A Reblog and an update on a whimsical product idea – only from your Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center. We’ve since sold hundreds of these little charmers:
Archive for The Business
Miniature Gardening News From Around the World
Geez, I take a week-off from blogging and miniature gardening goes on a world tour. Lol! Just in case you missedwhat’s been happening in the ever-growing world of The Little Hobby That Could, it’s making some serious headway throughout the world. Here is your update!
But First, Clarification for the Masses
But first, let us define our terms. Two things that stand out as I read the comments coming in from the general public, is that (1) miniature gardening is bonsai and (2) it is nothing new.
While bonsai is a form of gardening in miniature, this new way to garden is about just that – a garden. Bonsai means “tray-plant” (bon = tray, sai = plant) and its focus is on growing miniature versions of trees in shallow, tray-like pots. Bonsai really is an art form that requires diligence, patience and constant maintenance.
Miniature gardeners design with living plants and trees that mimic full-size plants, grow slowly and are planted as a garden in regular containers, or right in the ground. We adhere to the main garden rule, “right plant, right place” to minimize the maintenance so the garden is able to grow and weave together naturally. Most mini gardens are able to stay together for years before needing any repotting and the root-pruning is minimal, if it is needed at all.
And no, miniature gardening in not new – it’s just new to the marketplace and to most people, plus it needed some serious updating which is why I picked up the torch and ran with it. The one thing I discovered while selling my miniature gardens for years at farmers markets and trade shows, is that people have been miniature gardening and fairy gardening for decades. It was such a personal hobby, and there was no where to share it until social media linked everyone together, so it went unnoticed until recently.
Singapore Garden Festival Finds Miniature Gardening Fits the Bill
A delegation of miniature gardeners from the Philadelphia Flower Show’s Miniature Settings were invited to the Singapore Garden Festival to show, tell and teach about miniature gardening. Vice chair of the exhibit in PA, Louise Krasniewicz, was accompanied by Deb Mackie and Nancy Grube, all three are award-caliber miniaturists. Dr. K. (aka Louise) chronicled their journey on her Miniature Flower Show Settings Blog. It starts here and you’ll find links to the other exhibit and workshop posts further down on the page.
The Huffington Post did a little miniature gardening last week and posted a series of different gardens found on the popular Hometalk website. The headline boasted fairy gardens but, alas, there was nary a fairy in sight in the photos they choose – temporary arrangements, terrariums and my twee garden ideas were included. Please feel free to like, repost, comment and share. Thank you, Huffington Post!
The Daily Mail Online Gets On Trend
The Daily Mail is a popular website from the UK. They highlighted a series of my photographs this week for all to see! The only thing – I wish they spelled my name right. Lol! See the gallery here. Please feel free to like, repost, comment and share. Thank you, Daily Mail!
And Houston? We Have a Contact in India!
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll recognize these gardens as the winners of the international segment of our Great Annual Miniature Garden Contest last year. (The winners start here.) They are now up and running with their own website, (its a work-in-progress so check back!) and you can keep in touch with them on Facebook here.
Who knew such a little garden could have so much impact?
Visit our online store for all the right plants, parts and pieces here.
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Over 280 blog posts and five years later, we’re looking back to see very little has changed in this regard. – J.
A Garden For All: Growing experts?
An online friend, and one of my sources for inspiration for my business, Barbara Winter, has many favorite quotes to live by, but I especially like this one as it gets more and more applicable in today’s online world where anyone can be an “expert.”
“Don’t take travel advice from someone who has never left home.”
I wish I heard that one years ago.
So, I’m on Twitter these days, and have been for several months now. I’m not sure if it is really helping my business, or it’s just a place for my random thoughts that pass through my head while working alone every day. Through this source, I’ve been exposed to many other garden-related people, and what they are…
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Miniature Gardening Across the Pond – and Back Again
Miniature gardening made it across the pond and back again this spring! As the new hobby grows its way into the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa, we thought to share these articles that you may not have had a chance to see. Click into these pages to enlarge them – then you can click to zoom-in again to read them.
I enjoyed this interview by Doll’s House Magazine in the UK that includes insight into how I got into gardening and into miniatures – two passions of mine that are now bundled into one!
This hobby has grown expontentially but not everyone knows what a miniature garden plant is yet, here’s a breakdown of what kind of plants to look for – wherever you are.
We recommend calling your local independent nursery – note that the big-box-stores will not have these wonderful trees as our grower is committed to serving the independent garden centers.
Previous posts about Canadian nurseries that carry the same trees and shrubs that we do are here.
