Archive for The Business

New Book on Gardening in Miniature Surpasses All Expectations

Timber Press does Gardening in Miniature

Timber Press does Gardening in Miniature this month for the big launch. Click the picture to get into their website – they are having a contest to win a big kit and a book!

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.

Amazon does Gardening in Miniature

>>>> STILL #1 in Miniatures and Flower Gardening this week on Amazon, and today we are #10 in the Garden and Landscape! <<<<

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.

Garden Therapy does Gardening in Miniature

>>>> Garden Therapy does Gardening in Miniature – great website for crafts, recipes and garden projects. <<<<

 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.

Timber Press does Gardening in Miniature

>>>> A Q & A with Yours Truly and how we got the idea way back when. <<<<

Timber Press does Gardening in Miniature

>>>> Excerpts from the book on design points to add to your miniature garden expertise! <<<<

Timber Press does Gardening in Miniature

>>> In this blog they show the gardens that they created for a big book convention last year. <<<

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.

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Re-Defining the Miniature Garden and Creating History

Miniature Gardening at Sorticulture

Our display at Sorticulture highlights the gardens I put together for The Book. This garden above can also been seen in the world’s cutest video up on Youtube 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.

Miniature Gardening at Sorticulture

Miniature Trees: Boyd’s Willow on the left with the round leaves, Sky Pencil Japanese Holly in the back, the Silver Fox Hoary Willow in the middle and a Thyme-Leaf Cotoneaster on the right, with the “apples.” See what’s in stock 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.

Miniature Gardening at Sorticulture

Having fun with the our Cover Garden. We found when using bright, strong colored accessories worked better when we used multiples of it to balance the distribution of color.

Gardening in Miniature

The accessories for the cover garden were chosen by Patrick Barber, the artistic director from Timber Press.

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.

Miniature Gardening at Sorticulture

Serenity Now: A miniature garden with an Adirondack chair and wee pond quietly prods us to relax and take a moment.

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.

Join us for more! You’ll get a free PDF, The Best of the Mini Garden Gazette #1, just for signing up!

Miniature Gardening at Sorticulture

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Miniature Gardening: It’s an International Affair

Miniature Gardening in Romania

Loosely quoted, “With a touch of magic, your beautiful garden will spring from your dreams. A bench leaning against a tree or a small fountain hidden among giant flowers will create a peaceful space you can escape to anytime.”

Miniature Gardening: It’s an International Affair

Sharing the new miniature garden hobby is too much fun. With customers throughout the world, it was inevitable that the international garden magazines would pick up on this latest huge garden niche / hobby. We were tickled when a couple of them came to us for pictures and input, here’s what came out of the connections. They told us what pictures they liked from our website/ this blog and our flickr-photo page and we sent back the high resolution photos for them to use.

Romania!

Here is a Home and Garden Magazine from Romania. They found some plant sources for those of you across the pond who need to find the right plants we use. Here is their website: www.casa-gradina.ro

Miniature Gardening in Romania

Gradini in Miniatura – now you know how to say Miniature Garden in Romanian!

For some of the trees we use: http://www.multeplante.ro

For the Fairy Vine or Mulenbeckia:
www.eutopiamall.com

The article tells how to use slow-growing plants, where to place them and general potting tips on soil and fertilizer. Here’s a loosely edited quote from the article:

“Finally, add accessories – they make the difference between a simple flower pot and a miniature garden. For the planting seem more real, always use same scale (find it stated on the label products). Even if you put a doll, it’s nice to create the impression of human presence, this will create a story: a rake “forgotten” on the grass or miniature cup of tea on the table. Animals add charm to the arrangement.

For the translation, we used the handy Google Translate and had some help from my Romanian friend, and fine artist, Florin Brojba. (Wave! Wave! ;o)

Want to know more? Check out our About Miniature Gardening page on our new website that we are adding to each week here.

Miniature Gardening in Romania

They even have the cover of our new book in the article too! Timber Press is everywhere!

Miniature Gardening in Romania

The photo, middle-right, is Laney’s miniature garden from MS, she was one of our contest winners from last year. Way to go Laney! ;o)

Miniature Gardening in Romania

Very sweet! A huge, warm thank you to Sabina Usurelu, the Garden Editor at Casa si Grandina!

Japan!!

