How to Save Time and Money on Your Miniature Gardening

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Layer it. The Jacqueline Hillier Dwarf Elm is a great anchor tree for the miniature garden bed – you can easily plant under it as it gets older. That is a miniature Blue Planet Spruce in the back, left side. Sedum Angelina to the right and miniature daisies on the right. The pond is handmade – the best kind!

How to Save Time and Money on Your Miniature Gardening

Do you want to save some time and money? 

Do you want to have a successful miniature garden next summer too?

Did you know you can have BOTH?

  • Fact: Fall is the best time to plant your garden bed.
  • Fact: You can save time and money next summer by planting your garden right now.
  • Fact: The success rate for getting trees established in the garden bed is far greater in the autumn months than any other time of year.

(Images are from our Instagram feed. Follow the leader for more fun in the miniature garden, I’m under @theminigardener!)

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

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This miniature garden was sold around 2003 and lives on the Oregon coast. The couple who sought us out and bought it for their sister in law still keeps in touch with us. Apparently it is still alive and thriving. A testament to our true miniature garden trees, plants and shrubs!

Fall Planting Perks

Many people think spring is the best time to plant an in-ground miniature garden, but fall actually has many definite advantages. Fall planting is perfectly positioned in between the hot summer months and the cold winter season so any plant planted right now, will use this time to an advantage to get established in your garden bed. You can plant in-ground as long as the ground is not frozen.

You see, the plant’s roots still grow in temperatures 40° or above so, even though the temperatures might feel cool to you, the plant does not mind at all. During this time the root systems have a chance to develop and become established before winter. If you’re in a place where it doesn’t freeze, the roots will actually keep growing and establishing themselves to get ready for next spring.

When spring comes back, the new root system can fully support and take advantage of the flush of new growth. When the leaves start to bud and grow, the stronger roots are now able to tap in the reservoir of water on their own. You’ll save time because there is less maintenance to do, you’ll save money by lowering your water bill AND you will lose less plants to the whim of nature because they are already well-on-their way to becoming established. You can spend more time on creating and crafting the details of your miniature garden instead.

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Blue-colored shadows underneath the Golden Sprite Hinoki Cypress that’s about 9″ tall now. Our true miniature and dwarf trees and shrubs grow up to look like a majestic tree – in miniature! Why do you think we keep using them in our gardens? Because they can stay in the small scale for years and years…

Tips for your fall planting:

  1. Always invest in the best plant material as possible. High-quality trees and shrubs come with a well-developed root system that is ready to grow. Don’t get fooled by bargain plant sales – many of those plants have been fertilized consistently over the last few months and will crash when you plant them in your yard because you have no idea on the level of feeding they are use too. Do you always wonder why you easily loose plants from plant sales ALL the time? This is it. Word.

For example, Steve and I invested in a couple of cherry trees a few years back. We got them on sale – and it was the end of the sale – so we compromised and chose the best two out of four on the lot. We brought them home and planted them in our new garden about five years ago.  Well, this winter I’m definitely pulling both of them. They didn’t branch out as I expected. They did not produce any cherries – oh wait, I think I got one (1) cherry last year. This year, no cherries at all – none, nada, zilch, zippo. I even tried to prune them each year to attempt the shape them and increase the cherry production with disastrous results. After five years of trying to compromise with these bargain-sale trees, we ended up with a big huge waste of time and money. Had we stepped up and invested in decent high-quality trees to begin with, I would have cherry jam on my pantry shelf, and I would be looking forward to another cherry blossom show next spring.

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That’s a mugo pine on the left and a hemlock tree in the center. In the background on the right, is a wall of Monteray Cypress (a.k.a. Wilma, Goldcrest or Lemon Cypress, Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Wilma Goldcrest’)

 

2. High-quality trees and plants will reward you year after year by a behaving as they should. Take the time to find the best trees for your miniature gardening. Here are the questions that you need answers to in order to find the best plant for your gardens (- oh, and yes, we  answer them right in each listing in our online store!)

