Miniature Gardening Lesson: Don’t Eat Yellow Snow

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Snow in the Miniature Garden

Experimenting with the different types of snow for miniature gardening is fun – until you have to clean it up.

Miniature Gardening Lesson: Don’t Eat Yellow Snow

Snow in the Miniature Garden

Different options from the top left, going clockwise: Iridescent Confetti Random Cut, Quilt Batting, Insta Snow to Go, Plastic Winter Snow. Click to enlarge.

My father used to say, “Don’t eat yellow snow.” when we did something wrong that was quite obvious that it was the wrong thing to do in the first place. He also preached, “Don’t eat the road apples.” and “Please don’t eat the daisies.” quoted from the book of the same name. (I wonder why all of these sayings were food related?)

So it was the first thing that came to mind when I did this little miniature gardening experiment with fake snow. I know, I know, some of you are up to your eyeballs in snow this year and here I am trying to fake it. But hey, that’s what makes horse races. (Another fatherly maxim – non-food related though! ;o)

Snow in the Miniature Garden

Faking it with quilting batting kinda works if you “be the blizzard” and tuck a little here and there, creating mini snow drifts. But, hey, it can be cleaned up in minutes without harming the plants.

We have been collecting a few different kinds of artificial snow over the years to see what would look good and be safe for the plants in the miniature garden. We didn’t test them all to be honest – there’s something about sprinkling bits of non-biodegradable plastic on a living garden that I could not overcome. And, I imagined the little tiny bits of snow still there in the middle of summer, stuck in the soil glittering in the sunshine. So when I found this Insta-Snow-to-Go that was non-toxic and environmentally safe, I thought it was worth a shot.

Snow in the Miniature Garden

Insta Snow mixes quickly and easily.

Add some water to the Insta-Snow-to-Go powder and it is an “eruption of fluffy snow.” It is a kind of polymer that absorbs the water, expands in size and kinda looks like snow. I mixed it on the dry side so I could sprinkle it on the garden in an attempt to make it look natural. And I did try sprinkling it dry and then spritz it with water that worked okay as well.

The Insta-Snow was great for the first day, but then it started to absorb the water from the soil and discolored the snow. Ick. Ick and more ick. Perhaps if I kept it on the dry areas – but it’s a garden where water is not an optional component – so no, I’m not sold on this as a solution.

Snow in the Miniature Garden

I mixed it to stay on the dry side to sprinkle it on the garden. Too much water makes the Insta Snow really mushy.

I sure wish life had an “Undo” button. Now, see the photos below on how to get it OUT of your garden!

There are other solutions for miniature snow that the dollhouse world and the model railroaders have come up with if you are working with dry environments. Some recommend white glue and cotton, others work as a plaster that you paint on. If you would like to go deeper, here is more insight into using miniature snow from our fellow-lover-of-everything-miniature, Lesley Shepard from the About.com Miniatures blog.

You can find most of the different kinds of snow mentioned here at your local craft store, or do a search on this here Interweb.

Otherwise, the snow that works best in the real living miniature garden is still real snow!

Did you find this useful? Then you’ll love our FREE monthly Mini Garden Gazette, we are all about miniature gardening. Sign up here. 

Removing snow from your miniature garden

Insta Snow turns brown and mushy when it in contact with the potting soil.

 

Removing snow from your miniature garden

Because it’s so wet – and will stay wet, it will suffocate any plant material.

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Removing snow from your miniature garden

This mini garden is established so I knew I could tip it over and spray off the snow.

Removing snow from your miniature garden

The spray bottle wasn’t working so I got the water can which really helped wash off the garden. But there’s still snow in the shrubbery that didn’t wash out! Ick.

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7 Comments »

  1. So your dad was Frank Zappa? Cool. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf7zF6lSlOk

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  2. […] Want to add snow? Here’s what we found out about that idea – click here. […]

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  3. […] Janet teaches you how to use snow in your fairy garden! […]

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  4. Terri Draheim said

    I love your website and your humor. Also, I realized that I am limited as to what small decor I can put in my planters. My puppy ate one of my miniature dogs I got from you. geez !!

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    • Hi Terri! Thanks for your kind note. My puppy (now a “big” puppy at a 1 1/2 years) loved anything I had in my miniature gardens: figures, benches, rocks…!! I had to take everything out but I’m putting them back in slowly as she gets older – it’s working so far except for the driftwood logs and stumps that she totally loves. They looked so plain without that lil’ accessory, it really does make the garden complete.

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  5. […] Thinking of trying artificial snow? Read this before you do: Miniature Garden Lesson. […]

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