Archive for Miniature Plants

Miniature Garden Fun With Sedums and Succulents

Miniature Garden Fun with Sedums and Succulents

Miniature Garden Fun With Sedums and Succulents

You know how miniature gardeners keep their tiny planted pots happy? We don’t plant them. We just put the sedum and succulent cuttings in the wee pots without soil because they can last for ahttp://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com few months before they need to potted-on to a bigger place to root and grow. Just mist the cuttings, pot and all, or sprinkle water on them a couple of times a week during the hot months and maybe once a week in the winter months. When they start to complain or put out too many roots, go ahead and plant them properly and they should grow into proper plants for you. (Plant them in a sunny spot, let the soil dry out in between watering sessions.)

Here’s a quick chart to help you maintain the tiny pots with success:

  • If the leaves start to shrivel, mist it more often.
  • If the leaves are getting too puffy and pale, back-off on the watering.
  • If the leaves are starting to reach for the light, (grow long and spindly,) it needs more light. Monitor this closely at first, the cuttings won’t recover if they reach too much.

What’s the Diff?

So, what’s the difference between sedums and succulents? It’s a blurry line at best apparently. What I did find out is that all sedums are succulents but not all succulents are sedums. Succulents come in all shapes and sizes, indoor and outdoor, tropical and hardy. Succulent means they store water in their leaves, stem or roots. Sedums have leaves that store water so they can be called succulents. I found this expert definition if you want to dig deeper – pun intended.

And here is a few different sedums and succulents that we now have available for your miniature garden pleasure. Click the photos to see more photos and information.

 

Baby Hens and Chicks!

Baby Hens and Chicks!

See our Set of Baby Hen and Chicks here, in our Etsy store.

Bird's eye of top photo. Tiny bouquets of color!

Bird’s eye view of the top photo. Tiny bouquets of color! You can either mix up all the different cuttings or, for a simpler statement, use multiples of the same in the pot.

See our Small Set of Sedum Cuttings, as in the photo above, here in our main online store.

See our Pot, Tool and Equipment department here.

 

If the pot is big enough, like this 2 3/4" wide terra cotta pot, go ahead and plant them in organic potting soil (not Miracle Gro, it will burn the cuttings.)

If the pot is big enough, like this 2 3/4″ wide terra cotta pot, go ahead and plant them in organic potting soil (not Miracle Gro, it will burn the cuttings.) Steve planted this wee garden. 

See that pot, in a set of two, here.

See our Large Set of Sedum Cuttings here.

Sedum ternatum has big, beautiful, lime-green leaves with yellow flowers. It gets darker green with more shade.

Sedum ternatum has big, beautiful, lime-green leaves with yellow flowers. You can see it start to bloom in the lower left corner. It gets darker green with more shade.

See the Sedum ternatum cuttings here in our Etsy store.

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Outside of the miniature garden, the cuttings can be a quick and fun monochromatic garden accent for any table-top. These small cache pot containers don’t have a drainage hole. The cuttings are simply placed in the tin. They will last for a few months before needing to be properly potted.

See more weird and wonderful ideas for your miniature or fairy garden here, in America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center.

 Sedum spurium 'John Creech is cold hardy to -40 or Zones 3-9. An outdoor plant, full sun, let soil dry out in between watering sessions to avoid overwatering.

Sedum spurium ‘John Creech is cold hardy to -40 or Zones 3-9 <~ that’s every State of the Union! An outdoor plant, full sun, let soil dry out in between watering sessions to avoid overwatering. I love that hot-pink flower color against the dark green leaves. It blooms in the middle of the summer.

See the John Creech Sedum up in our Etsy store here.

Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' wears a wonderfully bright yellow-green color.

Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ wears a wonderfully bright yellow-green color. Pretty yellow flowers in summer. 

See the Angelina Sedum up in our Etsy store here.

See them in our new Miniature Cinderblock Planter and our new Miniature Palette Planter here.

