Archive for The Business

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.

Ad-FallPlanting - 1

  • 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.

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

  • 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

Book Cover - Low Res 008

Get an autographed copy from our store or find it on Amazon.com!

Leave a Comment

Digging Deeper with America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com, Part 3

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 24 :: Milestone – This one took some time to figure out because there were many milestones on this bumpy road. Like the first time the mighty USDA came to inspect our backyard because we ship miniature trees & plants out of State. Or how about the time a client gave me $300 and said, “I love your work, I trust you.” But this montage above was our first display at the Seattle Miniature Show that won “Best of Show.” I came to pick it up after a long, grueling, cold day vending at the Fremont Market and only made $30. When I saw the purple ribbon on my miniature garden, I cried. Lol! 😍😍😍

Digging Deeper with America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com, Final Part 3

This was an Instagram challenge this past March called #MarchMeettheMaker and I found it was a great way to tell you more about what we do here at America’s favorite – and first – Miniature Garden Center.

There was a list to follow of what to post each day for 31 days. We’ve divided it up into three blogs,  here is the first, Part 1,  here is the second, Part 2 and this is the last here below, so you too can find out more about us. We’re the little company that could and did.

Here is the third part of our story, through Instagram photos.

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 21 :: Work Clothes – I didn’t think we had a uniform, until today. Lol! Now, we do have our outdoor Crocs and gardening clothes too! Bare feet and flip-flops in the summertime… <~> one of the pros for working at home. 👍👍👍😃

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 22 :: Bestseller – My bestseller is my book, Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World published by Timber Press. It was a bestseller for the publisher before the book was even released in June of 2013. It remained on the bestseller list on Amazon for months in both the miniature department and in the flower gardening department. It has since been translated into German, Turkish and soon-to-be Korean. It is the best book on the hobby and written by someone (Me!😁) who is genuinely passionate about miniatures and gardening, and the pioneer of this new garden niche, since 2001. 💚🌳🌿🌲💚

 

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 23 :: Studio Playlist – We listen to a combo of talk radio, audio books, podcasts and, most importantly, “THE” Seattle dance music radio station, C89.5 – one of the oldest in the nation – and Steve’s fave. 😍👍🎶🎧🎶

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 26 :: Packaging – This our baby and the first product that we had to design the packaging for. The Mini Patio Mix Kit is designed especially for miniature gardeners by a miniature gardener! We look forward to doing more as we tend to know what the hobby needs and wants – because actually garden in miniature too – we don’t just sell it and we don’t chase shiny bullets either. 😁😁

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 26 :: Texture – As an artist that plays in the garden, color and texture is always a consideration with whatever I do. The concept was drilled into me during art college when form and texture helped define and add depth and richness to all artworks (I studied painting, sculpture and new media.) These days, when working daily along side Ma Nature, I have the the best examples that one could have!

 

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 27 :: Routine – Most days start with a 5K walk with my best girl, Kitty. Our neighborhood has several peekaboo views of downtown Seattle ~> that photo looks north to downtown. Our walk includes an abandoned track that is just beside a golf course. Oh, and that’s not our Magnolia, but our neighbors. I worship it every time we walk by. 🌳😍🌳

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 28 :: Organization – One of the critical tasks in the miniature garden studio is to remain organized as much as possible. Because everything is so tiny, it can quickly get out of hand if you are not paying attention. Boxes help tremendously as does “taking inventory” – looking through everything – to remember what you have!! 🎨✂️📌🔨😍

 

Keep Calm and Make a Miniature Garden

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 29 :: In Action – I take my own photos so it’s not very often that I get one in action. Perhaps a selfie-stick would help. 📷🏃👌😁

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 29 :: Books – Yep! Got those! I am very blessed and very grateful to have this vocation bestowed upon me by the Universe, or perhaps it was from god, herself. 👼 The worlds best – and best selling! – book on the miniature garden hobby ~> Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World. Published by the expert team @timberpress, the worlds top garden publisher. 💚🌳💚🌳

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 30 :: Customers – Customers become clients and clients become friends. I would not be here without my customers and fans. Word. It was uncanny: every single time I threw up my hands, decided to pack it in and get a day job (Honestly, there are better ways to not make any money!!) I received a phone call (I’m dating myself) or an email from someone thanking me for introducing them to this wonderfully creative hobby of miniature gardening. People have hugged me, squealed, cried, stared at me and, of course, laughed. Miniature gardening saves lives – the stories I could tell if they were only my stories to tell. 😍❤️😍💚🌳💚(This program is all in thanks to @joannehawker 😍)

Thank you for reading! ICYMI, here is Part 1.  here is the second, Part 2. Leave any comments or questions below.

