A Miniature Garden Manifesto

A Miniature Garden Manifesto by Expert Miniature Gardener, Janit Calvo

If you’ve been following me for a while, you have probably noticed that I’ve taken a step back from my websites and my online stores this past year. I didn’t write new blogs every single week, I didn’t search far and wide for new plants and accessories like I have been for the past 19 years, I wasn’t customizing nor creating one-of-a-kind miniatures and kits to help keep me on “top of the relentless social media pile,” and, I even got a full-sized garden design job to help drag me out of my funk.

You know, it worked.

Welcome to My 2020 Miniature Garden Manifesto.

1. I Seek My Own Counsel & Create My Own Ideas:

I believe that businesses must come up with their own solutions to their own problems in order to remain innovative for their customers. I do not wait and watch other businesses and “experts” to copy their ideas – I create my own. I am not pretending to be the world-renown authority at gardening in miniature – I just am, because I’ve been dedicated to it pretty much full-time for 20 years now. At Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center, I’m always coming up with my own solutions to the “problems” that this new hobby and business presents, which is why I remain the leader of the hobby regardless. And however often I am imitated by other businesses, I know I will never be duplicated.

2. I Have the Principles:

I believe that integrity and authenticity is critical right now for all people and all businesses. While this stance often negatively affects my bottom-line and rarely puts me in good standing with media companies, I just can’t seem to compromise. Throughout my 20 years of working on this hobby, I’ve had numerous opportunities to “sell-out” just to make a buck if I shut my mouth, suck-up to the supposed industry “leaders” and go with the crowd as others have done. But, with everything I do, I bring my principles with me and I see no other choice especially if I want to sleep at night. I always operate from my truths, look at the customer’s viewpoint AND the environmental viewpoint, to make sure it’s something that I am proud to do or to offer my customers and followers.

3. I Take Pride in Excellence Customer Service:

I believe it is imperative to treat my customers how I would want to be treated. If it doesn’t work, I’ll tell you. If we’ve made a mistake, I’ll tell you and we’ll do our best to fix it. And if I see something happening in our hobby that doesn’t work or is horrible for the environment – I will tell you that too. And if I find folks that try to take advantage of our kindness, I will politely and gently tell them to not confuse our kindness with our strength. With my expert plant-packer Steve, we will continue to offer our excellent customer service to all our customers.

4. I Stand Apart but Never Alone:

I believe in sharing the joy of miniatures through gardening even though I don’t quite fit into either the garden industry nor the miniature industry. I’ve never clamored for the attention of the garden media, nor the “dollhouse miniature influencers,” just to get my name retweeted or mentioned in their social media channels. I have relied on my own work and my own ingenuity to demonstrate who I am and what I do because that’s what has attracted YOU, my fellow miniature gardener wherever you are, to my work. That’s it – there is no con-job, no flashy offers and no lying or pretending about what I do, I’m not chasing the next “big thing” – it’s just me.  And at TwoGreenThumbs.com, we ARE VERY different than any other business and, I’ve realized that I don’t really want to fit into any kind of norm either because that would be boring.

5. I Know This to be True

So, while your local garden centers and industry “leaders” are packing up the fairy gardens because they aren’t making enough money anymore, I will continue to grow and weave our magic into garden and miniature history regardless. I recognized two decades ago that miniature gardening was a real and genuine hobby – not a trend like the garden industry created with fairy gardening – and I’ll keep promoting miniature gardening not only because it’s a joy for me, but because it brings you joy too.

And I as I continue to research, collect, refine and share all things gardening in miniature through this blog, my online Two Green Thumbs store and my Miniature Garden Society, you are more than welcome to come along for the ride! Together we will make and create a hobby of our very own.

And yes, the fairies are more than welcome to join us!

All the plants, parts and pieces shown in the photos are from our online store, TwoGreenThumbs.com!

Like this? Here are THREE ways to get more:

For the Lurker: Check out our main headquarters over at MiniatureGarden.com – it’s got a bunch of videos, info and links to our socials and websites!

For the Dabbler: Join us for your FREE Mini Garden Gazette almost every weekend. I only send out a Gazette once a week, I never share your info and I always try to be fun and informative.

For the Deep-Diver: Join us over at the Miniature Garden Society! Join now and you will get access to the complete site and all that entails:

  •  Including all the published and future eBooks,
  • Access to the Forums,
  • Access to the Business of Gardening in Miniature,
  • Access to the Fairy Garden Section
  • AND, a standing 15% discount for our online store.

This membership level will be closing soon as the site is getting too big (!) BUT if you join us NOW you’ll get access to it ALL. See more about our Miniature Garden Society here.