I love the geometric leaves on this Miniature Ice Plant or Delosperma congesta. They look surreal.

I love the geometric leaves on this Miniature Ice Plant or Delosperma congesta. They look surreal.

See the Miniature Ice Plant here.

Miniature Ice Plant's yellow flowers pop up for a day and then disappear. Thankfully, they don't do it all at one time so it's a really sweet surprise to see them.

Miniature Ice Plant’s yellow flowers pop up for a day and then disappear. Thankfully, they don’t do it all at one time so it’s a really sweet surprise to see them. You just never know when you’ll see the next one!

See all our plants for sun and part sun here.

Theses bigger Hens and Chicks come in a set of 4 miniature garden plants, all of which can be divided right away.

Theses bigger Hens and Chicks come in a set of 4 miniature garden plants, all of which can be divided right away. You can see the “chicks” on the mother plant that will roll off when they are ready. That rosette is about 2 1/2″ wide. Pink flowers in the summertime. 

See all our plants, parts and pieces for miniature gardening here, in our main online store.

Want to dig deeper into the huge world of gardening in miniature? Join us and thousands of other like-minded people for your weekly Mini Garden Gazette delivered straight to your inbox, each Friday. Join us here.

 

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Dog Days of Summer Sale at Your Miniature Garden Center!

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Dog Days of Summer Sale at Your Miniature Garden Center!

The the dog daze of summer upon us, we are taking a break this week too. Orders are still being shipped as they come it. We may delay shipping plants for a day or two to avoid the box sitting somewhere strange over the weekend. Please email us for a faster response here.

Please enjoy some eye candy on our Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/janitc/

Please enjoy a rare, surprise sale for your Miniature Garden Center Store!

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We wrote the book on it. Get an autographed copy from our store or find it on Amazon.com!

We wrote the book on it. Click the photo to get an autographed copy from our store or find it on Amazon.com! (An affiliate link.)

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5 Ways to Start Your Own Miniature Garden

How to Start a Miniature Garden

There are many reasons to grow your own world – they are fun to give and fun to get! This scene is approximately 10 inches wide.

5 Ways to Start Your Own Miniature Garden

I’ve made well over 1,300 miniature gardens since I started this business in 2001, [Update to 2015: we are over 3,000 gardens, in-ground and in containers.] and I have found that there are a number of ways to begin the journey of creating your own wee world.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Choose your site for your mini garden

Right plant, right place applies in miniature as well. Where is your miniature garden going to live: In ground or in a container? Indoor or out? Then figure out what kind of light does that spot have: Full shade? Morning sun? Then choose the plants that will do well in that environment. (Note that indoor plants are tropical plants that like to stay 60 degrees or above all year ‘round. No, you can’t grow an outdoor plant indoors.)

See our miniature garden plants sorted by zone here.

2. Choose your favorite tree

If you have the luxury of planting anywhere, checkout the miniature and dwarf trees and shrubs that are ideal for miniature gardening, and pick a tree that sings to you or tweaks your interest. Some trees can be “limbed-up” to show some more trunk so it looks more like a tree than an shrub. Choose your “mini bedding plants” (a.k.a. ground covers) by matching the same light and water requirements as the tree. If you haven’t been bitten by the miniature conifer bug yet, be warned: they are both numerous, gosh-darn cute and easy to grow.

See our miniature plants sorted by light here.

3. Choose your favorite theme

Forest? Backyard? Formal? Rustic? Re-creating your grandmother’s life-sized garden in miniature? While there may not be an exact miniature version of the full-size tree, you can more-than-likely find a similar, slow-growing, small foliaged tree that is similar in growth shape. Use images of life-sized gardens to help kick-start your brainstorming session and Google it. Look for iconic items that will weather well, classic a rose arbor or grandma’s favorite garden chair, to add to your miniature garden rather than clutter the small scene with tiny details that will get lost in the living miniature garden.

See our Theme Department here.

