Archive for The Business

The Mini Garden Guru Blog: Back in the Saddle

Miniature Garden Cover Shoot

Oh the joys of living in Seattle! Thankfully our subject was waterproof. That’s Kate Baldwin up on the ladder, Patrick Barber, the creative director from Timber Press, in the purple coat and Yours Truly in the ugly brown sweater. ;o)

The Mini Garden Guru Blog: Back in the Saddle

Holy absence of blogging Batman!

Between our furnace breaking down and a huge flood in the studio the week before a major photo reshoot for “the book,” it’s no wonder I didn’t have any quiet space to write a blog in the last couple of weeks. Ugh. I need a clone. Sometimes, there aren’t enough days in the week even if I work the weekends! Needless to say, the blog ideas still pile up in my head.

Here are some photos of our big reshoot at the studio last Friday – I thought you might enjoy seeing a little behind the scenes. We had to do a couple of the projects shots over and we worked out the cover photograph for my new book from Timber Press, Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World, due out July 2013.

Look forward to some new Christmas ideas, new gift ideas and a whole lotta cuteness to share – I’m getting it together.  Join our mailing list for the inside scoop, tips and insight into this wonderfully enjoyable hobby. Can’t wait any longer – off to do more! ;o) – J.

Miniature Garden Photo Shoot

Reshooting the project sequences for The Book. Still tickled that I’m working with Timber Press, the world’s leading horticultural publisher! La creme de la creme!

Miniature Garden Photo Shoot

Towards the end of the day, we had to take cover on our lanai and shoot outwards towards our very dormant garden. Thank goodness we only needed close-up shots of the miniature garden pots! 

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How to Save Money, Have Fun and Give Great Gifts this Holiday

Miniature Garden Arbor in a Part Shade Garden

Miniature Garden Arbor is part of our Anniversary Sale that’s on until November 30th.

How to be Save Money, Have Fun and Give Great Gifts this Holiday

The Anniversary Sale is ON!!

We are now in the young teen years of this business of spreading the Joy of Miniature Gardening. We are 11 years old this year! (Note that we will be skipping the attitude and the tantrums of a typical teen. ;o) We are evolving and growing each year thanks to your support throughout all these years.

Use this gift-crafting-time to practice your miniature garden skills, get your ideas out there &
make FANTASTIC personalized gifts!
See what’s on sale now!

Eleven years ago this month, we started selling miniature gardens at the Fremont Sunday Market here in Seattle, WA. We branched out (yuck, yuck!) slowly to other street markets in the greater Seattle area to spread the word and feel the response before we went “all in.” Internet and library searches came up empty for any variation of the words “miniature gardening,” there were no signs of anyone doing the level of gardening that we were doing save for only one lonely company back east making fairy garden accessories (Gnomenculture.) So, we were left to spread the word boot-strapping-grass-roots style – and spread it we did! Checkout the photos on this blog post from last year here to see some of our beginnings.

“Hanging out our shingle” in touristy street markets, selling at garden and miniature shows – while connecting personally with everyone who came into our booths – really laid the groundwork for us and our message travelled far and wide. Demonstrating, talking and teaching the miniature garden hobby at numerous garden centers and garden clubs helped get the message to other green-thumbers too.

Miniature Gardening in South Africa

A couple of weeks after one big garden show, I got an email from South Africa thanking me for introducing them to Miniature Gardening!

It’s funny to recall the very first garden club I spoke at, miniature gardening was met with such skeptism that several of the women  asked, “You’re really going to make a business out of this?” and looked at me sideways. Then I found this quote by Grayson Marshall, “If people aren’t laughing at your dreams… then your dreams aren’t big enough!” 

You can make a four-inch miniature garden in a few minutes,  a big garden can be completed within an hour. The trick is to have all the ingredients ready at hand. See what’s up in the store now. 

Texas, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Connecticut, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, California– you name it, we had people visit us from all over the world! (We took names for our mailing list, which is how we knew our reach. Note that was a “mail” and not “email”  list, THAT’s how long we’ve been at it!) Here’s another blog post with more background and history here. In an interview with HGTV.com last week, Danny Bonvissuto captures our beginnings in a few sentences –  up in her gardening blog here. We now have fellow miniature gardeners (Fellow MGs) from every state on of the Union and just as many worldwide – check out this little garden from Turkey:

Miniature Gardening in Turkey

Miniature Gardening in Turkey – this is by Ozgur in Mersine, Icel, Turkey. She made everything herself, including the teddy bears and the completely adorable rope furniture.

So look forward to more new and innovative ideas from Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center this coming year. The main differences between us and “the new guys” are simply experience, passion and great customer service. We have been gardening in miniature and studying the nuances of the gardens for well over eleven years. We don’t just sell the plants and accessories, we plant the plants and watch how they grow before passing them on to you. We use the accessories in our own gardens to make sure what works is sturdy, durable and doesn’t end up in the landfill. We are just as in love with this idea as you are. We are miniaturists who love gardening – or you can call us gardeners who love miniatures – either way, we’re hooked! We’ve been selling online for over 10 years, we have secretly shopped “the other guys” and yes, we know give great customer service, we pack with the utmost of care and we have very competitive postage rates!

Gift-giving is the perfect excuse to make Miniature Gardens – to try out some of your ideas and to play with a different assortment of plants. Everyone loves a thoughtful, personalized gift made especially with them in mind – no matter how small it is.

Look forward to another year of creative, crafty, garden fun. Our brand new, definitive guide on Miniature Gardening by the world’s top garden publisher, Timber Press, Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World is due out in the summer so it’s a big year for us. (BTW – You’ll want two copies, one for your coffee table and one for the potting bench!)

Join us in celebrating the Joy of Miniature Gardening. This month, for our anniversary, we are trying something completely different – because we love to try different things – we’ve put over 50 of our best sellers on sale at up to 25% off!! Trees, plants, furniture, tools, fairy items and more are up in the sale department now – go here and see what’s on sale! Hurry, quanitities are limited and the sale ends on November 30th

To get this kind news before it goes public, join our email list here!

Anniversary Sale at the Miniature Garden Center

PS – We have miniature garden PLANTS on sale too! Until November 30th only!

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Miniature Gardening: And the Winner is….

 

Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center does the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center does the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. It is still interesting to see the response after all these years. Miniature Gardening is now old-hat to some people, brand new to others, but everyone got at least a giggle out of it.

Miniature Gardening: And the Winner is…

“It transports you to somewhere else.”

“It puts you in a different world.”

“It ignites the imagination.”

These are loosely quoted snippets from some our top actors, during a video montage played at the Academy Awards this past Sunday night. The actors were talking about the role of movies and the film industry in our daily lives, as if getting lost in a movie was something so unique, so needed by our imagination as a vehicle to transport us, to inspire us, to bring us joy and wonder…

I smiled to myself while watching the familiar faces ooze with such sincerity describing their beloved industry but, in reality, they could have been talking about any hobby under the sun. And hobbies last much longer than movies.

But, let me back this up before we move forward. ;o)

I have spent years in the hobby industry. In fact, I was weaned on it. Hours were spent during summer nights at the dining room table with my father, gluing down page layouts to get them ready for the typesetter. Dad would come out to the farm on the weekends and bring the publishing work with him. He would cut up the old edition of whatever book he was working on at the time, and place the pieces on a sheet of paper in the order that I was to glue it down for him. I think I was about 10 years old and very content to finally have the attention of my father – if it was only for a couple of hours.

For the next few decades, half of the family business was buying and selling gold and antiques, the other half was publishing catalogs on collectibles. I didn’t care for the cut-throat-I’m-smarter-than-you-are-so-I-win world of antiques and, after demonstrating a penchant for the visual arts, I was relegated to working at The Charlton Press.

The Charlton Press is a small publishing company that specializes in collecting and cataloging 20th century collectibles. Coins, medals, badges, hockey cards, Beswick and Royal Doulton Figurines are just a fraction of the subjects they now catalog and publish. The mandate was to create the catalog which would help the build interest in the respective hobby, which, in turn, would create a need for the catalogs.

So, I spent nearly two and a half decades of my life unknowingly learning about the various ways that people approach hobbies. We figured out what information needs to be collected in the first place, studied it, collected it, measured it, called in the experts to help clarify it and packaged in a book form, in order to make it easy for people to access the right information to learn and grow within the hobby.

I think its funny that I’ve found myself
being the trailblazer of the
miniature garden hobby.
I only wanted to do something
that could transport me and
make my imagination spin. ;o)

And in living this hobbified? hobbitastic? life, I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what hobby it is that you partake in, it will take you to somewhere else. Whether you are collecting plants and creating your own private space, collecting coins and diving into history’s corners, crocheting a new afghan blanket and designing it as you go, or whether you are creating a garden in miniature, you will be transported to your very own world. And that’s okay, they know you there.

Visit our online store to see our new, true miniature and slow-growing plants and miniature garden accessories here.

Join our mailing list here.

Subscribe to this blog over on the right… ~> ;o)

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Miniature Fairy Gardens at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

This is becoming an annual tradition, it's our 9th year of doing a miniature garden display on the skybridge at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, Seattle, Wa. Here's a tour of our display:

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

How sweet she is! I started with an Amy Brown Fairy and glued, painted, glued, drilled, painted and glued things on her to make her stand out in the display - since she was to be the only fairy in the scene. I stole the swing off of another piece, glued the driftwood and moss onto to it. We hung it with fishing line so it would appear suspended. The gem sits there and sparkles like a holiday.

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

Found and broken object were "melded" onto the pots and used as miniature garden accessories helped to create the fantasy. It was fun to create with such careless abandon. I recommend it.

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

This Zmatlik Arborvitae is roughly 10 years old. A great forest-y looking tree for full sun that's great for in-ground or in a pot. It turns a brilliant amber color in the cold months.

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

Branches, air plants, and bits of miniature jetsam were tucked in the moss bed, then sprinkled with glitter that twinkled as you walked by it. This pot is 12" wide.

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

A "concrete" pond sets the stage, the Jervis Canada Hemlock creates an aged look and the colorful beads add interest. That leafy plant around the pond I believe is a type of Soldanelle.

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

The Cotoneaster came pre-trained for an easy bonsai look. We've had this one for about 4 years now. That's a 1/2" scale or medium sized bench. The pot is about 10" wide.

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

A young Daphne has the look of a perfect shrub in miniature. I didn't have the heart to limb it up a bit to show some trunk, it was just beginning to bud. That's a tiny angel fairy on the pedestal.

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

I was fun to create the pot and the miniature garden together for a more complete idea. By decorating the pots, it cinched the surreal, fantasy look. That is a Jean Iseli Hinoki Cypress that we've had for a few years, it's becoming a majestic tree in miniature.

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

A young couple sought me out at our booth to say, "We are very impressed with your creativity, it was the best display and most creative at the show. We had to come over and tell you that. Thank you for sharing." It was the best compliment ever. Honestly. I should have taken their contact info... it's that kind of encouragement that keeps me going.

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

We wanted the look of a forest floor. Our backdrop changed dramatically over the weeks leading up to the show. I'm happy with the simple colors, the attention went to the plants and pots where it should be. The colors weren't exactly idea for photography though..

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

Tiny details were fun to tuck here and there throughout the display. Another person had to stop me and say, "Every time I walk by your garden, I see something different!"

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

A mini miniature garden. The patio stones are locked in with our Mini Patio Mix Kit, now available at a local garden center near you! The gazing ball is 1 5/8" tall. Look for the new 2012 colors up in the online store next week.

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

Most of our plants are true miniature and dwarf plants with the occasional exception. These baby Monteray Cypress are a little faster growing than we normally prefer, but the color, and the fact that they can be grown indoors, outweigh the growth rate. They smell great too ~ you may know them as Lemon Cypress.

eNWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

We nurtured these young Monteray Cypresses just for the show, watering them with Moo Poo Tea from Authentic Haven Brand Soil Conditioning Teas to get them looking their best.

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

We customized just about every accessory that went into the display. With our passion trending these days, it's our way of staying ahead of the curve. You can find our One-of-a-Kind and customize miniature garden accessories in our Etsy store.

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

Fireflies in a jar adds a bit of magic...

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

Our fairy bed made by Georgetown Home and Garden is cute as a button and looks great in any setting. They'll be up in the store shortly

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

The fairy magic is in the details when it comes to miniature gardening.

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display

NWFGS 2012 - Miniature Fairy Garden Display was a great success. Again, we did something completely different than anyone else at the show and if we made people laugh, smile and dream, our job is complete.

Find the plants and accessories mentioned here, or to visit our online store, the world’s only store solely dedicated to the art and craft of miniature gardening go here.