  • How do they grow: what shape they will grow up to be?
  • How much will they grow per year?
  • What do they need to stay happy and healthy in your miniature garden?
  • What are the water needs?
  • Do you know how to tell when to water so you don’t overwater or underwater??
  • Can it even grow in your area?

If you’re buying plants without answering these questions, you’re not taking advantage of our experience and expertise at our Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com. All of our customers can get hands-on advice specific to your planting needs – just for being our customer! 

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From our Instagram feed. The miniature garden bed, full of texture and color, looks like a full-sized garden bed. How fun is that? The green lobe-shaped leaves are miniature daisies, about 1/2″ long. 

Miniature Garden Plants is Our Specialty!

 

3. Buy from a nursery that has fresh plant stock each season.  Many of the copy-cat online nurseries that attempt to specialize in true miniature and dwarf trees get their plant stock once a year: IN THE SPRING. That’s why you will see plants on sale right now, because they are leftovers. You may be getting a great bargain – but it’s not – that plant has been sitting on their store shelf for the last six months, in the hot weather, getting completely stressed out and is definitely root bound by now. Our trees and shrubs, and because we ONLY focus on miniature gardening, are FRESH each and every season. We are able to order in small batches from our high-quality grower to keep our inventory at the highest quality for YOU, our Fellow Miniature Gardener.

A wee bud on a dwarf fir is getting ready to burst. If you only plant in the spring, you'll miss the show that these plants put on!

A wee bud on a dwarf fir is getting ready to burst. If you only plant in the spring, you’ll miss the show and have to wait for another full year before they do it again!

On top of saving time and money by planting this fall, here are more great reasons:

  •  You don’t have to wait a year for results, enjoy the spring flush IN the season! If you plant your miniature garden now, you can enjoy the spring flush of growth at its prime. The lime-green buds that emerge from the tips of the miniature spruces, hemlocks and firs are so soft and bright, you’ll giggle with delight. The buds (called candles) of the wee mugo pines magically flush out in tiny, softer growth, you’ll wonder how they do that.
  • You can witness the spring with the deciduous trees too, (deciduous = lose their leaves in the fall) as the little baby leaves quietly unfurl on the small branches. The spring flush of growth is often so magical, you can see the leaves growing. So if you wait and plant it in the spring, you’ll miss it – have you will to wait a full year before experiencing the awesomeness of spring in your miniature garden.
  • You can appreciate the winter’s blush for months. Many of the conifer’s foliage change color in the colder temperatures and will give you a colorful show to enjoy in the winter months when you need it most. The miniature and dwarf hinoki cypress change to a wide variety of colors, plum, amber, purple and orange. The cryptomerias blush purple as do the junipers. The arborvitae turn a wonderful, solid amber color that looks great in the gray of winter. If you plant now you can appreciate this colorful wonder of nature for the winter THIS year. 
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Showtime! More winter bonuses by planting in the fall months: you get to see the entire cycle right now – no waiting another year to find out what you’ve missed! Above, the Pusch Dwarf Norway Spruce has cones from last year mixed with the new growth and emerging cones for a fantastic delightful experience.

So you don’t have to shut-down your miniature gardening just because winter is coming. You still have plenty of time to get your miniature garden or fairy garden ideas planted in the ground before it freezes.

See our plants by zone here.
See our plants by light here.

Remember that miniature gardening is, indeed, a season-less hobby because you can always, always, always plant a container garden at anytime of year.

More useful blogs:

Winterizing Your Miniature or Fairy Gardens
About getting your in-ground gardens ready for the winter.

Keep Gardening This Winter with Indoor Miniature Gardens
Includes dish gardening and terrarium information.

For the Love of Conifers: The Winter’s Blush
Dwarf and mini conifers change with the seasons too.

Winterizing Your Miniature Garden And Containers
A few tips on winterizing your containers from central Ontario – the land of icy tundra!