4. Choose a container

Sometimes the container just beckons to have a wee world in it. Let the colors and the personality of the pot help or dictate the mini garden theme. An unglazed, terra cotta pot would be the perfect pot for a rustic backyard garden-theme. A big, black, glazed, ceramic pot would look smashing with a formal-style miniature garden planted with a Blue Pygmy Juniper, Hens & Chicks and Wooley Thyme for the understory that all enjoy the full sun and tolerate the odd dry soil.

See all our miniature garden trees and plants for miniature gardening here.

 

Your Miniature Garden Center

5. Try a complete kit.

I have a variety of Miniature Garden Kits in my online store, to suit a number of different environments. They come complete with full color instructions that guide you through the simple steps to create a mini garden in a container, and it can be applied to an in-ground garden too.

The kits come with a mini or dwarf tree, matching bedding plants (ground covers), my own Mini Patio Mix Kit, rocks or brick sheets for easy install, and miniature garden accessories to finish off your wee landscape. Once you do this kit, you’ll know how to do it again and again.

Miniature gardens make great gifts for that hard-to-shop for person in your life, hostess gifts, centerpieces for family gatherings or weddings. They do very well at charity auctions and raffles too.

There are just as many reasons to grow your own world, as there are reasons to live in this one. Enjoy your mini garden journey and adhere to the most important, number one rule of gardening in miniature: Have fun and grow your own world.

Need more?

Visit the source of the miniature garden hobby here.
Visit America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center’s here.

Like this? You’ll love our weekly Mini Garden Gazette! It’s free and you get our free pdf, The Best of the Mini Garden Gazette #1, just for signing up. Join us here.

 

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Plant an Effortless Understory for Your Miniature Garden Bed

Understory Plants for the Miniature Garden

The White Diamond Sedum is named after the way it captures water in its rosettes – the droplets look like diamonds. It’s deciduous in that it dies back a bit in the winter months. A truly charming sedum. 

Create an Effortless Understory for Your Miniature Garden or Fairy Garden Bed

I just love that word, “understory.” It sounds so mysterious to me like it should be some sort of literary reference to a subplot in storytelling. Understory. Whoa. Lol! Google’s definition is “a layer of vegetation beneath the main canopy of a forest” and, for us miniature gardeners, it’s what makes a miniature garden come alive and look realistic, like a true garden in miniature.

When you start to think about your miniature garden bed, it follows the same rules in full-size gardening. Start with an anchor plant, this is usually a tree or three, and fill in the understory with layers of shrubs and plants to form a wall of texture, color and green loveliness. Look to the full-sized garden designers for inspiration and ideas to add to your own garden. (Um. Wait. By “full-sized garden designers” I’m talking about the scale of their work, not the size of the gardener. Lol!)

Here are some of our favorite summer “miniature garden bedding plants” or ground covers or understory plants, whatever you want to call them. Click the photos to enlarge them.

Understory Plants for the Miniature Garden

Dwarf Hens and Chicks off a completely different texture to the understory in the miniature garden bed. We find the smallest ones we can for our Miniature Garden Center. Very hardy and very drought tolerant.

Find the Dwarf Hens and Chicks here.
(Sempervirens tectorum)

Find the White Diamond Sedum here.
(Sedum pachyclados ‘White Diamond’)

Understory Plants for the Miniature Garden

One of our all-time favorite miniature garden bedding plants because of it’s grassy texture, and it’s resilience. I’ve see a thriving full bed of this Dwarf Mondo Grass in full sun – and it can do well in part shade too. Inconspicuous lavender-colored flowers in the summer.

Find the Dwarf Mondo Grass here.
(Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’)

That fern-like plant is Platt’s Black Brass Buttons, find it here.
(Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’)

 

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Understory Plants for the Miniature Garden

This Miniature Ice Plant is a slower, more congested from of the regular Ice Plant that can be invasive. Bright yellow flowers pop up for a couple of days through out the summer when it’s established and happy. A full-sun succulent and drought tolerant.