Want to follow us on Instagram? It’s all the rage, you know. Lol! Find us here.;o)

Like this? Want more? Join us for your FREE weekly Mini Garden Gazette delivered to your inbox each Friday. Sign up here and you’ll get a FREE pdf after confirming through your email.

Want more? Join us at the new Miniature Garden Society member’s only website! Learn more about it here.

http://www.MiniatureGardenSociety.com

 

Sophisticated Fairy Gardening, by Janit Calvo

An expert view on fairy gardening and how to make them look authentic in your miniature garden. Get it now in an instant download, click the picture.

Leave a Comment

Digging Deeper with America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com, Part 2

Day 18 :: Shelfie - I scoured the public library system and the internet for any book that mentioned miniature gardening back in 2001 when I first started out - and bought most of them. (Back then you could scour the internet in a couple of hours.) The only author that did what we do was Anne Ashberry - the rest of the books are different types of miniature gardening: teacup gardening, windowsill gardening, bonsai, terrariums... Until I wrote my own book ~> the three on the right, Gardening in Miniature, translated into German, Turkish and soon to be Korean. It's a bestseller for the publisher and for Amazon and it's the best book on the hobby. Why? Because it is written by someone who is genuinely obsessed about miniature gardening: Me.

Day 18 :: Shelfie – I scoured the public library system and the internet for any book that mentioned miniature gardening back in 2001 when I first started out – and bought most of them. (Back then you could scour the internet in a couple of hours.) The only author that did what we do was Anne Ashberry – the rest of the books are different types of miniature gardening: teacup gardening, windowsill gardening, bonsai, terrariums… Until I wrote my own book ~> the three on the right, Gardening in Miniature, translated into German, Turkish and soon to be Korean. It’s a bestseller for the publisher and for Amazon and it’s the best book on the hobby. Why? Because it is written by someone who is genuinely obsessed about miniature gardening: Me. 😁 😍💚😍😁

Digging Deeper with America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com, Part 2

This was an Instagram challenge this past March called #MarchMeettheMaker and I found it was a great way to tell you more about what we do here at America’s favorite – and first – Miniature Garden Center.

There was a list to follow of what to post each day for 31 days. We’ve divided it up into three blogs, this is the second, (here is the first, Part 1,) so you too can find out more about us. We’re the little company that could and did. Here is our story, through Instagram photos.

Day 11 :: Post Run :: We've been shipping the miniature plants, parts & pieces for gardening in miniature since 2002/3 when we started selling on eBay before we opened our online store in 2004. We have the BEST live plant shipping methods - or so our customers tell us! 😍 We've shipped accessories and miniature art pieces throughout the world, just recently to Germany, New Zealand, india, France & Malaysia. We've shipped our miniature trees & plants to every state of the Union save for Hawaii. Miniature Gardeners are everywhere. 😍💚🙏💚😍

Day 11 :: Post Run :: We’ve been shipping the miniature plants, parts & pieces for gardening in miniature since 2002/3 when we started selling on eBay before we opened our online store in 2004. We have the BEST live plant shipping methods – or so our customers tell us! 😍 We’ve shipped accessories and miniature art pieces throughout the world, just recently to Germany, New Zealand, india, France & Malaysia. We’ve shipped our miniature trees & plants to every state of the Union save for Hawaii. Miniature Gardeners are everywhere. 😍💚🙏💚😍

 

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 12 :: Very First Sale :: December, 2001, Fremont Sunday Market, Seattle, Washington. We brought our ideas to the market to test and sold over half of the miniature gardens. One woman bought three. A great start but boy was the weather miserable that day! Two Green Thumbs actually started as a garden art business before the gardening in miniature idea took over. The FSM was a very touristy market, we built a very wide-spread mailing list of people from all over the States – back when that really meant snail mail. 😳👍😁