Like this? Well then join thousands of other like-minded miniature gardeners and sign up for the world’s ONLY regular miniature garden newsletter, The Mini Garden Gazette. It’s FREE and delivered straight to your inbox each Friday. Sign up here.

Gardening in Miniature, now in it's 5th printing!

We wrote the book on it. Click the pic to see more.

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Round-Up: More About Miniature Garden Plants

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Some of the plants used for our Northwest Flower and Garden Show display were chosen as experiments to see how fast they grow up. The Parahebe, the small plant in front of the big Hinoki tree in the front blue pot, ‘looked’ like a good possibility – until it grew up.

Round-Up: More About Miniature Garden Plants

I STILL do it!

I always fall for the cutest little plants, especially when they are in flower. I buy it, plant it and watch it grow – and grow and grow and grow! So not cool if you are a miniature gardener.

So. Not. Cool. If your the world renown expert on miniature gardening either. Thankfully you have me to make these mistakes for you!

;o)

After all, we ARE looking from them to stay small or grow really slowly.

I’m getting a lot of emails lately asking about what kind of plants to use for miniature gardening – or how to find out what works in your backyard and what doesn’t. So I put this mini-directory together of previous blogs that have touched upon the subject in various ways. If your question isn’t answered here, please do let me know.

How to Find the Plants

This is part four of our beginner series. You’ll find the links to the rest of the series in the post. These are the steps to take for indoor and outdoor plants:

https://minigardener.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/miniature-gardening-104-how-to-find-the-plants/

Examples of What to Look For

The main points of what to look for with a few examples of plants that we like:

https://minigardener.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/miniature-garden-plants-examples-of-what-to-look-for/

Ad-FallPlanting - 1

Secrets to Success

In this post, I talk about some of the plants that trick us into thinking they would work – until they grow up:

https://minigardener.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/miniature-garden-plants-secrets-to-success/

About the Plants Behind the Winning Gardens

From our annual Miniature Garden Contest – I break down the plants that each winner used in their miniature gardens:

https://minigardener.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/an-inside-peak-at-the-miniature-plants-in-the-award-winning-gardens/

The Meaning of “Dwarf” and “Miniature”

Dwarf and miniature are often used in the names of plants to help sell them – which can be misleading. Here are the definitions and what we mean by “dwarf” and “miniature:”

https://minigardener.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/miniature-dwarf-plants-the-true-meaning/

Signs of the Plant’s Demise So You Can Prevent It

A discussion on the signals that plants give you when they are not happy. Notice the signs, save the plant.

https://minigardener.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/how-plants-die/

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

NWFGS miniature garden container

Four months later: the Parahebe sure has pretty flowers – that have overgrown the scale of the miniature garden! I’ll transfer it to one of my in-ground miniature gardens in the fall.

What Can be Grown in your Area?

The very best way to get to know what plants work in your area is your local garden center or nursery – NOT a big box store. You know, one of those cozy, plant-laden stores where you hear a soothing fountain off in the corner, the air is thick with humidity and you have to duck under trees and walk over the hose to get to the cashier – and this is inside the building – THAT kind garden center.

Take some time and walk around and get a feel for where they have the plants at the nursery.  You should find the right plants in the right place too. Note the zone info and what kind of soil they recommend for the plant (and use NO potting soil with added fertilizers!) Then you can retreat home and look again at the space that you are thinking for your miniature garden if you haven’t decided that yet.

Find the tested, tried and true miniature garden trees, shrubs and plants here, up in our online store. We have the best shipping methods and we ship safely all year long!