Find the Miniature Ice Plant here.
(Delosperma congesta)

Understory Plants for the Miniature Garden

“The hills are alive….” Our Irish Moss grew into a hill in our in ground miniature garden. Irish Moss is not a moss, it’s a perennial. Regular water, don’t let this one dry out, it will go brown and not recover. You can’t beat that lawn-look in miniature though. That’s a rare miniature dogwood behind it.  

Find the Irish Moss here.
(Sagina sublata)

So you can see with these few miniature garden bedding plants, just how much you can mix up the textures in your miniature understory. Like full-sized garden design, be deliberate and mix up the size of the foliage and the colors. If you choose all fine-leafed foliage it tends to blend together and look messy. By adding the grassy Dwarf Mondo Grass or the rigid leaves of the Miniature Ice Plant for example, it defines the different plants in the garden bed – meaning you can see what each separate plant is and they don’t all run together.

Here’s more about learning from the “big” garden experts here.

See all our miniature and dwarf trees, shrubs and understory plants up in America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com. We have them sorted by light here – and they are sorted by your USDA zone here. Right plant, right place applies in miniature too AND you can plant a miniature garden in a container any time of year!

Like this? Join us and thousands of like-minded miniature gardeners each week with a blast of mini garden goodness delivered to your inbox every Friday. Join us here.

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Happy Father’s Day from America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center!

Fathers Day 2016 in the Miniature Garden

Happy Father’s Day from the Miniature Garden.

Happy Father’s Day from America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center!

We had fun putting this together for Dad’s special day. Have a wonderful Father’s Day weekend!

Click the photos to enlarge them.

Fathers Day 2016 in the Miniature Garden

The black water bowl was purchased years ago and has seen (felt?) several miniature gardens over the years. It’s the perfect shape for a miniature scene. This one is about 18″ in diameter.

The tree is a Seiju Dwarf Elm that we get in stock from time to time. The pot is 18″ across and drilled for drainage.

See the Garden Chair up in the online store here.

Fathers Day 2016 in the Miniature Garden

Here’s lookin’ at you, Dad! Have the camera make eye contact with the critter in your miniature garden – as if it was caught in the act. It starts the story.

Plants from left to right, click the links to see more photos and info in the store.

Dwarf Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’)

Sea Foam (Herneria glabra) alternated with

Hens & Chicks (Semperviren tectorum)

Red Thyme behind the Dwarf Mondo Grass, upper right (Thymus praecox)

Fathers Day2016 in the Miniature Garden

Include a tiny scene to draw the viewer into your miniature garden. It’s the details that will keep them smiling. That is a HO scale model figure in the wee barbecue miniature garden. You can find those tiny accessories at your local train/hobby store.

See our Miniature Propane Barbecue here, a tiny rubber chicken is included!

Regular set of miniature Sedum Cuttings

See the genuine Cedar Oval Deck, made in the USA.

The Miniature Puppy Dog.

The Small Cedar Trellis.

The birdhouse, Miniature Tower with Steeple.

Fathers Day 2016 in the Miniature Garden

Keep it simple and avoid cluttering the scene. It makes it more play-able too. You have room to get in there and reposition the accessories at whim.

 

Barrel Planter, drilled for drainage!

Larger Sedum Cuttings.

Like this? Then you’ll love our FREE monthly Mini Garden Gazette! Our subscribers get first dibs on exclusive, true miniature trees, shrubs and plants, as well as any of our unique, realistic accessories and kits. Join us here.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND!

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Miniature Garden Workshop Tips

Miniature Garden Workshop Tips

For a successful miniature workshop – and with very little effort-  you can take care not to set your students up for failure with plants that work and pots that last.

Miniature Garden Workshop Tips

Spreading the joy of miniature gardening is just as much fun as creating one. With our beloved hobby travelling like wildfire throughout the country, and the world, there are many fellow miniature gardeners who have stepped up to teach it this year. Here are some pointers that we developed after teaching this hobby for the last decade.

