Award Winning Gardener Goes Miniature

You can see fellow miniature gardener, Patty Steele-Smith, and her gardens, at Edmond's Studio Art Tour this weekend.

You can see fellow miniature gardener, Patty Steele-Smith, and her gardens, at Edmond's Studio Art Tour this weekend.

A Garden For All: Award winning gardener goes miniature

By Janit Calvo
September 18, 2009

The Northwest is home to many creative talents of all types, whether you’re baking bread or blowing glass, but there is still a difference in being artistic and being a true artist.

I’ve had the pleasure in recent years to get to know one of the true ones, a customer turned friend, Patty Steele-Smith.

Patty’s work encompasses many different forms: two and three dimensional sculpture, ceramics, art cards, installation gardens, and, you must have seen this one coming, miniature gardens.

Patty is an award-winning gardener for her life-sized gardens. She has won the Edmonds in Bloom award since 2002, The Golden Scoop Award from the Pacific Northwest Gardens in 2006, and the Edmonds in Bloom Garden Tour in 2007.

You can see her work on her website and this weekend up in Edmonds, too – but first, let me tell you a bit more about who she is and how we met.

A couple of years ago, Patty called me up one day asking about my mini garden classes. I didn’t have any that were scheduled, and she pressed about a one-on-one class. Sure! Why not? I never taught a solo class and she sounded like a keen learner, so we booked a day to meet.

My goal, with any class, is to give the student(s) as many ideas as would fit in their heads. I did the same with Patty that day, and she drank them in like water. It was a fun afternoon spent together as I told all about the plants, the processes, and accessories, while we built a little miniature garden for her to take home.

Little did I know how much she would take to the idea. I often wonder about the people that I’ve taught – if they are still practicing the art of miniature gardening, or just did that one in class.

Since that day, Patty has taken the miniature garden idea and applied her own style and sense to her creations. As an avid student of Feng Shui, and a lover and traveler, of Asia, her miniature worlds have a calmness about them that can instantly transport you – you don’t really want to stand on that bridge, or sit on that bench and meditate, because you are already there.

Now you can checkout Patty’s miniature gardens, and her other art on her Web site at: Also, be sure the look under “Installation-Environment” on the top menu on her Web site where she has pictures of her past, award-winning gardens.

And more good news: Patty will be showing her most recent miniature gardens – and her garden and artwork – at this weekend’s Art Studio Tour in Edmonds, Wash. this weekend, Sept. 19th and 20.

See you there!


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