Archive for Because it’s fun

Turning Up the Heat on the New Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

You’ll find more photos of this scene in the new Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book. It’s a room box that I made in 1999 before I started the business. 

Turning Up the Heat on the New Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

See what I did there? We’re at the end of a heatwave here in Seattle so I’ve got heat on the brain – or maybe my brain is just overheated.

This is kind of a “‘If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain” blog. I’m bringing you the reviews to new Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book because I just KNOW that you’ll enjoy it just as much as these people have!

It took awhile to accumulate these – people must have dove right into the projects from the book and forgot about leaving some feedback for us. Lol! BUT! No worries, we have some now thanks to our fellow miniature gardeners, friends, and my parents – Lol! Thought you might find that interesting at least as they both eagerly asked the same question.

The Log Border Fence project, behind the jug, is 3 years old in this photo.

Emailed Feedback:

Hey Janit,

I’m absolutely loving this latest book! So well-crafted in every way, beautifully written, wonderful photographs, and often times readily available materials. Really brilliant! I also just really got a chance to go through your kit too of the Mini patio mix, really well put together my friend.

All the best,
Michael Yurkovic
AtomicMiniature.com

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Hi Janit!

I just love your book! You write so well!  The book really flows and you know just when to add a bit of humor. I often had a smile on my face as I read.  🙂  The photos are gorgeous and the book feels so comfortable in my hands. It will always be a treasure!

Give Steve our best and thanks again for sharing your beautiful book!

Love,
Barb and Rick
Owens Gardens

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Hi Janit,

Thanks, your book arrived late yesterday afternoon. It is a very good looking piece of work, excellent Janit.

I assume the book is on sale, when do you get a reading on how the sales are going ?

Love ———————  Dad

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

The Miniature Atrium project is a fun one to play with. You’re not stuck with any one design so you can update, reinterpret, add to the scene or just play with it anytime.

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THANK YOU!!  I love it! – and the dedication –

Your book looks great – now I’m going to sit down and have a good look, page by page.  At first glance, it’s just like someone like me needs – detailed instructions. Boy, what a lot of detail!

How are the sales going? Or is it too early to tell?

Again, many thanks – I’m so glad to get this!

love,
Mom

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HOLY CHRISTMAS CRACKERS.

Your book is fabulous.

Thorough. Charming. Endearing. Da Bomb Diggidy!

Can’t wait to see it sweep the world.

Congratulations,

Melissa,
EmpressofDirt.com

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Loved your book.  Michael brought it to Castine.  So I got a good look, congrats…

May your weeds be few and your blossoms many.

Pamela

 

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http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

The make-ahead Wedding Projects can, not only be therapeutic for a stressed-out bride, but it can also be your “perfect” wedding in miniature.

Feedback from Amazon:

From PSusan: If you are a fan of fairy gardens or miniature garden pots then this is the book for you. The Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop (Handmade Accessories for Your Tiny Living World) by Janit Calvo has a wealth of ideas with clear instructions on how to make it happen. The introduction is especially nice if you are new to this kind of gardening. The explanation and close-up photos of the tools used is extremely useful. For each individual project a detailed list of needed materials is given, making this a wonderful DIY resources.

The book is organized by theme with several that do not look too complicated. Others use tile work that increases the complexity. Two of my favorites are the Zen Sand Garden and the Wardian Case. The Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop is great especially for the whimsical child that stays within us as adults. The publisher through Net Galley provided a copy.

 

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Step by step projects vary in detail but they all teach you a technique or a skill can be adapted for many other ideas – large and small.

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From dogdaysdog: Ahhhh – exactly what I needed to get my inspiration back! Calvo did a great job with the pics and gives great ideas for what one can create in a fun miniature garden. Guess what everyone on my Christmas list is getting this year! So fun to make and personalize to each individual. Get the book and get inspired!

 

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From Dee: Janit has written a fun additional DIY book for the miniature gardener. The photos are very clear and appealing. The list of needed tools and supplies is very thorough. The chapters are themed and easy to follow and give plenty of information to complete the ideas presented. I only wish it had more.

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Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

From the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book. I needed images for the Workshop Chapter and this room box I made in 1999 was the perfect answer.