Click to enlarge these articles, then you can zoom in again. I’m not sure how this will work on a hand-held mobile or phone, however.
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We thought our blog readers would enjoy the latest press release from Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center:
Press Release: Biggest Trend Grows Into a New Hobby
Mix the two most popular hobbies in the world, gardening and miniatures, add a huge helping of crafty ideas, and you have a brand new hobby that has rooted itself in the imaginations of gardeners everywhere. Miniature gardening is a trend that has now become an official hobby as the world’s smallest garden center celebrates 12 years in business this month, and a position on the Amazon’s Best Books for 2013 list, but it does not come without a little controversy.
With almost 6000 miniature gardening fans on Facebook, 3000 Twitter followers and 10,000 subscribers from all over the world, TwoGreenThumbs.com has been leading the hobby as the source for gardening in miniature. They provide the much-needed information, ideas, inspiration, plants and products for what could be America’s next favorite pastime, certainly it is the cutest.
“Don’t just take my word for it, look at what happened last summer.” Calvo’s brand new book, Gardening in Miniature: How To Create Your Own Tiny World completely surprised the publisher, Timber Press, as the presales exceeded all expectations. They triggered a second printing of the book before receiving the first, a month and a half before it was officially launched on July 15th. The book is now on the Best Books for 2013 list on Amazon and holds the #5 position in the garden category.
Such an endearing idea doesn’t come without a miniature helping of controversy in the garden world. Fairy gardening made it to Today’s Garden Center’s Top Ten Most Hated Trends last spring. Some of the more daring garden bloggers have had the courage to step up and call the trend out for putting plants and gardening far behind the houses and accessories, but isn’t a garden about the plants and growing them?
“The gift industry took the fairy idea and ran with it because it is easy to create fiction out of resin; and the stuff sold like hotcakes because it appealed to children,” Janit explains. “But people are tiring of the junk, it is not sustainable and will become tomorrow’s landfill.”
Janit details the frustrating effort of trying to show the manufacturers what her customers really want, as her license contract with a local garden/gift importer came to a close in June of this year. “It was very surprising considering what was happening with the Gardening in Miniature book at the time. My customers and fellow MGs [miniature gardeners] are adults, something the gardening and gift industries are not getting. We know exactly what this new hobby needs because we are miniature gardeners and our customers are always telling us what they need. We are considering new options with other manufacturers, we are just not seeing the solutions for this new hobby in the marketplace yet.”
The garden industry has been labeling miniature gardening a trend for years, “but when my customers are coming back each season, year after year, for 12 years, then we know we have something that cannot be called a trend, it is a hobby,” Janit continues. “It’s endearing, educating, grounding, personable and very, very creative. We are naturally drawn to miniatures, nature and gardening, so it’s a perfect fit and it’s for everyone.”
Janit Calvo is the author of Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World by Timber Press. She founded Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center, www.TwoGreenThumbs.com, and is based in Seattle Wa.
Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center
Janit Calvo, Owner, Founder
Author of Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World
Mailing Address Only: 10204 12th Ave S., Seattle, Wa, 98168
Main Website: www.TwoGreenThumbs.com
Office Phone: 206-352-0494
Office Hours: 10am through 4pm, Monday to Friday, or by appointment.
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New Book on Gardening in Miniature Surpasses All Expectations
“I can safely say Timber has never gone to reprint with such speed on any other book in its history.” – Andrew Beckman, The Big Kahuna, Timber Press
Whew! Talk about some great miniature garden news! Those folks over a Timber Press started their launch this week, and boy-o-boy they sure are busy-bees. So I thought to bring them to you! Here are a few websites that have reviews already, a wonderful blog-post from Canada, and the start of Timber’s big launch. It has been interesting to see the different takes on the book and the hobby.
There are a bunch of reviews up on the Amazon website here if you are want to read more opinions about the new book. One review by a librarian brought attention to what the book is not: It’s not a book for young children – although I am positive that young teenagers will enjoy it. And, it’s not about fairy gardening. There are several books out on the market that cover that type of gardening (we recommend the Julie Bawden-Davis / Beverly Turner book, they’ve been doing them for years and years.) But fairy gardeners and experienced gardeners will enjoy the plant and scale information to add a touch of realism to their work. And, there is a whole chapter filled with basic garden information in the book for the beginner gardener, as well as plenty of ideas and inspiration for the experienced gardener.
Read more reviews on the GoodReads website here.
A lovely review from Publisher’s Weekly is here. (Now, who would have thought I would have a review on the famous Publisher’s Weekly? ;o) They said the book is a “fascinating sophisticated approach to container gardening.” Insert blushing here.
