Miniature Gardens vs. Fairy Gardens – What is the Difference?
I opened up a little can of worms the other day on our Facebook page.
Thankfully, I’m a little hardcore when it comes to gardening, I like worms.
A couple of weeks ago, I created a post for the Facebook page that linked to a series of fairy gardens on HGTV.com and suggested that they should start hanging out with us “real miniature gardeners.” I must admit, that was a bit hasty in retrospect, but I didn’t mean to offend anyone so here’s an explanation of where that comment came from.
The first picture in the album was of a couple of windows and a door nailed to a tree with a fairy in front of it. Inside the album, however, there were a couple of pictures that were very pretty little miniature fairy gardens, and pictures of a fairy house and a gnome house.
“Why?” asked Patti Sherwood, the founder and leader of the Miniature and Fairy Garden forum on Garden Share.com “… because I truly believe that every attempt at creating a garden of any kind should be applauded and not criticized.”
That was a great question, Patti, and you made an even better point.
But I felt like Martha Stewart. She is always made fun of because of her quest for excellence and perfection. But, you know what? She raised our game. Martha made us want for a better home and a better life through the domestic arts. Heck, we didn’t even call it “domestic arts” until she did! It was called housework and cooking. How unglamorous.
Yes, I think every attempt at gardening should be applauded, especially because plants help the air, our stress levels and the environment, visually and environmentally.
But, promoting any type of gardening is not what I do. My focus is living miniature gardening.
“Lettuce define our terms.”
– Kermit the Frog
The term ‘miniature garden’ is an all-encompassing phrase for any small sized garden, living or artificial. It can be as big as a small backyard or as small as a thimble-sized terrarium. Dish gardens, bonsai, penjing, rock gardening, railroad gardening, gnome gardening, tray gardening, windowsill gardening, teacup gardening, terrariums, vivariums and Wardian cases are all types of miniature gardens. I’ve probably missed some too.
But they are not literally a living garden in miniature.
So here is the definition of our type of miniature gardening. (Yes, it is my own, I can not think of who else would have the authority and perspective to define it so I’ll claim it.)
Definition: A miniature garden is the perfect blend of tiny trees, plants, hardscaping and garden accessories that are in scale with one another to create a lasting, living garden scene or vignette.Living Miniature Gardens include plants, patio/paths and an accessory all in scale with one another.
And maybe that’s it, right there.
Our miniature gardens should be called Living Miniature Gardens to separate our type of miniature gardening from the rest of the group.
And as a leader and a professional (like HGTV.com) I feel it is part of my job to bring out the best miniature gardener in everybody.
So, when one is adding a fairy figure to a bunch of plants and calling it a miniature garden, that isn’t quite right, it is a fairy garden.
A window and door hammered onto a tree is not a miniature garden. It could lead to one – but I would be hard-pressed to even call it a garden. Where are the plants?
A sign propped up in the corner with a fairy a pebble path is a fairy garden, not a “miniature garden” even though it is cute as a button.
And the “Our Favorite Miniature Gardens” on the HGTV.com site was an album of fairy gardens, or miniature fairy gardens, if you will.
Do you agree? Leave a comment below about my current definition of what we do here at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center and help us define what we do so we can continue to share, enjoy and create living miniature gardens.