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From SBA: Both of Janit Calvo’s books are essential for learning the basics of miniature gardening, and advanced techniques. Janit’s ideas are truly unique and fun to apply to my miniature gardens.

 

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Okay, in all honesty there was one 2-star review but she thought it was a book about making fairy houses and fairy furniture. (Not sure why she would think that as all of the summaries and marketing material mentions the many different projects.) See it on Amazon here.

Well, there you have it. Have you got your copy yet? See more sneak-peeks for the book here, here and here.

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Want to dig even deeper in to this delicious hobby? Visit our Miniature Garden Society to see if it’s a good fit for you here.

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Dig Deeper with our New Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book! Click the picture to get your autographed copy from our online store. 

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

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Four Ways To Improve Your Craft Skills

Gardening in Miniature Kits from Two Green Thumbs

With the Miniature Garden Door Kit you can paint the trim before you put it together – so much easier and the results are perfect.

Four Ways To Improve Your Craft Skills

Hey, someone has to do it. Someone has to keep you inspired, right? As the sign says above my studio door, “Play Each Day.” So have no fear, I am here to help you in find a way to play each day! Just call me your creative-enabler.

But, alas, I know how it goes all too well: sometimes I don’t want to think to hard, nor do I want go hunting for the right

Gardening in Miniature Kits from Two Green Thumbs

The Gnome Door is perfectly sweet. Like the Miniature Garden Door, you can paint the trim before you put it together for a very professional look. Shown above unpainted but still looks great. Click the pic to see more of it.

parts, and nor do want to be bothered doing the miniature math but I want to do something different! I so want to make something!

Geez, I sound like Goldilocks at a craft store. Lol!

CUE: Miniature Garden Kits!

I don’t know about you, but when I see a good kit that entices me by just looking at the pieces, I get excited. I can’t wait to get home, get my glue and my tools, sit down and work through the instructions and see what happens. There is a sense of satisfaction with a kit too – I think I would say it’s almost as satisfying as making something from scratch because, more often than not, it’s something you would never build from scratch anyway, right?

But, there was something else that was nagging at me as to why I enjoy kits so much. I think I found out why:

Gardening in Miniature Kits from Two Green Thumbs

Our new Adirondack Chair Kit is the real deal. Historically accurate, perfectly to scale and very sturdy when done. Treat with wood hardener/preservative before leaving it outside. More about preserving wood in the Prop Shop Book. Click the photo to learn more about this new kit!

Kits improve your crafting skills.

Craft Kits – Kits are laced with ingenuity simply because they have to be broken down into kit. Whether it’s a new way to glue something, join parts together, or a simple accent piece that you would never have thought of adding, there is always something to learn from doing a craft kit because you’re “seeing” someone else’s way of doing something.

Bash a Kit Beforehand – If you know where you are going with the kit, you can easily bash* some of the parts and pieces before you glue it together. For example, if you were to make a rustic chair from the Adirondack Kit, you can get most of the painting done while the small pieces are still mounted in the sheet, before you punch them out. (See photo at left.) After you punch them out you can score, knick and or sand the parts to look worn and aged before gluing it all together. (See the Aging Adirondack project in the America chapter of the new Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book.)

Bash a Kit Afterwards – You can certainly do the aging techniques on the finished piece but you can also add decals, stamp patterns, embellish it to look more fairy-like with tendrils and mossy-bits tucked here and there. (See the Patriotic Chair and the Fairy Haven projects in the new Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book.)

*Bash a Kit – Means to adapt a kit to what you want it to be by adding to it or taking away from it. It’s a popular term in the model-kit world. For example, a model-maker would by a kit to build an army Jeep but would paint the pieces to his liking, add different decals to personalize it and make it completely different than what is was originally intended to look like.

Gardening in Miniature Kits from Two Green Thumbs

It’s a MINIATURE Fairy House Kit! New from our studios. You can make a tiny fairy house for your miniature garden – CUTE!!

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

Gardening in Miniature Kits from Two Green Thumbs

Assembled by hand with everything collected into one convenient box – more than enough to make your wee fairy house your very own. All you need is you and the glue!