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A Miniature Garden Anniversary: 10 Years of Inspirational Stories

Miniature Garden Tree Lot

A Miniature Garden Anniversary: 10 Years of Inspiration

As we wind up our 10 year anniversary celebration this month, I thought to share some of the random interactions with people that helped me get through the years. It never failed that when I was ready to give up, pack it in, and get a job a Target, I would get an email, phone call, or stumble into a chance meeting from a fellow miniature gardener that gave me the inspiration to keep focused. Here are just a couple of the stories:

Miniature Holiday Garden Shed

- Many moons ago, when we were gritting our teeth through another long Sunday at the Fremont Market in Seattle, a man who bought a miniature garden the week before, came back to our booth. He told us about his mother, who was stuck in grief over the loss of her husband, his father. There was nothing that he tried that would shake her out of her sorrow. When he saw one of my miniature gardens, he knew it was worth a try because she always enjoyed gardening. When he brought the miniature garden to her that day, it was the first time he saw her smile in months.

Miniature Holiday Garden Shed

- A woman from Texas was so moved by miniature gardening, she picked up the phone to thank me in person and told me her story. Her sister had been diagnosed with cancer, was going through brutal chemotherapy and had almost given up the fight. One day, she got her sister together enough to at least sit in the garden and get some fresh air. She wrapped her sister in blankets and proceeded to make a miniature garden right in front of her. The ailing sister could not resist, and began interacting with the mini garden, smiling all the while. With miniature gardening to occupy her mind and get her moving in the fresh air, the sister recovered and the two of them went on to start their own miniature garden business.

- Years ago, when I was at my wits end one day, I was wandering through the West Seattle Nursery trying to avoid my self-inflicted work-load. One of the staff members flagged me down and said there was a woman asking about my miniature gardens that I had there for sale. After I spent a few minutes teaching her about miniature gardening, the woman hugged me with tears welling up in her eyes. She was thrilled and relieved to have a new and do-able idea to implement at the adult family home where she was working.

Miniature Holiday Tree Lot

- “I’ve ‘seen’ you around the forums, but didn’t realize that you were associated with Two Green Thumbs. I love your stuff!! I remember when I first became interested in miniature gardens as an adult (I was always into dollhouse stuff as a kid,) I saw many of your gardens while Googling, and they inspired me. IN FACT, they had a lot to do with what inspired me to ask Dave to start this forum! ;0) So see? In a way this forum is here because of you. Keep up the great work! – Taylor” [– The Tiny Garden Forum on DavesGarden.com]

It’s funny where inspiration comes from. These are just a couple of the stories among the many emails I get each week. People thanking me for inspiring them, but I’m not sure if they know that they inspired me too.

Join our mailing list for your free monthly Mini Garden Gazette here.

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Miniature Garden Plants

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Miniature Garden Beginnings: Still Crazy After All These Years

The first group shot of Miniature Gardens by Two Green Thumbs

The first group shot of Miniature Gardens by Two Green Thumbs, 2002

Miniature Garden Beginnings: Still Crazy After All These Years

In celebration of 10 years of miniature gardening, here is a visual trip back to the turn of the century.

Did I make mistakes? I made quite a few.

Did I get weird looks when people found out that I was doing this for a living? Yes.

Do I ask myself questions in the third person? Apparently, I do. ;o)

Click into the photos to enlarge them. All of the photos were taken on 35mm film and were scanned from prints. (Was it only 10 years ago that we didn’t have digital cameras, iphones or portable video cameras?)

The very first miniature garden was an impromptu board with soil on it.

It started as an idea for a backdrop for our greeting card line, having fun with one sixth scale scenes.

The very first miniature garden was an impromptu board with soil on it that was created for the greeting card line. I used small weeds and rocks to fill up the space. Lake Union in the background in the above photo.

The original Miniature Garden that lasted for 3 years before the container fell apart.

The original Miniature Garden that lasted for 3 years before the container fell apart. The above scene was 1o 1/2" across and fooled one of the experts at the Swanson's Nursery.

At about the same time, I was working at Swanson’s Nursery here in Seattle and found the miniature and dwarf conifers that suited my purpose perfectly. The search for miniature “bedding plants” opened up a wealth of choices. My brain was doing flips at the possibilities! After assembling the above scene in a homemade, 3 foot container, it grew together quite nicely.

