Miniature Gardening 105: Sizing up Your Miniature Accessories
Whew! What a world-wind of miniature garden ideas everywhere you look. If you haven’t been by your local, independent garden center lately, you’d better go check them out – they just may have gone to the fairies too.
[For links to the previous lessons in this series, go here.]
And as the fairy garden trend flits and flutters its way through your garden this summer, a popular question has probably come to mind: How do you know what size or scale your fairy garden stuff is?
If you are a lot like us, sticklers for scale here at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center, you would like to know – you need to know – the scale you are working in, in order to inject the realism that is the magic of miniature gardening. So, here’s a quick guide to figuring that out.
To help illustrate the scale, here are two popular items for any type of miniature garden to use as a comparison for your items. Measure the inside of the doorframe, or the height of the bench, and use the chart below to figure out the scale of your accessories.
|Size of Door,
|Scale, written three
|6” – 7” tall||1 ⅜” – 1 ⅝”||1” scale, large size, 1:12|
|3” – 4” tall||⅜” – ⅝”||½” scale, medium size, 1:24|
|1 ¼” – 1 ½” tall||¼” – ⅜”||¼” scale, small size, 1:48|
And here’s a summary of scale across the miniature industry:
The Dollhouse Miniature industry divides their miniature scales up to manageable sizes that take a little getting used to, but once you get the math behind it, it becomes easier with use: one-inch, half-inch and quarter-inch scale. Each scale is half the size of the other, where the unit of scale is equal to one foot in “full-size.” This is the scale we’ve adapted to in our miniature gardens and we’ve used it with success over the years.
The Garden Railroaders use G-Scale, or 1:22 scale. This is closest to the half-inch dollhouse scale. The other scales that the model railroaders use are very plentiful and all over the board. Their scale is based on the width of the railroad tracks which are made by many different manufacturers attempting to dominate the hobby with their line of trains and, in my opinion, have made a wonderful hobby difficult to digest unless you only stick with one manufacturer. Look for the ratio (the 1:? number) of the item, if it is close to the scale you are using, you can probably get away with it in your miniature garden. You can always “eyeball it” too, and see if it ‘“looks” like it’s in scale with the other items in the garden. (Don’t try this if you are entering a miniature contest, they do get their rulers out and will measure everything to check the scale.)
The Fairy Garden accessories have been made with little regard to scale too. Most of them, when mixing them with the miniature garden accessories, the scales are all over the place. Even the sizes within each manufacturer don’t appear to match. So, my best advice is to pick your fairy, then pick the furniture or house. The measurement of her ankles to the back of her knees will tell you the size of the bench she can “sit” on and you can refer to the chart above for the scale.
I hope that helps you inject some realism into your fairy gardens – its the attention to scale creates the enchantment, ultimately.
Use our handy ‘Shop by Scale’ section of our online store to keep it simple for you!