UPDATE: Miniature Garden Therapy Mission: Spark Joy!

Miniature Garden at the Washington Old Soldier's Home

Operation Spark Joy continues! Steve and I headed south to the Old Soldier’s Home in Orting, Wa., to check in on the garden and to decorate it for the Fourth.

Miniature Garden at the Washington Old Soldier’s Home

Hey! It’s working! The response we’re getting from our miniature garden that we built on behalf of The Miniature Garden Society at the Old Soldier’s Home in Orting, Wa., is collecting some terrific feedback! As we mentioned in the first blog, and as I was reminded of when I was speaking with one of the staff members, the staff is enjoying it just as much as the residents are. Lol!

But, I didn’t prepare for the one “being” that loves it too: SQUIRREL! I knew they were a bit of a pest from the feedback from the other gardeners, but I didn’t expect to lose entire plants to them. Our go-to method to deter these critters is cayenne pepper, (see our squirrel-blog here,) but it’s a public garden and I will never be sure who’s going to play in it. I am going to try planting larger plants instead, with deeper roots.

Anyway, here are the updated photos, click to enlarge (but I’m not sure this works on all platforms.) If you want to compare them to the initial planting, it’s here. You can see a lot of the more-fragile plants didn’t make it – and they were mostly Sedums that didn’t have a lot of roots at the time. An interesting lesson.


Miniature Garden at the Washington Old Soldier's Home

Our farmer’s fields will start to look better in the fall. The silo is holding up well.



Miniature Garden at the Washington Old Soldier's Home

The micro gravel around the base of the silo was completely gone, so we hid the board with soil instead.


Miniature Garden at the Washington Old Soldier's Home

What Hens and Chick were left were a bit tattered. I haven’t found out why they aren’t doing well compared to the rest of the ground covers. We’ll fix them next time! :o)



Miniature Garden at the Washington Old Soldier's Home

This chair was one of my experiments for my new Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book that is making its way to your local bookstore – or find it up on our online store here. I found an easier way to do the stars that became the project in the book.


Miniature Garden at the Washington Old Soldier's Home

We met Gus this time and he told us that he keeps people from touching the garden all the time – he told us to keep our hands off too before we told him what we were there for. We’ve since named him “Gus, the Guardian of the Garden.”


Find out how to make this Tree Dress that is very quick and easy to install, from our bestselling Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book, click the ad above!



  1. Melinda said

    If the squirrels are going after the sedums, could they be thirsty? Aaaand, if they’re thirsty, possibly putting an alternative water source close by would help them leave the garden bits alone? That sometimes works in veggie gardens.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Here’s an UPDATE! We visited the OSH to decorate the garden for the Fourth. See it here. […]


  3. Suzanne said

    Squirrels and chipmunks, the bane of this miniature gardener’s existence! Cayenne works somewhat, but don’t forget to reapply after rain. Also, here in GA, this seems to be worse seasonally, with spring and fall ramping up activity. My theory is they are burying or digging up their cache of food! Also try bird netting, securely anchored with wooden skewers. Unsightly but less heartbreak. You can also confuse them for a bit by moving the garden to a different spot, closer to a well used door is good. These are smart, adaptive critters, they will keep you on your toes!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] was working on a miniature garden for the Miniature Garden Society‘s outreach program and a fellow miniature gardener brought out an angel statue to see if it […]


  5. Barbara said

    At the time you installed this was probably nesting season for all types of animals. The tiny gravel the girds use year-round to help with swallowing also called gizzard stones. We lose all kinds of things in our spring mini-gardens. Even things that are glued in! Refurbish and hope for the best!


    • Thanks, Barbara. One of the fellas was tending to the garden and mixed the gravel into the soil.


RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Thoughts and Opinions:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: