Archive for Garden Art

Valentine’s Day in the Miniature Garden

Valentine's Day in the Miniature Garden

Valentine’s Day in the Miniature Garden can be loaded with decor – or kept really simple with one or two accent pieces.

Valentine’s Day in the Miniature Garden

Creating miniature gardens is so much fun because you can adapt them to any
situation, any theme or any occasion. But another fun thing to do with this new-again hobby – and Valentine’s Day gives you a perfect opportunity to – is to share them. A miniature garden can easily deliver a personalized message sent straight from the heart.

If you are short on decorations, a simple accent piece can still send a huge message. A red chair, an engraved heart or ‘hugs’ rock, or this simple how-to can send sweet love to your Valentine.

Don’t have a Valentine? Then it’s a perfect excuse to treat yourself and do something YOU love!

Want to see more of the 2013 Valentine Garden? They will be posted in our February newsletter, The Mini Garden Gazette. Join our email list here and get instant access to the archives after confirming through your email.

How to Make Valentine’s Day Decorations for Your Miniature Garden:

We found the package of foam hearts at JoAnns Fabrics (40% off!) to make these really quick decorative garden stakes that you can add to any miniature garden and get your message love across.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One package of foam cutouts
  • Wood popsicle sticks &/or coffee sticks
  • Paint colors of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper

Best selling Gardening in Miniature bookAAAAND the craft stores now carry all kinds of cutouts for every occasion! Paint the stakes to match the holiday color to make it look more polished. We tried writing on them with a small Sharpie marker, but it turned out a bit faded – the foam doesn’t accept the ink very well.

Be sure to take out the heart stakes after the 14th and wait for the wood to dry before storing them for next year. Like the miniature holiday decor, they should last for a long time if you don’t leave them out in the weather all year.

See our previous post of gift-giving ideas: The Most Incredible Gift of All Time. Make Quick and Affordable Gifts. A Miniature Garden for Every Budget.

More ideas from your  Miniature Garden Center:

– Pretty Garden Screen

Pretty Grapevine Birdath

– White Porcelain Pot Set with Saucers (really cute)

– White Arbor with Gate

– White Wooden Love Seat

– White Swan Porcelain Vase Set

– Short White Picket Border Fence

– Miniature Garden Plants for Sun or Part Sun

– Miniature Garden Plants for Shade

– Shop for Plants by Zone

valentineportrait 

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DIY Christmas Decor for the Miniature Garden

Miniature Christmas DIY

Cuteness! Tiny homemade details can easily reflect your personal style. You’ll spend just as much time getting these ingredients together than you will doing this tutorial. Make a few at the same time and have fun with them, you’ll get better after the second one you make.

DIY Christmas Decor for the Miniature Garden

Here are a couple of do-it-yourself tutorials for Christmas decorations for your miniature garden. Use the same color scheme as your “full-size” decorations throughout your house and garden, it will just add to the cute factor. Find miniature decorations up in our store, or I’ve mentioned where I’ve found them throughout this blog.

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Here’s yet-another benefit from growing miniature conifers and small-leafed trees and shrubs: you can harvest them for miniature holiday decorations just like you would in “full-size.” Whenever I can, I save my miniature pruning duties for this time of year so I can use them for decorations. “Limbing-up” from the base of a dwarf conifer can shape it to be more tree-like. Prune way-ward branches from the top canopy of the tree to maintain the round-ness or over all shape of the foliage. Pruning also helps to send messages to the wee tree that you want the plant’s efforts and energy to be used elsewhere, like growing a thicker trunk and branches. Got a lot of pruning? Try wiring a miniature garland together.

Shop Two Green ThumbsThe branches we used here were soaked in a solution of glycerin and water to help them last longer. Place 1 part glycerin and 15 parts water in yogurt tub or similar, and make sure the branches are submerged. Leave it in there for at least overnight, 24 hours is better. Glycerin is found in hand lotions, among other uses, and it helps to seal in moisture – which is why we love to soak our naturals in it to help them retain color and supple-ness, at least for a few weeks while we can enjoy them. Otherwise your wee branches would do what they normally do when brought inside a heated house: dry out and go brown within days. Experiment with different ratios for different plants and how long they will stay preserved. Add dye to the glycerin/water solution to change the color of light-colored naturals. Glycerin can be found at any art store or most drug stores. It comes in a small bottle and doesn’t cost much.

