THIS BLOG IS AN EXTENSION AND CONTINUATION OF MY COLUMN/BLOG FOR THE WEST SEATTLE HERALD (THUS THE BACKDATING) AND CREATED FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF MY BELOVED CUSTOMERS AND FELLOW MINIATURE GARDENERS.
A Garden For All: An introduction.
By Janit Calvo
December 4, 2008
“I’m well known in my own mind.”
I’m the one either crazy enough, or brilliant enough, to pursue, and renew, the old hobby of Miniature Gardening, or should I say Gardening in Miniature?
It’s now a trend that is snowballing around the United States and the world. If you look hard enough, you’ll see someone doing it.
The term “Miniature Gardening” tends to be a blanket term for any small garden. Whether it is a series of small pots on a windowsill, a terrarium, a fairy garden, or a bonsai subject, it is a miniature garden. However, a true “Garden in Miniature” has all the elements of life-sized garden, but, of course, in miniature. Meaning, it must look genuine, the scale isn’t rigid but everything should be in proportion to itself, it should include something man-made and, it must be made of real plants. (Whew, you don’t know how much I dawdled over that definition!)
I stumbled across this idea about 10 years ago, when developing a greeting card line based on 1/6 scale or 2″ scale miniatures. (Think Barbie or GI Joe size.) Steve, my husband, is really to blame for opening this can of worms, as he was super bored one day, one…fateful…day…
We had a lot of fun creating different scaled scenes for the greeting cards. The obvious occasions were gone through: Valentine, Christmas, wedding, birthday, etc., and the next natural progression, was to get outside and try some garden scenes.
I was working at a big nursery at the time, and picked up a couple of baby cypress trees and some groundcovers and happily went home to create my wee world. I laid down a small flagstone patio, I “hauled” in some decorative stone for the garden beds, “installed” a fence and made the cutest garden ever.
It stayed together for years (the box I made fell apart before the garden did!) and, of course, the compliments flowed too.
The next step was to make more, as friends were asking for them for gifts.
I went online and found nothing. I went to other nurseries throughout the city and found nothing. I Googled, and Googled for hours and still came up with nothing. This darling, charming idea, so low maintenance and so incredibly fun and easy to do, no one was doing it! The world could not be without it, should not be without it; it’s too cute!
And now, the trend has begun, the monster is unleashed. My business, Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center is now five years old with an incredible online presence that is just three years old. Incredible, because of my fellow miniature gardeners, that is. Some, are as far away as South Africa, Australia, Netherlands, England, Russia, Iraq and Afghanistan. I have customers in almost every state too, although I’m still waiting for Alaskans to catch on, it think that’s the only state that I’m missing now.
It’s fun. It’s doable. It’s green. And now everyone can have a garden to tend. And, oh ya, welcome to my blog.