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 13 :: Feedback – A lot of our feedback is on the excellent quality miniature plants that we carry and our unusual miniature garden accessories but the best feedback is on our shipping. We have the best shipping methods in the industry, hands down. I would bet my husband on it! <~ He does all the packing for us! 😆 After I taught him my techniques, he added his own level of OCD-ness to it. We now get this kind of unsolicited feedback all the time. 😍😍😍

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 14 :: Creative Friends – All my friends are creative in some way or another. (Actually, I believe that everybody is creative.) My friends are like me, entrepreneurs, artists and gardeners who like to be a bit silly at times. 😜

Keepin' it real in the miniature garden with TwoGreenThumbs.com

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 15 :: Inspiration :: Mother Nature is my main inspiration, followed by contemporary art and craft. For me, a walk through the woods is just as inspiring as going to a favorite art gallery, antique or bookstore, or a craft market. Inspiration is everywhere. 😍😍😍

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 16 :: Time to Relax – My full-size garden is in the front of the house, it’s gradually becoming my sanctuary and my place to relax. The business, nursery and studio is in the back. 🙂 

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 17 :: Photography – I learned commercial photography on the job by being a phoyograper’s assistant for years, back in the analog days. Did some cover shots, a ton of catalogue work, my best day was a kitten shoot with my ol’ friend Doug. 😍 I’m still improving my miniature photography every day. And I’ve always bootstrapped my shoots too – like why don’t I get a proper setup for my DIYs? Maybe one day I’ll take a lesson and get a proper mini photo studio. Loll!

 

AdS-leaderboard-TGTplants

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 19 :: Helper – I thought of showing you a photo of Steve for this one, a partner more than a helper per se. But I’d rather show you the unexpected things he does that make me laugh, like filling the tiny birdbath with birdseed just after I planted the garden. You should hear the way he talks to our customers on the phone: compassionate, practical and funny. He is the best plant packer in the industry too – hands down. I’d put money on it but I think I’ve said that before. Our damaged-plant complaints have gone down to less than 1%. 💚🌳💚🌲💚🌿💚

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 20 :: Sketchbook – This is really getting a bit embarrassing. What do I sketch? Small plants and flowers and garden vignettes. Lol!  😆😜😳👍🌳🌲🎨📚

 

ICYMI, here is Part 1. Stay tuned for Part 3 coming next week. Leave any comments or questions below.

Want to follow us on Instagram? It’s all the rage, you know. Lol! Find us here.;o)

Like this? Want more? Join us for your FREE weekly Mini Garden Gazette delivered to your inbox each Friday. Sign up here and you’ll get a FREE pdf after confirming through your email.

Want more? Join us at the new Miniature Garden Society member’s only website! Learn more about it here.

 

http://www.MiniatureGardenSociety.com

 

Miniature Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

Comments (1)

Digging Deeper with America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center, Part 1

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 1. Brand Image. This has been our accidental avatar for years now because I took the shot for no reason but to document that brickwork. It was the perfect fit for social media because stands out and it’s a perfect way to show what we do here at TwoGreenThumbs.com!

Digging Deeper with America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com, Part 1

This was an Instagram challenge this past March called #MarchMeettheMaker and I found it was a great way to tell you more about what we do here at America’s favorite – and first – Miniature Garden Center.

There was a list to follow of what to post each day for 31 days. We’ve divided it up into three blogs, so you too can find out more about us. We’re the little company that could and did. Here is our story, through Instagram photos.

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 2 : a (rare) selfie if me, Janit Calvo. 😁  I’m in the front miniature garden today planting and moving trees around. It’s SO much easier than full-size gardening and you can move the landscape if you want. Today, I dug a pond in 5 minutes. I think I might need another 15 minutes to complete it. You can have it all in small.

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 3 : My workspace. In miniature. Lol!

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 4: Just some of the many tools used for miniature gardening. Most of them are used for cutting things down to size <~ pun intended.