It soon attracted everybody’s eye who visited. Friends wanted one for themselves, for their sister or their mother. I brought the above photo to Swanson’s Nursery and showed it to one of the gurus that worked there. She passed it back quickly and said, “That’s nice, Janit.” She did not notice that it was a miniature garden scene. I knew I had something then…

The first Miniature Gardens weren't quite right, and did not stand the test of time.

The first Miniature Gardens were not quite right, and did not stand the test of time.

When I started making miniature gardens to sell, I wanted to put them in pots to be carry-able so I shrunk the idea even further. At first, I was designing with color and texture, and not paying attention to what plants needed to survive. In the photo above, I mixed full-sun plants with part shade plants, a combination that did not work for long.

The very first Miniature Garden Patio was sand base that kept washing away every time I watered.

The very first Miniature Garden Patio was sand-based, with broken marble tile pieces haphazardly arranged.

I got the look of the patios down just by mimicking “full-sized” gardens and used flagstone, marble, stones with miniature sand as the “grout.” (Yes, play sand was too big! ;o) The patio kept getting washed out with the overhead watering and the Seattle rain – I had to fix it all the time! I developed the Mini Patio Mix Kit to create a permanent miniature patio keep it looking nice all the time. I don’t like fussy things.

Our first test of the miniature garden idea at Fremont Market, Seattle, Wa

Our first test of the miniature garden idea at Fremont Market, Seattle, Wa. in 2002.

It was a cold, wet, rainy November day in Seattle. Yuck. As you can see by the look on my face in the photo, I wasn’t completely sold on the idea at first. But right after this picture was taken, we got a flurry of activity that made me come back the next Sunday and the next… It got to the point where I could not make the gardens fast enough. Then something changed and the do-it-yourself movement started; people wanted to make their own miniature gardens. So, I switched gears and started to supply the plants, parts and the pieces instead.

By 2004, with help from Steve, we got the Miniature Garden setup down to a system.

By spring of 2003, with help from Steve, we got the Miniature Garden setup down to a system.

By 2003, with help from Steve and the purchase of a used pick-up truck, we got the Miniature Garden setup down to a system. It was not easy work maintaining and schlepping the heavy, “living” inventory with the tiny and meticulous, miniature accessories.

During the summer months, I did up to 3 markets a week with Steve helping on Sundays. It really help spread the word. The Fremont Market was where I met the most out-of-town visitors and tourists, so I gave out postcards, set up a website, started a mailing list. I began to sell plants on Ebay to test the idea online.

Experimental Miniature Gardening

Experimental Miniature Gardening with Cacti and Aloe. The wee engraved rock is from JaensRocks on Etsy.

Old Fashioned Miniature Gardens

I called this kind, Old Fashioned Miniature Gardens, the type your Grandma used to make.

“If people aren’t laughing at your ideas… you are not dreaming big enough.”

- Loosely quoted, until I find the source. – J.

I had fun planting Miniature Gardens in anything I could find.

I had fun planting Miniature Gardens in anything I could find.

Improving with experience, a true garden in miniature.

One of the early pots where I was not combining the plants properly. That yellow grass on the right, the Miniature Sweet Flag, will not do well living with the Sedums and the Spruce, it likes moist and some shade.

This group of Miniature Gardens was taken in 2004.

This group of Miniature Gardens was taken in 2003.

It's a little bit of miniature garden fun, every season of the year.

It's a little bit of miniature garden fun, every season of the year.

Join us for the Anniversary Edition of the Mini Garden Gazette, sign up here.
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Press Release: World’s smallest garden center celebrates huge miniature garden trend.

Miniature Hemlock in the Miniature Garden

A Dwarf Hemlock 'Moon Frost' is delightful for the Miniature Garden

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

November 8, 2011 – The world’s smallest retail nursery, Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center, turns 10 years old this month and is leading the brand new miniature garden hobby into the most popular trend to hit the garden industry in years. Industry professionals, garden center owners and growers are quickly discovering this huge surge in interest in the smallest of plants and the tiniest of gardens.

“Miniature gardening is the perfect blend of the two most popular hobbies in the world: gardening and miniatures. There is nothing else like it.” says Janit Calvo, founder of Two Green Thumbs.

The Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center was formed in 2001 after discovering that the art of gardening small was just too rich of an idea to let go. The miniature garden hobby is not new, but their approach to it is. With the power and reach of the Internet, Two Green Thumbs has supplied quality products and services to new hobbyists, crafters and gardeners throughout the world, and the trend shows no signs of stopping.

