Archive for Garden Art

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! 

Your Miniature Garden Center

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

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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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The Art of Miniatures with Caveman Al

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

“Rock Island” is a dream. There is a chair next to this display where you can get eye-level with the scene and enjoy all the tiny details.  See below for the list of fish and critters.

The Art of Miniatures with Caveman Al

“If it’s not built from scratch, I can’t call it art.”

– Caveman Al

We followed the line of pavers next to the parking lot behind the building. “She said it was in the alley.” Steve and I were apprehensive about nosing around, it looked like someone’s backyard. We passed another little walkway lined with roses and saw a man looking back at us through the door. I recognized him immediately and gave a little wave. “I saw that confused look on your faces and knew you were probably looking for me.” He opened the door and welcomed us into the cutest studio on earth.

Meet Caveman Al. He has been designing homes and miniature making since he was 8 years old. He doesn’t work in any particular size

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

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– I think the project dictates the scale – and everything is made from scratch.

Yep. Everything. No sourcing, no customizing, no scouring the internet for the perfect miniature to complete a scene. Al makes everything, including the fish in the sea and the leaves on the trees.

I wanted to stay and play.

Here are some photos I took with my iphone, (I should have brought my good camera!) so make sure you head on over and visit his website & gallery, Al has a bunch great photos of projects that we did not see in the studio when we visited. All his artwork is for sale and he does some custom work too.

Click to enlarge the photos.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

Every leaf was made from scratch. Al uses vellum, wire, polymer and marble dust to create the leaves. Each leaf can take almost half an hour to make. The tree is about 15″ tall.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

The studio was tiny, about 15 by 12 feet but it was filled with Al’s creations. Al got the nickname, Caveman Al, from a newspaper article about his work several years ago.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

It’s just a little vacation. Crystal clear resin lets us enjoy every inch of detail. The sign says, “Al’s Island Reservations Only”

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

Don’t sneeze. Steve holds one of Al’s tiny sharks, about 1/4″ long.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

The walls are lined with more photographs of past projects, processes and details.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

A step-by-step on how Al makes a palm tree.

Miniature Garden Plants is Our Specialty!

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

Okay, this is the house I’m building when I win the lottery – with Al’s permission of course. The house is called Walnut Manor and it’s 1/96th scale. The floors can be lifted off in layers so you can see all the juicy details. Note the pool in the center and the garden all around the house.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

The second floor of the Walnut Manor. I love the balcony in the middle, overlooking the pool.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

Miniature scenes of all shapes and sizes are everywhere in his studio. Al calls them “Personal Walls” The items on the floor reflect the people in the frames. Al does custom work too – wouldn’t this make a great gift for a Mom or Grandmother?

Join us for more miniature gardening!

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

I think this gazebo is large size or 1″ scale. Of course I fell in love his garden miniatures.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

Al was a delight to talk to. His sense of humor shows up in his art – if you look closely there is a naked man waiting for his laundry in “The Laundwich Shop” – a sandwich laundromat.

Miniature Making with Caveman Al

Hanging out with Al makes me want to quit my day job and make miniatures. If you are ever in the area of Anacortes, he is worth a visit. You can find Al on the Anacortes Art Walk, on the first Friday of every month.

Checkout more of the lovely details on Al’s website here. There are a ton of photos in his gallery, including photos of his masterpiece, the “Out to Lunch” house shown above.

America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center

 

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Dr. K’s Award Winning Miniature Work for the Philadelphia Flower Show

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

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Dr. K’s Award Winning Miniature Work for the Philadelphia Flower Show

After blogging about all the miniatures at the Philadelphia Flower Show this year, I thought you may want to see the Best of Show Miniature Setting up-close and almost personal. Louise Krasniewicz, aka Dr. K, did an outstanding job this year – wait, doesn’t she always do an outstanding job on all her miniatures? Lol!

But I’m not sure if Louise will brag as much about her work as I will – and I wanted this for my Fellow Miniature Gardeners that receive my Mini Garden Gazette for March – so here it is in its delicious detail.  Click to enlarge the photos.

If you are on a phone and looking at this, you will want to see it on a bigger screen. It’s marvelous!

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

See the little basket for the dog? They would lower him down to do his business.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Every architectural detail was carefully aged to look worn and weathered.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

The alley. Note the gas meter on the wall on the left. Love the concrete retaining wall with the rusted fence on top.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

The sculptress’ studio. We followed Louise’s progress on her Miniature Settings blog throughout the past year. It was fun to see her ups and downs, her perseverance paid off twofold.

Here is Louise’s blog – it’s all about the Miniature Settings Exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

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Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Louise made the antennae, the pigeons were perfect. See the hosiery & brassiere on the clothesline above the window?

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Meticulous detail. Enlarge any area and you’ll discover more.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

There is perfection in imperfection when it comes to miniature scenes.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Despite the limited amount of garden space in this scene, Louise still used over 40 different kinds of plants.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Can you tell that she just loves movies? Note the lighting in the window scenes too.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Paying attention to the details that are not readily seen is an important part of the realism. And it forces the viewer further into the scene, extending the enjoyment and the enchantment.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Louise nailed the detail in each window, capturing the different personalities of the tenants.

 

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

I recall reading on Louise’s blog how she fought the blinds a bit – but she didn’t compromise until she found what worked. I love that they are not perfectly straight.

You can see a behind the scenes view from last year’s blog here. Scroll down to the end of the blog to see behind-the-scenes of Louise’s “The Birds” display, for 2014.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Why would she leave her purse behind? If you look closer, you can see her ring…

The Ring post from Louise’s blog.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

I wonder how many times Louise watched the film?

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

The brickwork alone is amazing!

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

“The most unusual and intimate journey into the human emotions ever filmed.” An Alfred Hitchcock classic.

From the movie:
Jeff
: Why would a man leave his apartment three times on a rainy night with a suitcase and come back three times?

Lisa: He likes the way his wife welcomes him home.

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

Congratulations Louise! You deserved it!

Miniature Gardening with Louise Krasniewicz

An amazing number of plants, over 40 different types were used in this scene.

See and follow Louise here.

Learn the difference between our gardening in miniature and these miniature settings exhibit here.

Love everything miniature garden? Then join us here, we’re going deeper… ;o)

Miniature Gardening

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

 

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9 Fantastic Gift Ideas for Your Miniature Gardener

Miniature Garden Center

Fantastic Miniature Garden Gifts

9 Fantastic Gift Ideas for Your Miniature Gardener

Find the right gift for the miniature or fairy gardener at America’s favorite Miniature Garden Center! Last week we rolled out a few different kits that you can give with or without the plants. Today we’ve collected a few great ideas that can be put under the tree to wait for the big day. You won’t find any of these items anywhere else so you are guaranteed to surprise and delight that special person on your list.

 Miniature Garden Accessory Set

Miniature Garden Accessory Set

The cherry red color looks great against the greens in the garden.

The cherry red chair is painted right here in our studios. The cute fruit/veggie crate is made of resin but looks like wood. The tiny pail and tools painted metal and are nicely detailed and sturdy too. Large size or 1” scale. $15.99

T-Shirt

Miniature Garden T-Shirts

Wear your love with pride! We have a few different T-shirts up in our Zazzle store, some for men or women but you can change the style, size and color when you order! Let us know if you have an idea or want to see your favorite Two Green Thumbs image on one and we’ll make it for you! $21.95 – $29.95

Miniature Garden Calendar

Cover-YearMG14

Our first – wait – the WORLD’S first miniature garden calendar! We took one garden and decorated it for a year and now you can too. Click in and you can see the photo for each month before you buy one. $23.10

Blank Greeting Cards

Blank note cards with your favorite miniature garden photos!

We have a series of blank and funny greeting and note cards. If your special someone enjoys sending cards and letters, these will put a smile on her face! Checkout the miniature garden stamps you can get – way fun. Got a favorite photo from Two Green Thumbs? Let us know and we’ll make it for you!  $3.15 (Price changes with quantity.)

Mugs

Miniature Garden Mug

“Just checking for fairies”

 

We have a the first few mug designs up in the store for your morning cuppa. Do let us know if you want to see a special design or any customization and we can get it up in the store for you. $16.95

A Little Somethin’

Janit's Etsy Store

Our Etsy store is filled with unusual and unique miniature and fairy garden items and sets. Get a little something for their windowsill or their desk at work. $3.99 – $84.99

Bumpersticker

Miniature Garden Bumper Sticker

Miniature Garden Bumper Sticker

Spread a little fun while you wait in traffic.

 

Because, hey, I know you would rather be miniature gardening!

The Best Book on the Hobby

Best selling Gardening in Miniature book

Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World is the bestselling and the best book on the hobby. Browse the beautiful photographs and years of experience that you can put to use right away plus an endless supply of inspiration.

Gift Certificates

Leave the choosing up them! Gift certificates are easy, print it out or email it. Find the button on the front page of our main online store here.

Miniature Garden Plants and Accessories

 

 

 

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Decorating Fun in the Miniature Halloween Garden

Halloween in the Miniature Garden with Janit Calvo

Decorating the Miniature Halloween Garden with a blend of DIY and new accessories. That’s a Cotoneaster with the berries on the left, and the “big” tree is a Nana Hinoki Cypress.

Decorating Fun the Miniature Halloween Garden

TIEG Chris Halloween

Chris, ViAnn and Della, of The Inland Empire Garden Club fame, go big each Halloween.

I saw a friend’s post on Facebook this morning showing her full Halloween display all a-glow and ready for The Day. So, I collected a bunch of my own miniature Halloween items and raided both of our online stores to see if I could do the same. It kinda worked, but I’m really missing the lights. Check it out, there are some DIY ideas in here that you may be able to use!

 

These ideas have been moved to in the Miniature Garden Society! A private website dedicated to everything miniature garden!

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http://www.MiniatureGardenSociety.com

We’re digging deeper. Join us.

 

Miniature Garden Plants is Our Specialty!

 

 

Best selling Gardening in Miniature book

 

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