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 5 a day late: What I can’t live without. You can take everything from me and I can build it again, make it again and earn it again but not my husband nor my pets. 😍 this little girl makes us laugh and play each day, no matter how hard our days are.

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 6 : Raw Materials. Miniature trees are one if our many wonderful raw ingredients that we provide for the new miniature garden hobby at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center (since 2001!) True dwarf and miniatures that grow slow and stay in scale for years. Use them for containers or plant them right in the ground. Great for bonsai starts too, for those would like to train them while they are young.

See our Miniature Garden Center store here.

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 7 :: How & Why :: How = Passion :: Why = Passion. Such a long story but it goes back to doing what you love. This is just half of it. Photo is of my miniature dollhouse furniture from my childhood.

 

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 8 : Where? Seattle, Washington where flowers bloom in the garden all year long. I’m a transplant from Toronto, Canada. When I was visiting here in 1998, I stood in wonder at the Camelias blooming a January. I was so entranced by all the moss and green-ness of the PNW I felt that I was finally home. This photo was taken today (March 8,) a (full-size) Star Magnolia growing in our (full-size) garden. Lol!

AdS-leaderboard-TGTplants

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 9 :: Goals :: our goal is to spread the joy of gardening in miniature so everyone know what it is. When someone says, “I’m a knitter” you know exactly what they do. Most people are still not familiar with this new hobby and need an explanation to follow – but we are working on that. My bestselling book, Gardening in Miniature, is now translated into German, Turkish and soon to be Korean. [Photo: a current shot is of our cover girl, the miniature Elf Spruce shown in the same garden on the cover of Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World, by the world’s top garden publisher, Timber Press. The tree on the left is about 3 years old – the Elf in the mini garden is about 15 years old. We didn’t prune it to grow that way, that’s just how it grows.]

Getting to Know America's Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com

Day 10 :: Favorite Small Business :: My favorite small businesses aren’t small – they are tiny. This one-woman show is my most favorite in the stratosphere: Stephanie Rose of GardenTherapy.com. :: ~> Stephanie gets to play with ALL aspects of garden and craft and food and kids and diy and re-purposing and home improvement… AND she rocks and inspires each and every day with grace, style, wit and uber-talent.

Stay tuned for Part Deux coming next week. Leave any comments or questions below.

Want to follow us on Instagram? It’s all the rage, you know. Lol! Find us here. ;o)

Like this? Want more? Join us for your FREE weekly Mini Garden Gazette delivered to your inbox each Friday. Sign up here and you’ll get a FREE pdf after confirming through your email.

Want more? Join us at the new Miniature Garden Society member’s only website! Learn more about it here.

 

http://www.MiniatureGardenSociety.com

Comments (2)

Grow Your Own Way for Earth Day

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo and TwoGreenThumbs.com

Grow Your Own Way for Earth Day

Earth Day always brings about moments of reflection about how I treat our planet. I’ve been a tree hugger, a recycler, a reducer, a re-user, and a plant lover for over 30 years. Mother Earth is now one of my business partners, but it wasn’t a straightforward route to this partnership with Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center, but at least it was interesting.

Miniature Gardening with Janit CalvoWhen I first decided to work with plants I tried working with a landscaping company and was hired to pull weeds. It was hard work and the main mission was to get to the next job as fast as possible. We were told to leave some weeds behind to guarantee a callback. (!)

I planted trees in interior British Columbia for three months while waiting for my brother and our friend to finish their tree planting gigs to meet up afterwards and travel south – only to find out they both quit and went back to Toronto after 2 weeks (they lasted ONLY 2 weeks!!) into the season. Now that was eye opening!

I tried working on my own as a solo gardener pulling more weeds but it was very lonely work and I didn’t enjoy being in a strange yard all by myself for hours on end.

I tried to team up with another entrepreneur to create a small gardening and landscape company that we had going but she didn’t want to get serious about it and wanted to stay under the table.

I tried to work for a wholesale florist because I wanted to be surrounded by flowers but I couldn’t handle the hours (4am start time!?! Wha…??) AND the boss wanted me to set up his computer network instead of doing the cashier’s job that I was hired to do, because he knew I had a strong computer background – for $10 per hour. ‘Nuff said.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo and TwoGreenThumbs.com

A peaceful green scene next to the miniature canal. The bather statue is about 2 3/4″ tall. 