Miniature Wreath Tutorial:

Make a REAL miniature wreath for your miniature garden! Here’s how to make one from a spruce branch, and from a Boxleaf Euonymous branch. Any sturdy but bend-able branch with small leaves could work but experiment first if you are creating an important holiday display.

Miniature Christmas DIY

What the wreaths are made of, from top left clockwise: Mugo Pine, Euonymous, Cotoneaster, Dwarf Spruce

DIY Miniature Christmas Decorations

From the top left, clockwise: Cotoneaster, Mugo Pine, Thyme, Dwarf Spruce, Euonymous, Hinoki Cypress (lime green branch under Cotoneaster.) I didn’t mention varieties on purpose, you can use almost any type of small-leafed branch.

Dwarf Spruce Wreath

Miniature Christmas DIY

You’ll need a branch or two, some jewelry wire, needle-nosed pliers and a pair of flat-nosed pliers. Silver wire was used for this tutorial so you can see it, otherwise I would have used dark green wire to blend into the foliage.

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Miniature Christmas DIY

If the branches are too short, wire two of them together to make a longer one.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Loop them around to make a wreath and wire them together. Work gently and do your best to work the wire in between the needles.

Miniature Christmas DIY

It may seem out of balance when you first start, but just go with it for now. Leave the wire ends for now, they will come in handy later.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Add some more wire wraps where its needed to tuck in some of the smaller branches closer to the circle.

DIY miniature christmas decor

Tiny details can be accumulated throughout the year. Miniature tinsel and glittery pompoms can be found at Michael’s Crafts along with the cherry picks. Tiny candy canes can be found at your local miniature store. I trimmed the ends off of a larger velvet bow to make a miniature one. Use tiny leaves and colorful branches for more texture and interest.

Miniature Christmas DIY

The bow is wrapped around with its own wire, the smaller details are hot-glued on. Notice the tiny sprig of hinoki cypress is used to brighten up the berries. BUT the bottom has too many branches and the top – not so much…

 

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Miniature Christmas DIY

Decide on the “right” branch to snip off the bottom. This chosen branch was on the back of the wreath and could be easily cut off to lessen the bulk.

Miniature Christmas DIY

And, with a little bit of hot-glue, we add it to the top to help it balance out a bit.

DIY Miniature Christmas Tutorials

That’s better!

Small Broadleaf Wreath

Broadleaf is a fancy name for a plant that has leaves – as opposed to needles on a pine tree for example. A lot of broadleaf plants are deciduous like Maple, Elm and Oak, but some are evergreen and keep their leaves throughout the seasons – thankfully, they help keep the landscape “green” in the middle of winter. We used an Euonymous branch for this tutorial. Same idea as the spruce wreath above, but with a different twist because of the leaves.

Miniature Christmas DIY

A way-ward branch pruned from a Boxleafed Euonymous from our in-ground miniature garden.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Strip away the leaves inside the natural curve of the branch .

Miniature Christmas DIY

You can pinch off the more tender, top branches as you work along the stem.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Ready to shape into a circle.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Bend it around carefully. Wire it in place. Work the wire in between the leaves gently to get to the stem. The leaves and stem toward the top of the branch are going to be more tender so don’t force the wire too much or it will cut right through the branch.

Miniature Christmas DIY
Gently pull the wire taunt to hold the branches where you want them.
Miniature Christmas DIY

Twist the wires gently together with your fingers, tighten them gently with flat-nosed pliers. Leave the excess wire in place – don’t cut it off yet.

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Miniature Christmas DIY

Now that you have the wreath shape, edit out the leaves that clash or distort the design.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Use the excess wire from the wrapping to create a loop on the back of the wreath to hang it with. Round-nose pliers work well to make tiny wire loops.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Wrapped with a little tinsel garland, hot-glued the poinsettia flower with more lime-green hinoki leaves to finish it off. Looks like a holiday!

When you are in you miniature garden, harvesting branches for this fun diy, choose a couple of sets of each type of branch that you want to work with; if you totally mess up you have a couple of chances to get it right.

MAKE IT LAST: If you are keeping your miniature wreath indoors for a couple/few weeks throughout the season, make a couple of them to rotate in and out the scene. Because they are living wreaths, they will do better in the cold and damp than inside in the forced, heated air. Make a 2 or 3 or 4 wreaths, treat them like a corsage or boutonniere and keep them in a take-out container in the fridge with a damp paper towel on the bottom of the container. The amount of time they will last will vary, depending upon how long you soaked them in the glycerin/water solution, what kind of branch they are and what conditions they are displayed in.

Quick Miniature Garden Holiday Garden Art

Some things are worth repeating, huh? If you haven’t explored your local fabric store’s selection of seasonal buttons, it’s worth the drive. There are a ton of different ideas out there. Here is a fast and fun way to make decorative garden stakes for your miniature garden.

Miniature Christmas DIY

These were made about eight years ago: buttons hot-glued to plastic lollipop sticks. Some of the glue has yellowed, but you would have to be up-close to see that. Other ornaments needed a bit of highlighting with a touch of gold or silver to refreshen the details.

Miniature Christmas DIY

The reindeer buttons were mounted on the sticks to look like they were galloping. This fun project is one that kids can do too.

Miniature Tree Ornaments

The same buttons can be use for ornaments. Instead of trying to painstakingly wire or loop each and every ornament to tiny branches, use metallic pipe cleaners to make an ornament from any button. Poke the wired-button into the tree’s branches, it’ll stay there if the tree isn’t moved around a lot. If do want to make a decorated tree that will be moved or carried, use strands of garlands and miniature lights and wire the ends of the strings in place. This will save you a lot of fussing around.

Miniature Christmas DIY

You will need: buttons, lollipop sticks, pliers, hot-glue gun and about 5 minutes. The lollipop sticks can be found at Michael’s Crafts.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Clip off button loop with pliers.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Look at the front of the button to see which way you want it mounted on the stick. Squeeze glue in a small line to get maximum surface contact.

Miniature Christmas DIY

Stick the stick the way that you want it stuck. ;o)

Miniature Christmas DIY

If the button pattern is asymmetrical, mount the buttons on the stem in a different rotation so they look different.

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

Like this? Then you’ll love our Mini Garden Gazette! It’s free, monthly and everything miniature garden. Sign up here, confirm through your email and you’ll get a free PDF of The Best of the Gazette, just for signing up!

Miniature Christmas DIY

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It’s Getting Scary Out There – And We’re Not Talking About the Election…

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It’s Getting Scary Out There – And We’re Not Talking About the Election…

We’re working on some very scary miniature garden ideas for our new Miniature Garden Society!

The Day of the Dead flags are completely waterproof, cut out of thin plastic.

That’s a working miniature fountain off to the right.

That mummy creeping up in the middle of the scene is weatherproof and waterproof – and only cost 66 cents to make.

You’ll find a constant stream of new ideas going into this new adventure called The Miniature Garden Society.

Scared of missing out on some great ideas for your miniature or fairy garden?

Join us.

 

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Announcing the NEW Miniature Garden Society, 2.0!

Announcing the NEW Miniature Garden Society, 2.0!

It’s a brand new, totally focused website on everything gardening in miniature with all the bells and whistles!**

If you’ve been following us for awhile, you would have heard about our Miniature Garden Society member’s only website opening up a few months ago. Well, truth be told, it did get lots of kudos, oohs and ahhs, but it couldn’t add any community, forums or post-ability to make it just that more fun. BUT, alas! Have no fear because your miniature gardener is here!

Welcome to the NEW Miniature Garden Society website! It’s all that and more. Now that we have some roots and branches to the site, it’s time to get it really growing. Personally, I can’t wait because it’s a place to share all our ideas and information that didn’t fit into this book – nor did it fit into this book either. Lol!

Yup! Can’t tell you any more – need to get back to the new site! Learn more about it here. 

**May contain fairies. :o)

 

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

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Bling Gardens: Kokedama Comes to Americ… Huh?

Bling Gardens

Bling Gardens: Kokedama Comes to Americ…huh?

— This blog was first published 4 years ago. I thought string gardens would be a passing fancy but, no, I was wrong again in calling an end to a trend. Hey, at least I got miniature gardening right, right?? ;o) I still enjoy these photos as I wasn’t able to keep them alive for very long – I was unable to regulate the dampness of the soil that these plants needed. If you try this, chose drought-tolerant plants that don’t mind when the soil dries out, like tropical succulents for example. —

String gardens. It’s the new thing. Trees and plants dangling from the ceiling, suspended by a piece of string.

But, something was missing.

There was certain beauty in the simplicity but these dangling plants were lacking that little something to make them, well, you Fairy Gardening with Two Green Thumbs.comknow, pretty.

So, I spent some time in the studio over the last couple of weekends tinkering with the idea. Yea, I know, it’s how I unwind…

And THEN, my friend Christina Salwitz, author and garden guru of the popular blog, The Personal Garden Coach, highlighted them in her reporting of the big Philadelphia Flower Show this past week so, I HAD to get back in the studio to finish them off last night.;o)

Here’s are the results:

Bling Garden with Green Tara

Bling Garden with Green Tara. Trying different combinations of materials to see what works. That gold band is about 3″ wide. I kept nicking the fragile leaves… !!

Kokedama is the Japanese art of string gardening. It’s kind of like a hanging bonsai in the sense that the plant’s roots are confined to a small space – but without the container. Most of the instructions I found on the Interweb say that you need special kind of soil, Bonsai soil or Akadama soil, but I just used a fine mix of peat, sifted compost and vermiculite. In theory, we are looking for a soil that retains moisture but still drains. We don’t want the roots wet all the time or they will rot – but nor do we want the root ball to dry out all the time. We shall see if that works…

Bling Garden with Buddha

I wanted more than a “string” to hang them with. In this case, with such a chunky chain that I chose, this bling garden needed a bigger accessory, of the same color, to balance the boldness of of the chain. The leaves took more abuse with all the experimenting…

Miniature Garden Center

How-to Kokedama simply put: The plant is planted in a ball of soil, wrapped in peat, then wrapped in sheet moss and tied together with a string. I figured there was lots of room for play…

Bling Garden

After this one was done, I had to laugh. The focus is really off the plant now that there are so many things poked into it. That’s an old doily dyed with paint that is wrapped around the sheet moss.

I put up a hook and chain in the studio where I could see how they hung while I was working on them. It felt like I was dressmaking at times with all the primping and poking. Too. Much. Fun.

Bling Garden

This bling garden turned out to look like a present. Lol! 

I kept fussing and fixing it until I realized that they should be created “in-the-round,” meaning that it’s going to be viewed from all side. So, however it hangs or turns, it will still look good.

Bling Garden

I used hemp string together with the ribbon to tie it up and make it hang securely, the pearls and ribbon are just tacked on. The little fairy house was a perfect fit that worked with the coloring too. I’m not sure how the moss will react with it smothered like that with the doily… I kinda hid the plant though! It’s all bling, no plant. Lol! 

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Bling Garden

This poor begonia took some abuse during all the poking and prodding. We’ll see how the plant grow in – and if they can handle all that “bling” too.

Bling Garden

Now the plants become trees with a smaller accessory at the base. The pink ribbon is reinforced with fishing line.

Bling Garden

As with miniature gardening, the personality of the garden changes with the accessories. This one takes on a rustic air with the wagon wheel and bucket.

Bling Gardens

Small toys work too… Lol!

Bling Gardens

Keeping it simple is very sweet – and puts the focus back on the plants.

Water them often because they can dry out pretty quickly. I use a spray bottle but I take them to the sink to do that – it’s the only way to water the moss to keep it green. You can use a squeeze bottle too, and squeeze the water directly into the root ball. Again, watch where they drip if they are hanging inside and protect your surfaces from the water. Note that any cloth you use, like the lace doily I used above, will get dirty quickly and start to look messy. Take a photo of your work for your brag book.

Bling Garden Ad

If you liked this, checkout the other crafty, garden fun we are having here.
Help spread the eye candy with one of the buttons below!

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Decorating Your Miniature Garden for a Happy July Fourth Weekend and Canada Day!

Happy Fourth in the Miniature Garden!

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Decorating Your Miniature Garden for a Happy July Fourth Weekend & Canada Day!