Looking for a Miniature Garden class? – If you are looking for a class in your area, the first place to start is your local garden center or nursery. Give them a call, find them on Facebook or, better yet, go and visit them to see what’s going on and say hello.

Miniature Hobby Farm Garden

We punched a bunch of holes in the bottom of this galvanized tub before planting to give the excess water a place to go.

Here is a last-minute checklist for our fellow miniature gardeners who are conducting workshops and classes this spring and summer.

  • Group plants horticulturally to make it easy-peasy for your students to assemble their gardens. Put indoor plants together, outdoor plants together, full sun with full sun, etc. Group plants that like dry soil together – or moist soil together too. If the student doesn’t care about mixing up the plant’s needs in one pot, just make sure they know what they are getting. (A workaround is to keep the moisture-loving plants in the poly-pot and plant the whole thing, pot and all, into the miniature garden. If it’s an aggressive grower, cut out the bottom of the poly-pot before placing it in the miniature garden.)
  • Not all plants will make a great miniature garden. The satisfaction and reward of a miniature garden is to have it grow and weave together over several seasons, if not for years and years. If the student has to repot her “investment” in two months time and buy new plants – they will be disappointed and may not try again. Simply put, plants that stay small and grow slow are the best choices to start with. See what’s in our store for more examples here. Make sure new gardeners have the best leg-up with the right plants so they are satisfied in the long run – and they will come back for more and more fun because the miniature garden is so easy to maintain.

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  • Gather a wide selection of containers if it’s an open class where students choose their own. Some may live in condos and want lightweight containers, while others may have a larger space to work with and want to plant a bigger miniature garden.
  • Choose pots or containers with a drainage hole. Just about any container or teacup can be drilled with the right drill and drill bit. Look for masonry drill bits for most Asian and Chinese pottery, for teacups and porcelain, look for porcelain tile.
    Miniature Garden in a barbecue

    Above photo is from 2013: I chose this “container” because it was new and, being a barbecue, it already had holes for drainage. My plants are true miniatures (Michelle Mugo Pine with Congested Ice Plant) and I know I can keep this together for years before it will need repotting. I shelter it from the hot, summer sun because it is metal. UPDATE – 2016: The Ice plant outgrew the pot last year. The Michelle Mugo Pine is still very happy in this wee bbq planter! 

    Don’t set your students up for failure by telling them that anything can be used for a miniature garden, closed containers simply will not work for everyone. Help your student’s success rate by providing a drilling service, or only recommending containers with drainage holes.

  • Give careful consideration of what you are recommending to plant in. Yes, that old drawer or broken pot may look cute for the first couple of months after the miniature garden is planted but, after a while, your still stuck with an old drawer or broken pot! As the miniature garden keeps growing more magical and fun throughout the seasons, you may regret not investing in a nice container that will last and not fall apart when moved. Note that baskets lined with plastic are temporary containers and will not last. I have found that poking holes in the plastic doesn’t work very well either if you want the garden to last.
  • Always choose organic potting soil for your miniature gardens. Stay away from any soil with extra fertilizer or water-retaining polymers, the plants simply don’t need it, it may burn the roots and nor do you want your miniature plants to grow fast. There is enough nutrients in a good-quality potting soil to last for up to two years.

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  • Recommend accessories that are weatherproof and/or are staked to hold their place in the soil. It is cute to add wee books, refreshments and tiny details but they will weather quickly and get lost in the garden – which is hard on some people’s budgets and their patience. Spending good money on miniatures that don’t last long is frustrating for the new miniature gardener. Put the focus on what will stand up to the weather for the more satisfaction.
  • Provide some snacks or refreshments during the workshop to keep everyone engaged. Miniature garden workshops can sometimes take up to four hours at times. By providing a little nourishment, you can avoid people having to leave early because they need food. Make sure to mention this in your flyer or ad, to let the people know. Better yet, team up with a local caterer and make it a luncheon-event. The students can eat while you teach, then plant afterwards.