20 thoughts on “A Miniature Garden Manifesto

  1. Thank you for all you do for all you do! I love all of your ideas and products!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww! Thank you Tina – 😍 and thank you for following my work and your feedback! 😁


  2. I have been a miniaturist for many, many years, and I’ve loved your work from the beginning, and I especially treasure your books. You have such a great eye for details !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Maria! I really appreciate that – it’s so encouraging, thank you! ❤


  3. Heather Whitman 18/01/2020 — 7:20 pm

    Great Manifesto! No one speaks like this any more. I was delighted to hear your attitude and work ethic. Thanks for what you do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Janit, I loved reading your manifesto. It really struck a cord with me. Miniature gardening may be seen as a fad with the nursery industry if they are pulling it off their shelves. (I’ve witnessed it here at my favorite local nursery) But in no way, shape or form is it a fad or temporary hobby for myself. I saw it as an exciting discovery a couple of years back when I got into it. Since when has gardening been a “fad”? It’s not, and neither is it in miniature. I grew up with a love of gardening and always will. I became a master gardener about 17-18 years ago. I’m passionate about it. Gardening in miniature has opened up a whole new fun world to me. It all started when I saw simple door on a tree on my sister in laws Facebook feed, she was on a walk and snapped a picture of it. I was fascinated with the cute scene, and that lead me to research it. I was so excited when I ordered your book from Amazon, Gardening in Miniature. I was like “OMG this is so cool and look what I can make!” That was back in 2017. Since then it’s lead me to build many little doors of my own to put on trees and build miniature gardens around them for myself, friend and family. If you would have told me a few years ago I’d be asking for power tools for Christmas I would have said you’re nuts! 😆 Now I’m a member of the local woodworking guild and actually going out of town the spring to take a week long wood working class. I really enjoy making my own items with wood, copper, brass and stone for my miniature gardens. Look what you started!
    Because of your book and website I’ve discovered all kinds of cool miniature plants and trees I’m growing in my miniature gardens.
    Keep up the good work. Because you are so right when you say “it brings me joy”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Barb! So many thanks for being with me on this adventure! I had to “LOL” when I read about you wanting power tools for Christmas – now THAT’S totally awesome that it’s opened up a different world for you! I think women and power tools are a perfect combo! Thank YOU for all your inspiration too – I love following your very creative posts on Instagram (@barbosborn123) Can’t wait to see what you come up with next. Thank you for the wonderful note! ❤


  5. Karen Taylor 19/01/2020 — 6:29 am

    You go, girlfriend!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You & Steve do a great & original job. Customer service is # one & while I never have any complaints- only that I live on the east coast- & can’t grow everything you can. I have emailed & called with questions and you have always been very quick to answer. Janit even did some research on a Hebe that I knew wasn’t hardy in my zone & got back to me. The Hebe is in a sunny window & still alive, lots of brown leaves but still hanging in there. You have great accessories but what I love best are the plants . Each one has a zone & how best to grow it . They arrive in Vermont some 2000 miles looking like the picture . Lots of ideas & I love the pictures of gardens several years old & the same ones newly planted. I am very happy that you “do your own thing” . Keep up the good work – you guys are the BEST !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you Diane! And thanks for being with us for so many years! It’s been more than a pleasure to have you on this journey! ❤


  7. Suzanne Norman 21/01/2020 — 8:15 am

    Janit, thank you for sharing, that is something your followers love about you. You and Steve are two of the most authentic and ethical folks in the business. You opened up such a vast world of miniature garden delights to me, which I have gladly shared, I can never thank you enough. You are indeed the queen of the genre. Your eye for detail and perspective, your creative, playful take on tiny natural worlds, cannot be topped. You are one of those lucky people who found what you love and figured out how to make a living at it. Thank you for being you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww chucks, Suzanne! You make me blush every time I read this. Lol! Thank you for these wonderful words of encouragement. While it’s still a labor of love, I’ve come to realize it’s my calling, however whimsical and weird it may be! :o) Thank you for being on this journey with me. ❤


  8. I’m a fan of your store and your gazette!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Comment Via Email:

    Hi Janit,
    I enjoyed your manifesto and learning that you have been at this for so many years. I just started about 3 ½ years ago when I retired from teaching after 37+ years. It rang true to me that one of the beautiful nurseries in our area “suddenly” stopped carrying fairy garden accessories and supplies. I’m sure it was the bottom line that brought it on. I just wish you were located right in the SF Bay Area! I specialize in dish gardens as we have downsized and no longer have a garden, but we do have a veranda. I currently have five gardens and have made many as gifts. I enjoy personalizing them and am currently making one for a teacher who is having her first child, a girl. This hobby is definitely my happy place! Thank you for your weekly gazette.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Comment Via Email:

    Hi Janet,

    I just read your Miniature Garden Manifesto and just wanted you to know that I loved your honesty and appreciated you sharing your story. You’re amazing!

    Blessings to you and yours

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Comment Via Email:

    You GO Girl! Your Manifesto is awesome, your integrity shines through, and I appreciate and applaud your dedication!

    I also very much appreciate your guidance when you replied to my question recently about caring for my gardens through the deep freeze. (They look to be surviving ok so far).
    I had not realized the “fairy garden” fad had passed till this summer when I went looking for inspiration in my local (Canadian) nurseries, and there were no miniatures to be found. I look forward to ordering accessories and books from you in the future, and lament that I can’t order plants across the border – if only I could find some Dwarf Mondo Grass up here somewhere! …Sidebar – … in the garden at the bottom of your Manifesto, there seems to be miniature bulbs growing – irises maybe? – very intriguing!
    Keep up the good work, and thanks again for sharing your wisdom and inspiring us all.
    Happy 2020,

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kae Kotarski 05/03/2020 — 5:13 pm

    I’m so glad you don’t fit into a category!
    That’s why I like you so much. Rock on!


    1. Will any of your miniatures flourish in the heat of Sacramento, CA?


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