And, I tried working at a garden center, but after a full year with the company; I saw the seasonal cycle start again and quickly got bored. They transferred me to the garden accessories department as assistant manager, but my job was to peel little labels off made in China crap and price everything. Yawnsville!

So, what’s my point in reviewing my job history for you? If at first you don’t succeed with anything you do, and you really want it to work out, try and try again.

If that tree didn’t work out in your miniature garden, try another! They don’t grow on trees, they ARE trees!

If that miniature garden didn’t last as long as you expected it to, here’s your chance to experiment with another design or theme and to learn and grow about different plants.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo and TwoGreenThumbs.com

When mixing up different plants in the same pot, you’ll find some grow faster than others BUT with our miniature garden bedding plants (aka ground covers) there is a rule: the first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap. So if you divide them every three years you can stay on top of it.

If you used the wrong soil and ruined your first go at miniature gardening. Take it back to the store where you bought the soil so you can vent your frustrations and start to heal – then pick up some organic soil and make another! It’s too fun and cute not to!

If that outdoor plant you tried to grow indoors died, try again with the rule, “right plant, right place” and remember that you can’t fool Mother Nature.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo and TwoGreenThumbs.com

And speaking of environmentally friendly – our Made-in-the-USA genuine cedar trellises and decks are now back in stock! The trellises are staked to stay upright. The cedar will age gracefully as cedar does. You can’t get more realistic in the miniature garden than this! Click the photo to see more in the store. 

If you really want to garden in miniature but haven’t been having any success, leave a description of your situation in the comments below, I’m pretty sure I can give you another angle to work with.

Happy Earth Day! Now go hug a tree – do it gently if it’s miniature.

Like this? Want to join thousands of fellow miniature gardeners that receive our FREE Mini Garden Gazette newsletter? Join us here.

Want to dig deeper into the hobby? Join our new Miniature Garden Society here! We are still getting started and you have a chance to be on the ground floor as one of the founding members. See more information on this new idea right here.

 

The Miniature Garden Society

Ad-GardeninFairyGarden

Leave a Comment

How to Be a Better Gardener

.

I found this photo from a 2009 blog post. This garden is about 2 or 3 years old here. See the same garden below, how it looks today. Click in to see what Hinoki Cypress are available now.

How to Be a Better Gardener

Every so often, when I jump on my high horse about NOT using fortified soil for miniature gardening, I feel like I am shouting in a vacuum. I mean, what’s a miniature gardener sitting at her desk in Seattle to do when we come up against a behemoth like Scott’s Miracle Gro’s and their crummy Potting Soil that kills our miniature garden plants and discourages people from gardening? They have to know that new gardeners will blame themselves for killing plants and may not try to grow anything ever again. It’s shameful.

So, I do what I normally do, I asked the Internet. Of course, I found out I wasn’t alone:

Consumer affairs gives Scott’s Miracle Gro Potting Soil 1 1/4 stars (out of 5) with 141 complaints to date.

Consumer reviews on Amazon.com for Miracle Grow Moisture Control Potting Mix, 87% of the reviews gives it one star out of five, probably because they can’t give it zero stars.

Good things come in small packages.The forums are full of way more complaints than not. Heartbreaking stories include using Miracle Gro Potting Soil to repot grandma’s 35-year-old plants and killing them within a couple of days. Other tragic tales include the new bags being filled with gnats and infesting homes and gardens. Scotts used to be a brand name that we can trust and it’s interesting to notice the more popular they get, the more complaints they get. And yet, they are advertising more, they are in more stores than ever AND they are in the back pockets of industry professionals, sponsoring them so they’ll be quiet, I bet.

It truly is the number one killer of our miniature garden trees and plants. I constantly get emails about dead or dying plants only to find out that they used Miracle Gro Potting Soil. It’s maddening to be able to offer the best quality plant material, only to have the customer use the wrong soil and kill them within days.