Need to know how to build a miniature garden like a pro? Here is our complete instructions on how to create a miniature garden, it includes some in-ground tips and tricks, scale information and recommended plants to use.

Like this? You’ll like our Mini Garden Gazette – join us here for more fun in the miniature garden. 

Visit America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center, here: http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

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Perennials Ideas for Your Miniature Garden or Fairy Garden

Miniature Perennial Borders with TwoGreenThumbs.com

Perennials Ideas for Your Miniature Garden or Fairy Garden

I love perennial plants – full-sized and in miniature. Once you get them established, they pretty much just give and give with little maintenance save for watering when it’s dry, and cutting back the plant when it needs it. That’s it. Done. I love them. Lol!

Here’s tour of our new miniature perennial border that we’ve been developing in one of our larger miniature gardens here at our studio in Seattle, Wa. Click the photo of the plant to see it in our online store.

Miniature Perennial Borders with TwoGreenThumbs.com

Geranium lover alert! This is a true miniature Geranium (Geranium sanguineum ‘Minutum’) and the leaves are so tiny – the perfect scale for us! Flowers are much bigger but we’ll forgive that because they are flowers. Lol! Sun to part sun, hardy to -20F, an outdoor plant. 

See more photos and learn more about the Miniature Cranesbill Geranium here.

Miniature Perennial Borders with TwoGreenThumbs.com

Miniature Goldenrod! The full-sized plant is often blamed for causing allergic symptoms but it the Ragweed, that blooms at the same time, that is the culprit. This one is darling though: easy care hardy to 20F. Sun to part sun. Spreads slowly. An outdoor plant.

See more photos and learn more about the Miniature Goldenrod here.

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These young shoots of Dwarf Mondo Grass were a bit taxed with the recent summer weather we’ve been having. April was our warmest month on record ever! The Dwarf Mondo Grass is very versatile. It seem to be able to grow in any kind of light and even indoors (well, except the random heat waves in early spring.) Water it until it’s established in the garden bed. Trim or gently pluck the yellowing leaves off once there are plenty of new green growth. Remove any dead leaves when you see it. Hardy to 0F. 

See more photos and learn more about the Dwarf Mondo Grass here.

Miniature Perennial Borders with TwoGreenThumbs.com

White ground cover Thyme is nestled in between a wee Hosta and the toad. White Thyme as green leaves with a green stem. It will flower in early summer and probably need dividing next spring because the bed is so skinny. Not edible and doesn’t smell like the herb. Hardy to -20F, part shade to full sun. Drought tolerant when established in-ground. An outdoor plant.

See more photos and learn more about what ground cover Thymes in stock here.

Miniature Perennial Borders with TwoGreenThumbs.com

One of our new and darling miniature Hostas, the Shining Tot. Another plant that got a little stressed after that random heatwave in April – but it will bounce back. The new leaves will flush out and I’ll trim off the yellowing leaves then. The lavender colored flower shoots up about 4 inches. Shade. Hardy to -40F (!) Drought tolerant. An outdoor plant. 

See more photos and learn more about the Shining Tot Miniature Hosta here.

Miniature Perennial Borders with TwoGreenThumbs.com

The tree is a Japanese Holly “in bud” – meaning it is just about to flower. They have the TINIEST flowers in pale green and if the plant is very happy, some of the flowers will turn to green (inedible) berries. Cool sun or part sun, water when top of soil is dry, hardy to -20F, an outdoor plant.

See more photos and learn more about the Jersey Jewel Japanese Holly here.

Miniature Perennial Borders with TwoGreenThumbs.com

The entire border is about 12 inches long. The permanent patio was created with our Mini Patio Mix Kit and the new Coral Shell Stone Sheet.

See more:
Mini Patio Mix Kit here.
Coral Shell Stone Sheet here. 
Made-in -the-USA cedar trellis here.
Green Birdbath here.
Gray Grapevine Birdbath here.
Toad Statue here.

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