The beautiful and talented Stephanie Rose from the popular Garden Therapy blog and website got together a how-to make a miniature garden patio up on her blog for your infotainment. You can see the fast and easy way to build a miniature patio right in your garden. AND, I must add that if you like recipes, gardening, DIY projects and “crafty goodness,” I guarantee you will enjoy her website. Stephanie is an excellent photographer, graphic designer and writer – and she’s a brand new Mom this month so be assured that there will be a baby/children theme carrying on for the years to come. She’s got a contest to win one of our Mini Patio Mix kits so be sure to enter for your chance to win a free kit – the details are at then end of the post.
And back to the Mothership! Timber Press’ website has now turned into Gardening in Miniature! Lol! Check out all the gorgeous photos from the book that they have on their website and blog. Note that they built their gardens a bit differently – but hey, they didn’t have Gardening in Miniature to read when they made them last fall for their show – but we think they did a pretty good job! Be sure to enter their contest for a chance to win one of our Complete Indoor/Outdoor Miniature Garden Kit AND a book!
So, run, don’t walk, to your nearest Barnes and Noble – if you are in Canada, they are in Chapters-Indigo – and pick up a copy! Everybody should have them in stock by now. You can find it at any bookseller, on the Timber Press website, Amazon, Chapters-Indigo website, the Barnes and Noble website, or get an autographed copy from our online store here. They should be wherever books are sold.
Join us at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center for more in the miniature garden. We have a monthly newsletter, The Mini Garden Gazette, that is filled with tips, ideas, FAQs, contests, specials and links to more fun. You’ll get a free PDF after signing up too! Join us here.
Re-Defining the Miniature Garden and Creating History
I think it’s safe to say it. It was probably safe to say it last year – and maybe the year before that too: We’ve made it into the garden history books.
And it only took over 12 years of a full-on-sprint to get it done. (“It” meaning, create the market, define the hobby, then write The Book <- not a good business plan. ;o) But, hey, time to dance in the streets, eh? But first, let me explain my historical statement if you are new to what is happening here.
What We Know For Sure
We know the term ‘miniature gardening’ has long been used as a broad description for all kinds of gardening small. Teacup gardening, dish gardening, terrariums, bonsai, Penjing, gnome gardening, toad gardening, fairy gardening, dollhouse gardening, trough gardening, railroad gardening, windowsill gardening, rock gardening, alpine gardening, small-space gardening, indoor gardening… and I’ve probably missed a few too.
Less than a few years ago, when I said ‘miniature garden’ to the average gardener, one of four things would normally happen:
(a) they used to think of it as any kind of small garden,
(b) they assume it was a fairy garden,
(c) they would not know what I was talking about because the term was so vague and unknown, or
(d) they thought I was talking about an artificial dollhouse garden.
And yes, there have been books on fairy gardening and railroad gardening throughout the last few years that have used the term “miniature garden” as well – but I think we can chalk that usage up to the old definition by now – ONLY because AND quite frankly – what else would you call our style of gardening in miniature?
And this is where the changing history comes in because we have now redefined the term “miniature garden.” This is not the first attempt at changing this definition but it will certainly be the time when it will stick only because too many people have fallen under its spell.
The Official Definition of a Miniature Garden:
“A miniature garden is a living garden in a tiny scale and looks like a full-sized garden that has literally shrunk in size. It consists of a slow growing dwarf or true miniature plants, in-scale bedding plants, a patio or pathway, and miniature accessories where all the elements relate in scale, are proportioned to each other and stay in scale and proportion as the garden grows together.”
And hey, this is becoming an even bigger historical movement in the garden world, especially if you do take into account all the fairy gardeners too. Which brings us to the question,
“What exactly is the difference between miniature gardening and fairy gardening?”
Fairy gardens are created specifically for fairies with whimsical houses, fantastical furniture and a fairy figure, or two are hidden among the regular-sized garden plants and herbs.
For most people, using this highly imaginative theme compromises the realism dramatically and reduces the enchantment that only an authentic and realistic miniature scene can deliver. Notice the next time you see a really good fairy garden that it is the realistic items in the scene that delivers most of the message – whether it be a realistic window on a house, a tiny book laying on the table or a miniature rake propped up next to the fairy house.
And It’s Generating a Huge Miniature Movement
It is just a tiny garden idea with incredibly rich possibilities and it is quickly capturing the hearts and the imaginations of people worldwide. Miniature gardening is a personable, creative, accessible, share-able, scale-able, play-able and a productive way to get your creative juices flowing and, at the same time, can be very grounding and centering. Now don’t just sit there, help make history.
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