Here are some fun ideas that you can implement in your own miniature gardens or fairy gardens for the big weekend. Have a safe and fun weekend Fellow Miniature Gardeners!

Find the items in the photos through the links to our online Miniature Garden Center store and the flag-banners are in our etsy store!

Happy Fourth in the Miniature Garden!

Having fun decorating in detail! This is the smallest size of our USA flag banner, there are three different-sized banners in the PDF that you can use in different ways.  I just tacked the banner to the underneath of the umbrella with a bit of tape.

Find the patio umbrella here.

Find the USA Flag Banner DIY Download here.

Happy Fourth in the Miniature Garden!

I wanted it to look like a party, that’s confetti and tiny beads sprinkled on the deck. I found the miniature fireworks at our local dollhouse miniature show. More details are in the Mini Garden Gazette this week.

Find the made-in-the-USA cedar deck here.

Find that Wood Bench with Tables here.

Find the trellis in the back here.

Find the miniature version of the Gardening in Miniature book shown on the bench, here.

Sign up for the Mini Garden Gazette newsletter right here.

Happy Fourth in the Miniature Garden!

Our custom shabby chic Adirondack chair add a bit of charm to the corner of the garden.

Find the Shabby Chic Adirondack here.

See our miniature bedding plants for sun here.

Happy Fourth in the Miniature Garden!

Cuteness in the sandbox! Lol! It makes you really feel like a kid again. The tiny USA flags are toothpicks – find them at your local party store.

Find the NEW weatherproofed miniature sandbox here. It comes with pails and the miniature sand.

Find the Mini Patio Mix Kit here.

Happy Fourth in the Miniature Garden!

Happy Fourth from your fellow miniature gardeners at TwoGreenThumbs.com!

Find new and back in stock trees for your miniature gardening here, shop by light or shop by zone.

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day in the Miniature Garden!

Last but not least, we can’t forget our neighbors to the north!! Happy Canada Day!

Find the Canada Flag Banner DIY Download here.

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Get your autographed copy of Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World from our online store, click the photo above. Or Amazon.com has it at a better price, of course.

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Barbie Adds Curvy and Tall Miniature Gardeners

Custom Miniature Garden Barbie, www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

The Garden Gal. I forget what kind of Barbie it was before I customized it. This was made in 1999, before I started Two Green Thumbs.

Barbie Adds Curvy and Tall Miniature Gardeners

Thank you, Mattel, for adding us to your product line! We’ve been playing with you for years.

Here’s a little trip down the TGT memory lane this week as I put the final touches on the manuscript of my second book for Timber Press. (Find the first one, a bestseller, here on Amazon, or get one autographed here.)

This is Garden Gal, one of my adapted Barbies that I customized in 1999, (the last century!) before starting this busy-ness, Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center. I was experimenting with joining miniatures with gardening in different ways.

The Garden Gal was my second attempt at customizing Barbies. I still need more practice painting miniature faces, it’s as not easy to do as it looks. It was really fun to gather the items for the box, mess-up the clothes and to customize the box too.

Everything, including the doll, was threaded back in the box, just like a new Barbie. Too fun. Who needs to submit a manuscript when there are ideas like this to pursue????

Dig in for more details under each photo, click to enlarge the photos. Leave any questions in the comments!

Custom Miniature Garden Barbie, www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

Some props came from Barbie, some from a miniature store and some we made ourselves.

 

Custom Miniature Garden Barbie, www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

Remove Barbie’s face with Acetone. Get tiny brushes and a magnifier to paint for the details. It takes practice – I need more Barbies! Lol!

 

Custom Miniature Garden Barbie, www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

I cut the gloves from an old pair of full-sized gloves. The bulbs in the package are Allium seeds, I think.

 

Custom Miniature Garden Barbie, www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

The dirt on her clothes is a combination of dried coffee grounds and acrylic paint. The “soil” in the back is real soil, with any big chunks taken out.

 

Custom Miniature Garden Barbie, www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

The spool of string, the seed and soil bags can all be made from things around your home.

 

Custom Miniature Garden Barbie, www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

The backside of the box. I used the box she came in, and recovered in a collage to reflect the theme.

Love the idea of a garden in miniature? Visit our website and store here.

Keepin' it real in the miniature garden with TwoGreenThumbs.com

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