackson, it was everything I needed to get inspired, grab some wood and get busy.

But then my passion took over and instead of heading to the garage, I went into the miniature studio. Look what happened.

Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture in Miniature

I don’t know why I picked a hard project to start with – but it may be because I already had the skinny popsicle sticks on hand and it looked like it was a perfect match. I had to carve my own legs, which sounds harder than it is to do. 

The book is a delight to browse through and the steps are laid out nicely with a lot of breathing room on the uncluttered pages. The photos are very helpful in walking you through the project. You easily see what needs to be done ahead of time even for the most complicated project which didn’t seem that complicated anymore. I found myself being an armchair carpenter for an hour!

 

Join us for more miniature gardening!

 

Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture in Miniature

I mistakenly cut it short on the first attempt. That is a special jig on the right that I found at a miniature show. I used the cut-off ends of the popsicle sticks as spacers. 

The 20 projects include a couple of different kinds of planter/flower boxes, different tables, storage solutions and even a fun torchiere that you can light up. Katie keeps it simple, all you need is a few tools, some lumber and a couple of hours for some projects or up to a weekend for others. It’s dedicated to anyone who has every said, “I could never do that!”

Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture in Miniature

The camera angle makes the bench look longer, it’s 4 1/16 inches long and 1 1/8″ wide. In large size or 1″ scale, this would be a little over 4 feet long and about 15 inches wide – I should have added a couple of more slats. Dang.

 

The book starts with the basics, choosing boards, the types of wood, how they are sold. It has an overview of the tools you need followed by a chapter on how to use the tools. It is very well organized and edited a la typical Timber Press fashion – that’s why they are the top garden publisher after all.

 

We wrote the book on it. Get an autographed copy from our store or find it on Amazon.com!

We wrote the book on it. Get an autographed copy from our store or find it on Amazon.com!

 

Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture in Miniature

It does look a bit skinny but the third time is the charm! Lol! Not the kind of miniature furniture that I would keep outside or let get wet. 

See more about how to find out what scale your accessories are here.

Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture in Miniature

This was a much easier project to translate into miniature. I tied it to a hook so I could move it around the branches easily. 

It’s the author herself in the photos too, which is cute to see. See more about Katie Jackson’s Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture: 20 Step-by-Step Projects Anyone Can Build here, on the Timber Press website or look for it anywhere books are sold.

AdS-leaderboard-Plants

 

Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture in Miniature

By following Katie’s measurements and methods, I was able to get a realistic, true miniature swing. Sweet.

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