A Double-Sided Miniature Garden

A Double-Sided Miniature Garden - Northwest on one side, Hawaiian on the other.

These miniature, magical gardens are made of slow-growing plants that are “dwarf” and “miniature,” terms describe the growth rate of the plant. The plants are combined with miniature accessories and in-scale patios to make real, living mini garden scenes – that can last up for years in a container with minimal care. When planted correctly, the plants and trees stay in scale with each other to create a sustainable, true garden in miniature.

Two Green Thumbs spent years spreading the idea through garden shows, exhibits, demonstrations and clubs all over Washington State. The online store was the first store to bring the complete idea to the consumer and, since then, it has inspired other people to start their own miniature garden businesses using the same model. Now, nurseries and garden centers are including this new level of gardening into their own stores.

A Best of Show Miniature Garden

This Best of Show Miniature Garden is 3 feet wide by 2 feet deep.

“This miniature and fairy garden trend is about to explode. You’ll see a lot more options this holiday season and next spring, when the planting season opens up.”

The company’s inimitable Mini Garden Guru blog and the Mini Garden Gazette newsletter are deeply saturated with all things miniature garden, and are sent all over the world, inspiring thousands to garden small. The company’s unique Facebook fan page is exclusively their own, and reports daily on the new trend. Social media network connections like Twitter, Flickr and Etsy have helped reach thousands of crafters and gardeners, and have spread the word so much that the trend is snowballing. To find out what all the fun is about or to learn more, visit their website, http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com.

“There is no limit what can be done: large, small, gifts, parties, or create your own miniature empire in your backyard. It is possible on any budget, now everyone can have a garden.”

 # # #

 Contact Details:

Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center
Janit Calvo, Owner
Mailing Address Only: Please Contact.
Office Phone: 206-352-0494
Office Hours: 10am through 4pm, Monday to Friday, or by appointment.
Email Contact: Janit@TwoGreenThumbs.com
Main Website: http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

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Online Miniature Garden Center News: Here We Grow Again!

New layout and drop-down menus make it fun and easy!

New categories and drop-down menus make it fun and easy! We've got fia

Online Miniature Garden Center News: Here We Grow Again!

It was one of those “Ah-ha” moments.

When training new help this past summer and one of the obstacles that kept coming up was trying to explain the different sizes and scales of miniature garden accessories that are available to someone who had never experienced them before.

So, when I pressed my guy as to what it was that he wasn’t getting he said, “Why don’t you just make it small, medium and large?”

Shop by size at your Miniature Garden Center

Shop easily and quickly by size. Matching the scale of your accessories will cinch the realism.

Well, heck. Way to make it simple, eh? ;o)

So, I combed through all the products in the online store and re-named the scales to make it completely straightforward, easy to understand and easy to use – for everybody!

Here is the breakdown for the new size definitions and what size of miniature gardens they are suitable for:

Large size = 1″ scale or 1:12 scale
The large sized accessories are great for large pots over 10” diameter, or for placing 1 or 2 pieces in smaller garden vignettes. This scale is perfect for in-ground mini gardens where, most times, the garden is viewed standing up too.

Medium size, or half-inch scale, gets a bit lost in this miniature garden container.

Medium size, or half-inch scale, gets a bit lost in this miniature garden container that is about 18" in diameter. Large size, or one-inch scale, would work much better.

Medium size = 1/2″ scale or 1:24 scale
The medium size is great for small pots less than 10” in diameter. If the pot is too big, this scale gets a bit lost. Medium size is also perfect for little 4” pots to give as hostess, co-worker and thank you gifts and great for centerpieces in-the-round.

Small size = 1/4″ scale
The small sized garden accessories are perfect for tabletop gardens, terrariums and windowsills. Display this scale at eye level on a shelf, up on a pedestal where you can get it closer to the viewer.

But wait, there’s more!

The navigation in the online store has been rearranged to make it easier to find things. Everything is sorted out into 10 main categories along the top of the page, just hover your mouse over one of the categories to see the drop-down menu to show more of what is in there. Note the new fairy and terrarium categories too.

New categories and a separate section for new, back-in-stock and sale items when they come up.

New categories and a separate section for new, back-in-stock and sale items when they come up.