Craft Different Types of Kits – Be sure to try different kinds of kits with different materials and unique designs. Stay tuned for more miniature garden kits coming up. We have some really fun ideas for you!

More Kits Coming Soon!

We are working on a variety of kits for the miniature garden and fairy garden. Some will be coming from our studios or from our Prop Shop book, and some of the kits are/will be developed by a pair of IGMA artisans who are so meticulously detailed and design oriented its humbling. Lol! Check out their kits here and let us know what you think. There is more to come from this dynamic duo!

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Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Dig Deeper with our New Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book!

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Miniature Garden Tutorial Video: Understanding Scale

Miniature Garden Tutorial: Understanding Scale in the Miniature Garden

Miniature Garden Tutorial Video: Understanding Scale

Miniature Garden Tutorial: Understanding Scale

A large-sized miniature garden or 1″ scale. The pot is about 22″ across and about 1′ deep in the middle. I planted the tree and shrub closer to the middle of the pot so their roots will have plenty of room to grow.

Miniature gardening is just one way we can enjoy miniatures in today’s world. I’ve written about The Biggest Little Industry on Earth many years ago, and gathered a long list of how we love anything miniature. Heck, careers have been made out of miniatures and billions of dollars have been exchanged because of miniatures! Stop to think about how much they are a part of our every-day and you will see miniatures in a different light.

With all types of miniature-making, scale plays a very important role. Without using scale as a rule-of-thumb in your gardens, scenes or dioramas, the project would look like a random collection of items, a box or shelf full of stuff. I’ve written about the use of scale before too, (linked below,) but in the gardening in miniature world we used scale a bit differently – and I can’t think of any other comparison in the miniature industry so, again, this hobby stands apart from the rest.

You see, when the right miniature plants and trees are used in the miniature garden, it’s only the accessories that have to be in scale with each other. The plants we use and recommend at TwoGreenThumbs.com, for the most-part, adapt perfectly to almost any miniature scale. Check out the video demonstration to see how scale is used in this miniature garden and you’ll see what I mean.

AdS-leaderboard-TGTplants

The tree behind the birdbath is a Just Dandy Hinoki Cypress, the tree to the left is a Jacqueline Verkade Canada Hemlock. See what’s up in our store here, or shop by your zone here.

Your Miniature Garden Center

Apropos Proportion

Now let’s go a bit farther and talk a little about proportion, a valuable attribute for any kind of design, build or fabrication.

We know that the plants can adapt to any scale BUT the overall size of the garden is still a factor.

For example, if you use small-sized accessories for your in-ground garden, they won’t get noticed and will get lost at a distance. Large-sized accessories are ideal for in-ground because they can be seen from a-ways-away, like from your deck or from a window in the kitchen.

Different sized containers work better with certain scales too. Small accessories get lost in big pots and, this is a very common oversight, large-sized accessories can easily overwhelm small pots.

This is adapted from our bestselling Gardening in Miniature book, Chapter 3, Shrinking the Garden Rules:

  • For containers that are 2” to 5” wide, use small-sized (1/4″)miniature accessories.
  • For containers that are 5” to 10” wide, use medium-sized (1/2″) accessories.
  • For containers 10” and up, use large-sized (1″) containers.

Of course, with any creative rule, there is a bit of wiggle-room between the sizes/scales, but I think you get the gist.

In summary: Make sure all your accessories match in scale and are in proportion to the size of the container. For in-ground miniature gardens, use large-size or 1″ scale.

Link to more about scale, with more photo-examples:

Fun With Scale in the Miniature Garden

Miniature Gardening 105: Sizing Up Your Accessories

Shop by Size:

Shop all One Inch Scale

Shop all Half Inch Scale

Shop all Quarter Inch Scale

Let me know if you have any comments or questions below – it tells me what I’ve missed!

If you are serious about learning, creating and digging deeper into the miniature garden hobby, join us here.

Best selling Gardening in Miniature book

We wrote the book on it! All you need to get started in this wonderful hobby is in this book! Click the book to see it up in the online store. 

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Who Else Wants to Grow Their Own World?