Here’s a quick-list of what you are looking for:

  • Miniature or slow-growing dwarf trees or shrubs
  • Groundcovers
  • Rockery Plants
  • Alpine Plants
  • Sedums & Succulents (small leafed, of course)

For a complete discussion of the trees, shrubs and plants for miniature gardening, look forward to the first comprehensive book on miniature gardening from Timber Press:

Gardening in Miniature

Now available for through Amazon.com, or wherever books are sold. To order your signed-by-the-author copy, from our online store, click here

Join us for more fun in the miniature garden and sign up for our FREE weekly Mini Garden Gazette newsletter. You’ll get a free PDF, The Best of the Mini Garden Gazette delivered straight to your inbox after you confirm your subscription through your email. Join us here.

 

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CUTE ALERT! How to Make the World’s Smallest Miniature Garden!

 

Miniature Garden Kits by Two Green Thumbs! Make a miniature garden for your miniature garden.

Miniature Garden Kits by Two Green Thumbs. Make a miniature garden for your miniature garden.

CUTE ALERT! How to Make the World’s Smallest Miniature Garden!

Okay, you know how I always tell you that miniature gardens can make anyone smile? I mean anyone? Well here is another way to guarantee that smile and possibly some giggles too: a miniature garden for your miniature garden! The perfect size to go next to a chair on the patio, on the edge of your mini cedar deck, tuck it underneath a miniature tree or use it to fill in an empty spot in the garden bed. Got a miniature house in your fairy garden? Place two pots on either side of the door for a great welcome for your fairy guests!

It’s all in one lil’ kit and only from your friend’s at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center where we are truly and unequivocally (good word, huh? ;o) are obsessed with anything miniature garden.

Miniature Garden Kits by Two Green Thumbs

The tiny gardens can fit in almost any sized miniature garden. It’s in one of our older boxwood gardens above. The wall in the back is made from the Mini Patio Mix Kit too.

We have them up in our Etsy store where we put all our weird and wonderful ideas to be tested. Each kit is a bit different, you’ll find a variety of different accessories in each kit, from Buddhas and birdbaths. See our Etsy store here. Now, quantities are limited so if you click in and find them sold out, check back or get in touch through here, or through any of our websites, to be notified when more are in stock.

Now make sure you leave at least a few minutes to complete this project. Lol!

We use our miniature sedum cuttings, together with our exclusive Mini Patio Mix, for this little kit. The Mini Patio Mix is the perfect scale for the tiny gardens AND there are three pots with enough plants to go ’round –  so call your friends over for a True Miniature Garden Party!

There’s a full-color instruction booklet included too – you’ll learn how to make any sized miniature garden. How fun is that? Especially with the holiday gift-giving season soon approaching. See them here.

Check out our new short video below – it may be too short – Lol! Leave any comments or questions below.

 

 

For any part of the kit, a la carte, please visit our store, we’re America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center.

Like this? Join us and thousands of other like-minded miniature gardeners for your weekly dose of cuteness and fun, delivered straight to your inbox each Friday, the world’s only newsletter completely dedicated to the hobby of gardening in miniature: The Mini Garden Gazette. Sign up through the front page of our main website here: www.TwoGreenThumbs.com. Added bonus for subscribers besides a free PDF is our newsletter list gets first dibs on anything we produce. Join us! 

Miniature Garden Kits by Two Green Thumbs

Snuggle it into a garden bed for added interest!

 

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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.

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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.

Want to dig deeper into the huge world of gardening in miniature? Join us and thousands of other like-minded people for your weekly Mini Garden Gazette delivered straight to your inbox, each Friday. Join us here.

 

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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

If you liked this, checkout the other crafty, garden fun we are having here.
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Dog Days of Summer Sale at Your Miniature Garden Center!

HeatWaveSaleBlog

 

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!

We are
America’s Favorite
Miniature Garden Center
TwoGreenThumbs.com

 

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.

 

Your Miniature Garden Center

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.

Like this? You’ll love our weekly Mini Garden Gazette! It’s free and you get our free pdf, The Best of the Mini Garden Gazette #1, just for signing up. Join us here.

 

Gardening in Miniature, now in it's 5th printing!

The bestselling book on the hobby! Click in to get your autographed copy or find it on Amazon.com! 

 

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