Aaaaaand there is a new sale section that will appear from time to time.  As we lead this trend into the future, we will be rotating older stock out of the store to make room for the new ideas. We are debuting this new category with a nice selection of miniature and dwarf trees and shrubs that are 25% off and some overstock items at 15% off. Check back often, the sale items go fast.

Now, sit back, relax and check out your new Miniature Garden Center here.

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Miniature Gardens vs. Fairy Gardens – What is the Difference?

Fairy door and windows.

Not really a miniature garden but very cute! From the "Our Favorite Miniature Gardens" album on HGTV.com

Miniature Gardens vs. Fairy Gardens – What is the Difference?

I opened up a little can of worms the other day on our Facebook page.

Thankfully, I’m a little hardcore when it comes to gardening, I like worms.

A couple of weeks ago, I created a post for the Facebook page that linked to a series of fairy gardens on HGTV.com and suggested that they should start hanging out with us “real miniature gardeners.” I must admit, that was a bit hasty in retrospect, but I didn’t mean to offend anyone so here’s an explanation of where that comment came from.

The first picture in the album was of a couple of windows and a door nailed to a tree with a fairy in front of it. Inside the album, however, there were a couple of pictures that were very pretty little miniature fairy gardens, and pictures of a fairy house and a gnome house.

A very pretty little Fairy Garden

From the HGTV.com album. Fairy gardens are a type of miniature garden and if there is a fairy in it, then the word 'fairy' belongs in the name.

“Why?” asked Patti Sherwood, the founder and leader of the Miniature and Fairy Garden forum on Garden Share.com “… because I truly believe that every attempt at creating a garden of any kind should be applauded and not criticized.”

That was a great question, Patti, and you made an even better point.

But I felt like Martha Stewart. She is always made fun of because of her quest for excellence and perfection. But, you know what? She raised our game. Martha made us want for a better home and a better life through the domestic arts. Heck, we didn’t even call it “domestic arts” until she did! It was called housework and cooking. How unglamorous.

Yes, I think every attempt at gardening should be applauded, especially because plants help the air, our stress levels and the environment, visually and environmentally.

But, promoting any type of gardening is not what I do. My focus is living miniature gardening.

“Lettuce define our terms.”
              – Kermit the Frog

The term ‘miniature garden’ is an all-encompassing phrase for any small sized garden, living or artificial. It can be as big as a small backyard or as small as a thimble-sized terrarium. Dish gardens, bonsai, penjing, rock gardening, railroad gardening, gnome gardening, tray gardening, windowsill gardening, teacup gardening, terrariums, vivariums and Wardian cases are all types of miniature gardens. I’ve probably missed some too.

But they are not literally a living garden in miniature.

So here is the definition of our type of miniature gardening. (Yes, it is my own, I can not think of who else would have the authority and perspective to define it so I’ll claim it.)

Living Miniature Gardens

Living Miniature Gardens include plants, patio/paths and an accessory all in scale with one another.

Definition: A miniature garden is the perfect blend of tiny trees, plants, hardscaping and garden accessories that are in scale with one another to create a lasting, living garden scene or vignette.Living Miniature Gardens include plants, patio/paths and an accessory all in scale with one another.

And maybe that’s it, right there.

Our miniature gardens should be called Living Miniature Gardens to separate our type of miniature gardening from the rest of the group.

And as a leader and a professional (like HGTV.com) I feel it is part of my job to bring out the best miniature gardener in everybody.

So, when one is adding a fairy figure to a bunch of plants and calling it a miniature garden, that isn’t quite right, it is a fairy garden.

A window and door hammered onto a tree is not a miniature garden. It could lead to one – but I would be hard-pressed to even call it a garden. Where are the plants?

From the Fairy and Miniature Garden Forum on GardenShare.com

They are crazy about fairies! This moment of sublime cuteness comes from the Fairy and Miniature Garden Forum on GardenShare.com

A sign propped up in the corner with a fairy a pebble path is a fairy garden, not a “miniature garden” even though it is cute as a button.

And the “Our Favorite Miniature Gardens” on the HGTV.com site was an album of fairy gardens, or miniature fairy gardens, if you will.

Do you agree? Leave a comment below about my current definition of what we do here at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center and help us define what we do so we can continue to share, enjoy and create living miniature gardens.

 

Comments (15)

Miniature Gardening at the Big Garden Centers

Miniature Gardening at the Big Garden Centers.

New gnome and fairy garden departments at your local nurseries this year.

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