Gardening in Miniature with Janit Calvo

Click the picture to register for the WorkSHOP, from 2 to 4pm. Or come by and check out the Trunk Show anytime between 2 and 6pm. Either way, you WILL leave inspired, I guarantee it. 

Who Else Wants to Grow Their Own World?

You’ll go home happy and truly inspired. I know that for a fact because everyone that has taken a workshop with me has not only gone home pleased-as-punch, but a bit giddy too. Lol!

So come and get your own miniature garden together with us! We’ve chosen our favorite miniature garden kit because it’s good for indoors, or outdoors in the greater Seattle region. Indoors, it will need bright indirect light – if you don’t have it, I have a very easy solution for that too – AND it’ll match your decor!

It’s also a book signing! Come and pick up your copy of the NEW Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Handmade Accessories for Your Tiny Living World – hot off the press! You can finally find out what the fuss is all about!

Gardening in Miniature with Janit Calvo

This is the miniature garden that you will make at the WorkSHOP on July 15th! A calm, serene little scene that you can call your own. You don’t have to design it like it did, either – you can do you own thing because, after all, it is your own world. :o)

 

 

Gardening in Miniature with Janit Calvo

The WorkSHOP is only $75 and it includes learning all about what plants, parts and pieces to use so you can build your own miniature gardens at home, anytime you want to – or anytime you need a great gift to give!! The class supplies, if bought separately, will cost you almost $100 + shipping! (Yes plus shipping, because you simply can’t get some of this stuff at any brick & mortar store!)

 

Gardening in Miniature with Janit Calvo

I’ll be bringing more miniature gardens, garden accessories, fairy garden ideas and dollhouse garden miniatures too! The Trunk Show is on during and after the WorkSHOP and goes to 6pm! 

 

 

Gardening in Miniature with Janit Calvo

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Dig Deeper with our New Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book! Come and get your autographed copy at the Trunk Show and WorkSHOP too. Copies will be available at The Handmade Showroom even after this event. 

See The Handmade Showroom’s website here.

See the Pacific Place’s website here – there is parking!

See Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center here.

See MiniatureGarden.com for everything you need for this wonderfully creative hobby here. 

Like this? Want a FREE dose of miniature gardening almost every Friday? Join us for the world’s only newsletter on the hobby, The Mini Garden Gazette! (scroll down a bit. :o)

Gardening in Miniature with Janit Calvo

Click the picture to register for the WorkSHOP! The Trunk Show is on until 6pm the same day! 

 

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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. I’ll need to think of a better solution that won’t wash away when the garden is watered – oh yeah! That’s my Mini Patio Mix Kit. Lol!  

 

Miniature Garden at the Washington Old Soldier's Home

What Hens and Chick were left were a bit tattered. We’ll fix it 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 hin what we were there for. We’ve since named him “Guardian of the Garden.” Lol! 

 

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

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How to Insert Charm into Your Miniature Garden with Authentic Patios and Pathways

Miniature Garden Study, Patios and Pathway Materials

Stone sheets make for a no-brainer solution for the miniature garden patio. Lock them in permanently with the Mini Patio Mix.

How to Insert Charm into Your Miniature Garden with Authentic Patios and Pathways

We’re bringing charming back to the miniature garden. For us here at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center, it never really left. Why? Authenticity.

Charm, noun
1. the power to delight or attract people
2. a feature or quality that delights or attracts (often used in the plural)

Charm, verb
1. to delight or attract people
2. To influence somebody by using powers of attraction
3. to affect somebody or something by, or as if by, the use of a supposed magic spell

Aha! Magic! That must be it! You’re probably thinking to yourself, FAIRY MAGIC….wo Green Thumbs' Mini Patio Mix Kit Ad

But no. It’s simple: scale and authenticity

(Stay with me on this one! ;o)

The key ingredients that you can easily bring to your miniature gardens are realism, proportion and scale. If your accessories are realistic and in-scale with each other, you’ll get the charm.

And something that is not so obvious but is a very valuable element for a charming garden in miniature: the authentic miniature patio.

The addition of a patio or pathway increases the appeal of a true garden in miniature because it helps the viewer to identify the fact that it is a real miniature garden instead of a container full of small plants.