Did you know that fresh organic soil contains enough nutrients to sustain a miniature garden for at least 3 years? No need to fertilize so spend your money on a better-quality soil instead.

Now, if you do hear of any good reviews, it’s probably because it has been used for heavy-feeders, like annuals and vegetables. You will also noticed that the “good” reviews are only on the big-box-store websites, interestingly enough, like Walmart, Ace Hardware and Home Depot. Funny, huh?

But I would be very wary of using any chemicals on my veggies. And no, Miracle Gro Potting Soil is not organic. Here’s a page from the website listing the ingredients that go into “the perfect mix.” Once you click in, hit Command F to search the page for the keyword “organic.” You’ll find two at the bottom of the page directing you to their “organic and natural potting mix,” under the brand name Nature’s Care. (Ironically, I first read the website name as NatureScare.com.) BUT this soil STILL has the water-retaining polymers so how can it be completely organic and natural? Hmmm?

JeanIseliHinoki - 1

The same Hinoki in the same pot, 7 years later. While some conifer lovers would think this appealing, for us miniature gardeners, it’s a great tree for a tire swing, birdhouse or treehouse. The patio is from a stone sheet and our Mini Patio Mix Kit – both are available in our online store. Click the pic to get visit!

We are being duped by their advertising and marketing claiming all these benefits. The professional Garden Writers Association has always been sponsored by Scotts (which is owned by Monsanto, btw) – which is why you won’t hear many other garden writers writing about this. My publisher strongly advised that I join this group, but I just couldn’t because it goes against my principles and I’ve since taken the hit professionally too. I’m still baffled by this lack of activism within the garden world. Heck, Hollywood celebrities are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in for our planet.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

So please ignore the huge Scotts promotions this season in the big-box-stores despite the rock-bottom prices. Walk past the pallets of Miracle Gro Potting Soil and look for an established organic alternative like Cedar Grove’s line of soils, for example

urlHere is a link to the USDA’s organic integrity database if you want to do any research for yourself.  There’s a search bar under the word operation that you can use to make it fast and easy.  Also look for the USDA organic status symbol on any packaging. Now there is a concern about anything being completely 100% organic, but at least this is a step in the right direction.

As with anything these days the more stuff it has in it, the more chemicals it’s “fortified” with, is not better.  Simplicity is better and organic is more in-tune with our beings and our souls, not to mention our health and the health of the planet – now isn’t that worth a couple of extra dollars?

If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for everything.

I’ll get off my soapbox now, thank you for reading.

Ad-FallPlanting - 1

Comments (3)

First Time Ever! A Miniature Garden Society Built for YOU!

http://twogreenthumbs.com/Miniature_Garden_Society.html

First Time Ever! A Miniature Garden Society Built for YOU!

We are doing the happy dance over here at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center! Our new Miniature Garden Society website is finally ready to open to the public! But I had to laugh at my blog title though, most things we do here are “firsts!”

I have mentioned before, when I submitted my first manuscript to Timber Press, about half of the content that I had collected for the Gardening in Miniature book was not included. This was one of the many reasons for starting the Society website, to have a place to put it out there for you. Well it has happened again, when the writing the second manuscript that I just passed to Timber a couple weeks ago, I seemed to have generated twice as much content than what was needed. Now, I am SO looking forward to posting all my new ideas for you to see in this new members-only website!

There is a saying “creativity has babies,” which means that if you stay creative you will get even more creative. It is my mission with this new adventure to get your creativity locked in gear by collecting the details and information that you need to enjoy miniature gardening all in one place.

You will have access to me and my resources all the time. If I don’t have an answer, I’ll find the right information so you can make the right choices that, in the end, will save you a lot of time and money. This way you can focus on being your creative self, rather then spending your valuable time searching the infinite web for the right answer or product – you can enjoy and create in your garden, or with your miniatures instead.

Do you want to know what else is included? Click here for more information.

If you are ready for some high-quality, somewhat obsessive gardening in miniature, then come on over and join us! There is only one chance for a beginning and we are just getting startedfor more information and/or to join, click here.

 

http://www.shop.twogreenthumbs.com

 

 

Comments (1)

« Newer Posts · Older Posts »
%d bloggers like this: