Archive for Miniature Plants

VIDEO: How to Make a Real Garden in Miniature that Will Last

VIDEO: How to Make a Real Garden in Miniature that Will Last

Hey, fellow miniature gardeners, here’s a short video to show you how to build a miniature garden that will last for years. This is the same way I’ve been building my gardens since I began in 2001. Some of our miniature gardens have lasted over 10 years in the same pot with minimal maintenance.

Keepin' it real in the miniature garden with TwoGreenThumbs.comThe heart of this project is choosing right plant for the right place, and planting true miniature or dwarf trees and shrubs. Pair this with slow-growing ground covers. We hope you enjoy it! If you do, please share it and give us a thumbs’ up – your vote is very appreciated!

The terms ‘miniature’ and ‘dwarf’ describe the growth rate, not the plant.
Miniature = 1″ per year or less
Dwarf = 1″ to 6″ per year

Shop for your trees and shrubs by light (indoor, sun, shade, etc.), click here.

Shop for your trees and shrubs by zone, click here.

For Experienced Miniature Gardeners: Need something different to grow this year? We know what we grow and how the tiny trees grow up. Let us know if you want some suggestions. Email us: Steve@TwoGreenThumbs.com.

For New Miniature Gardeners: Need help choosing the right plants? Please include:
– Your zip code
– Where are you planting?
– In-ground?  What light does the spot get? Full sun? Shade?
– In a container? Where is the container going to live? Indoors? Shade? Full sun?
– Email us: Steve@TwoGreenThumbs.com.

Let us know! We’re glad to help!

Are your serious about miniature gardening? Join us here for our new, weekly Mini Garden Gazette, click here.

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Miniature Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

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Happy New Year from the Miniature Garden

Happy New Year from the Miniature Garden

Happy New Year from the Miniature Garden

A belated Happy New Year from your Miniature Garden Center!

A few days before Christmas I realized I wasn’t getting anything done. I was completely drained, couldn’t sleep and couldn’t get anything finished. I couldn’t even make a bow for a present much less write a blog. Oh, wait. I did write the blog but the technology gods deleted it once it was finally ready to post after working on it for five days. That was fun. Not. I tried baking presents like I do every year – that was really interesting. Lol! Needless to say our resident crows love us now. :o)

So, I realized after a full year of working on three major projects that my cupeth was empty.

So, I quit.

For a week and half.

And I filled my cup back up. I cleaned up my personal studio and got some of my abstract painting (full-size) ideas out, some started and some finished. (!) I cleaned up my garden when I could. (Damn you Jack Frost! I needed to garden!) I cleaned up the Two Green Thumbs studio too, put Christmas away and got Valentine’s out. And, went on long walks, played with my dog, Kitty and slept. It was luxury.

I’m back now. Ready to kick these projects home!

Happy New Year and thank you for following my wee blog. I can’t wait to share these projects with you!

And, Your Miniature Garden Center is OPEN all year long for your miniature garden pleasure! Our plants are in stock and there are some great little trees in the store – as usual! All plant info, zones, watering and care info are in each listing. Check out our plant department here and you can shop by your zone here.

 

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

 

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Miniature & Fairy Gardeners: Enjoy A Cyber Monday Sale All Week Long!

CyberShopping

 

Miniature & Fairy Gardeners:
Enjoy A Cyber Monday Sale All Week Long
From Your Miniature Garden Center Store:
TwoGreenThumbs.com !

True miniature plants and trees, realistic and durable mini accessories, kits of all shapes and sizes and much, much more. Only from TwoGreenThumbs.com, your favorite miniature garden center!

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Back to the Future: Predicting The Miniature Garden Hobby

Miniature Garden by Two Green Thumbs

One of the first miniature gardens that we sold in 2001. The patio was made of sand and glass. This was built before I invented our Mini Patio Mix Kit, now anyone can create a custom, permanent patio that won’t wash away when you water nor when it rains.

Back to the Future: Predicting The Miniature Garden Hobby

It’s funny how an iconic movie from your childhood can make you think of the past, present and future at the same time. As kids we gobbled up those Back to the Future movies over and over. We all wanted to be Marty McFly and jump to the future to see what our family would look like too. The movie did a great job in making 2015 seem so far away it was unfathomable to think of.

Well, funnily enough, we predicted the future in our own way here at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center.

Tiny Gardener in a Tiny Mini Garden

We relied on tiny toys and dollhouse miniatures found at a local miniature store here in Seattle, Dolly’s Dollhouse.

Being the first business dedicated to the art and craft of miniature gardening, I forged ahead and just started it in 2001. Who knew that creating a business with no customers wasn’t the thing to do? Scouring business books for start-up information was the only thing I could find, the Internet was very limited at that point, but hey, you could order books from the library on it. Nowadays, all you have to do is input your question and Google will provide.

The history of Two Green Thumbs

Courtesy of the Wayback Machine (linked below) you can see where we first got the domain in 2001 and then got it up and running in 2004. Before the online store, we sold through eBay. (Click to enlarge.)

Wayback website: https://web.archive.org

Back to the Past: How to know if it was a good idea?

So how did I know if this miniature garden idea had legs when there was no one else doing it? It was my Ontario College of Art and Design training. During my last thesis Keepin' it real in the miniature garden with TwoGreenThumbs.compresentation with my painting instructor, Paul Young. I asked him how do I know if it’s a good painting or not? How do I know if the painting is finished? He said, “Now that you are the artist, if it excites you, it will excite others.”

In the first years of Two Green Thumbs, there were times where I would just be overwhelmed with ideas and stopped in the middle of my studio, trying to synthesize all the potential in my head. At the weekend markets, where we tested out the idea for years, there were people who would just stop in front of our booth and stare at the miniature gardens. There was no talking to them during this trance either – they were trying to get their head around the notion of a tiny living garden in miniature too. Witnessing this trance fed my desire to bring the idea to the world and, amazingly enough, we did, one person at a time.

And, needless to say, if you are a miniature gardener you don’t need me to tell you just how juicy this idea is. How often have you been lost in your miniature garden world?

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Jump to the Present

Miniature garden by Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center

The first miniature gardens were over-planted a little too much, and quickly outgrew the pot within a season, with little regard to the plants needs. We quickly learned “right plant in the right place” applied to miniature gardens too.

Nowadays, everyone is on the fairy garden bandwagon in some form or another. Stores that quickly copied our business model years ago, duplicating our inventory and launching their own online stores now focus on fairy gardening instead. A Google search on “fairy garden” now generates over 8,500,000,000 results. You’ll find large displays of fairy garden items at most local, independent garden centers.

Major big-box stores are now on board. You’ll find new miniature sections at Michael’s Crafts now, and seasonal miniatures for the garden at JoAnn’s Fabrics. Hobby Lobby has always carried dollhouse miniatures but the department seems to have grown exponentially. And, lastly, the number of tiny businesses online that specialize in fairy gardening, mistaking it for miniature gardening, are everywhere on the web.

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

And Now to the Future

We’ve stayed the course here at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center and even though at times we’ve included the fairy garden idea into some of our inventory. blog and social media posts, we still stand firmly behind this miniature garden hobby.

We haven’t let the fairy idea take over our business model like other businesses have, because it wasn’t the fairies that entranced us to begin with – it was the miniatures and the garden. 

Miniature garden by Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center

Double-sided miniature gardens were not only fun to make, the clients loved them!

So, here we sit, still the leaders of the miniature garden hobby. Our plant selection is the best on the web, we offer true miniature and dwarf trees and shrubs from America’s top grower. Our miniature accessories, collected from many sources around the world, are realistic, detailed, in-scale and for the most part, weatherproof, reusable and renewable – we simply don’t want to generate landfill.

So? Like this? Want to follow the leader? If you are serious about your miniature gardening, join us here for our new weekly Mini Garden Gazette newsletter. It’s fast, fun and informative.

And checkout the world’s first Miniature Garden Center for all your miniature garden needs – because, after all, we wrote the book on it too.

 

 

Book Cover - Low Res 008

Sophisticated Fairy Gardening, by Janit Calvo

Here is our eBook for Advanced Fairy Gardeners only. It’s an addendum to our Gardening in Miniature book. Click the picture for more info.