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

The miniature patio cinches the scale immediately because we know how big the mini patio is supposed to be. After all, we stand on them all the time, right? But it tends to be the last thing we think of when we put a miniature garden together and we end up dumping a bunch of marbles in for a path, include an odd collection of rocks for the patio, or layer-in colored stones that you would never see done in a full-size garden.

Take a look at the following examples of the different sizes of miniature gardens to get an idea of what I mean by paying attention to the patio materials in the following photos:

(Click to get into the bigger slideshow. It works better on a regular computer.)

Checkout the Miniature Garden Patio and Pathway Department in our store for easy solutions to add charm to your miniature or fairy garden scene.

Be sure to lock in your design with our Mini Patio Mix Kit. The only solution design specifically for miniature gardeners by a miniature gardener! They come in several different ways too, see them here. ;o)

We’ve remained authentic too. All our accessories are based in realism and are categorized by size here, in our Miniature Garden Center store. We’ve stayed with true with our gardening in miniature because that is where the magic really is.

Like this? Then you’ll love our Mini Garden Gazette! The world’s only regular newsletter completely dedicated to gardening in miniature. Join us here.

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Sharing Ideas with the New Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

The Gnome Garden in the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book was a fun one to create – I’m still pinching myself that I had this opportunity to share my ideas with the world. The projects in this garden are the gnome door and the log border that lines the “veggie bed.”

Sharing Ideas with the New Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

When opening day came around at the big Sorticulture Garden Art Show last weekend in Everett, Wa., (about an hour north of Seattle,) fellow miniature gardeners started introducing themselves right away. It was an awesome welcome-back!

We’ve been trying to figure out the last time we set up our Miniature Garden Center Store at a garden show and, well, we decided it’s been a few years because we just couldn’t remember. So it was an extra special treat to see a boatload of old friends and customers! We also had the chance to put a face to the names that we’ve been seeing on the orders from our online stores too. Super fun! We must do that again before too long!

Here’s a photo essay of our display that we brought with us. Note that these gardens were made 3 & 4 years ago. You can compare them to the photos in the Prop Shop book to see how much – or how little, lol! – they’ve grown.

And apologies, we were so busy, we didn’t get many other photos of the booth, the miniature gardens that I made for it, (!) nor any of my fellow miniature gardeners. I guess I need to take a page from the younger generation and just have my phone out ALL the time, ready to click, click, click away! :o)

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

A birthday cake for the miniature gardener. Lol! I’ve thought of several versions of birthday cake gardens throughout the years, it was fun to finally get one of them out of my head. In this chapter, you will learn how to make that fun little garden sign and how to customize any container.

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Bird’s eye view of the Deserted Island Survival garden. The projects in this chapter are the treehouse and the wee cave. Both of these projects have been out in the weather all year since they were made in 2015 and have survived.

 

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

In the World Tour section of the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book, we took a trip to Spain. In this chapter, I teach you how to age a resin fountain and how to create a pretty mosaic patio in a few simple steps.

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Aquascaping was supposed to be one of the chapters, that’s why we have an odd number of 37 projects in the book. After killing 17 fish, I decided upon an easier version: a miniature garden that looks like it’s underwater. Can you tell it’s one of my favorite? The projects in this chapter are a sea throne and a tiny glass float.

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Can you tell this is another favorite of mine? I was limited in what I could bring to this display because it sits in full sun. Many of the gardens in the book were for indoors or for shade. In this chapter, I show you how to create a miniature garden folly (back, right) and how to age and weather a miniature brick patio.

In each chapter in the book, I also go into the plant choices for each theme, why I chose them and how you can adapt this way of using the plants to help get your theme across to the viewer. Considering all the parts, plants and pieces for your theme not only raises the bar on the quality of miniature gardening that you can produce, it makes the thrill-of-the-hunt much more interesting and satisfying. After sifting through all the projects in the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book, you will have a good idea of how to get the same results.

Get your autographed copy of the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book here.

Find it at a better price if you don’t need it autographed here up on Amazon (affiliate link.)

Like this? Want to join us for your FREE Mini Garden Gazette newsletter delivered to your inbox every Friday? Join us here. 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

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