 

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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 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.

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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 miniature accessories.
  • For containers that are 5” to 10” wide, use medium sized accessories.
  • For containers 10” and up, use large sized 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: Use the same scale accessories in proportion to your miniature garden.

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

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Winter Garden Tips for Gardening in Miniature!

Snowy Miniature Garden

Brrr! Our miniature plants and trees do far better in the snow and freezing weather than I do! This was from the 2 week-winter that crippled Seattle for almost 2 weeks in 2008.

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Winter Garden Tips for Gardening in Miniature!

Here is a quick round-up of winterizing garden tips for your in-ground miniature gardens and your contained mini gardens in pots – for fairy gardening and railroad gardening too. YouGet Crafty with Two Green Thumbs! may find this a bit early, but it will give you plenty of time to prepare for winter in your area. I’ve included several gift ideas too – it’s never to early to start creating a miniature garden for the hard-to-shop for person on your holiday list. Let us know if you have any questions or any additional tips in the comments below!

Ideas on how to adapt and adjust to the new winter weather in the miniature garden.  Container vs. in-ground gardening, choosing the right plants and perhaps a way to change your thinking about plants in order to do what you want.

Preparing for winter in the miniature garden – how to work with the seasons, links to more: winterizing your in-ground or your container gardens and how to keep miniature gardening throughout the winter.

Thinking of trying artificial snow? Read this before you do: Miniature Garden Lesson.

Make your gifts this year and practice your favorite hobby at the same time: The All Time Most Thoughtful and Incredible Creative Gifts of All Time!

What to dig deeper into gardening in miniature? Join us here!

Lights for the miniature garden or fairy garden are water resistant and have a timer too!

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Godzilla and the Miniature Garden

From the Mini Garden Guru blog

Godzilla and the Miniature Garden

Alright, a squirrel is not miniature Godzilla but they may as well be – they are the perfect-sized monster for our miniature gardens, fairy gardens and railroad gardens.

Squirrels and chipmunks are really Godzillas in miniature.

Squirrels and chipmunks are really Godzilla in miniature. 

As you may have noticed in your garden, ’tis the season for chipmunks and squirrels to ramp up their hunting and gathering to a feverish pitch before winter sets in. You would think that in temperate climates, like here in Seattle for example, there wouldn’t be as much of a panic to collect food as we hardly get a a freeze and if we do it only lasts a couple of days. But, alas, there is not reasoning with those big eyes with the fluffy tail and off they go digging a huge pit in the middle of the miniature garden. Hey, it IS a huge pit – in miniature!

So, I asked a bunch of different gardeners on their one cure for the miniature Godzilla: cayenne pepper. Not pepper flakes – the powder. And, you can find it in bulk at your local dollar store. Sprinkle it on the bare soil in your miniature garden, fairy garden, or railroad garden, and the squirrel will move on to easier digs – literally.

Miniature squirrels for the miniature garden add life and action to the scene. Start the story by scattering some scraps around them to make it look like they got into something. Click the picture to see them up in the store.

Miniature squirrels for the miniature garden add life and action to the scene. Start the story by scattering some scraps around them to make it look like they got into something. Click the picture to see them up in the store here and here.

There are other ways of course, get a dog, use natural repellents like garlic sprays or animal urine. (Um, how to you collect that??) There are sound emitters, sprinkler systems and motion detectors that you could spend your money on as well. Or you could fence in the pots, (ugly to look at,) use plastic forks (ugly again until the plants hide them.) Lastly, you can offer the squirrels something better, like sunflower seeds and refill it twice a day. Remember that peanut shells are poisonous to dogs, and the squirrels plants them everywhere, so I don’t recommend them.

But with the cayenne pepper, especially for the miniature garden, you can really be precise as to where you sprinkle it. You can protect any part of the garden that you want to, with special attention to the freshly planted areas.

Like this? Join us for your free Mini Garden Gazette newsletter delivered straight to your inbox on the first Friday of each month – go here to fill out the form on our main website.

Miniature Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

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