This next article was such a pleasure to help with. From Japan! We’ve always known the Japanese are as equally enthralled with all things miniature, but to be ask to contribute  was such a treat knowing that the art of bonsai, the grandfather of miniature gardening, has long roots in the history of Japan. And here they asked little ol’ me for photos of my work. I’m still giggling… check out the fun they had with this 6-page article.

Miniature Gardening in Japan

Bises is a beautiful, full color, huge, glossy magazine dedicated to gardening in Japan. All kinds of flower and vegetable gardening, lots of roses, recipes, garden design and much more. I wish I could read Japanese!

I didn’t have any luck translating the Japanese in this article but I’m still going to try.

Miniature Gardening in Japan

The editors at Bises loved our miniature garden shed made in 2005.

Miniature Gardening in Japan

I love how they dissected the big garden into the smaller photos.

Miniature Gardening in Japan

And here are some of their miniature gardens and plant suggestions.

Miniature Gardening in Japan

Look for the woman in the photo in purple on the right side, just in front of the garden bed. She was ‘photoshopped’ in to look as if it was her garden. Too fun!

Miniature Gardening in Japan

I love their miniature stonework – check out the stairs that the little guy is standing on.

Miniature Gardening in Japan

“Watch out, tiny gardener! Here come the scissors!” Lol! Hey, they are probably giggling in Japan too! ;o) Check out those wonderful doors on the building. Small-leafed ivies and Baby Tears fill up the beds. I think that’s a small-leafed Sedum that the “giant” hand is cutting. Photo is from www.bises.co.jp

Miniature Gardening in Japan

See the gardener on the bottom trimming the Rosemary? Lol! A big thank you to Ms. Hanako Yagi, the Editor in Chief at BISES.

Miniature Gardening in Japan

This photo is just too sweet. Two tiny gardeners tending their miniature garden. The plants look like Scottish and Irish Moss for the lawn, Fairy Vine for the twiggy shrub in the back and small-leafed Sedums are in the pots in front of the building. Photo is from www.bises.co.jp

Hey, the Beatles had to make it big overseas before they were a hit in their own country – who knows what will happen in the brand new world of miniature gardening?

Most of the items in the photos are from our online store here.

Like this? You’ll love our free Mini Garden Gazette. Published monthly and sent straight to your inbox. Click this link, sign up and get your free “Best of the Mini Garden Gazette #1″ instant PDF download after confirming through your email. 

Miniature Beach Garden

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Miniature Garden Workshop Tips

Miniature Garden Workshop Tips

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

Miniature Garden Workshop Tips

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

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

Miniature Hobby Farm Garden

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

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

  • Group plants horticulturally to make it easy-peasy for your students to assemble their gardens. Put indoor plants together, outdoor plants together, full sun, full shade etc. Group plants that like dry soil together – or moist soil together too.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    Miniature Garden in a barbecue

    I chose this “container” because it was new and, being a barbecue, it already had holes for drainage. My plants are true miniatures 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.)

    Don’t set your students up for failure by telling them that anything can be used for a miniature garden, it simply will not work for everyone. Broaden your students success rates 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 it’s moved. Note that baskets lined with plastic are temporary containers and will not last.
  • 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. Put the focus on what will stand up to the weather for the more satisfaction.
  • Provide some snacks or refreshments 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.

Stressed out?
Frazzled?
Don’t have time for a vacation?

Visit your local garden center
for a few minutes of peace.
Being surrounded by
plants and flowers will
dissolve your tension and
help get you centered again.

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

Get on the first edition list here through Amazon for our upcoming Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World, by Yours Truly, published by Timber Press. Available this summer!

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Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show #4

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. This year’s display is called ‘The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette.”

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show #4

Welcome to the fourth blog of our Northwest Flower and Garden Show series. In case you missed it, here are the first installments: #1 of the Series,  Part DeuxPart III.

Aaaaand today was the big opening day of the show and here is our display in pictures – we know you’ve been waiting for it!

We teamed up with Bruce Bailey of Heavy Petal Nursery in Moses Lake, Wa, who did the full-sized plant design and installment, as well as the painting on the backdrop.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

A pretty blend of mulberry-reds with a variety of different greens make up the color scheme. We wanted to blend the meadow with the interior and what better way to do that is with a carpet of plants. The ferns, grasses, moss and flowers mix up the textures to make it interesting to the eye.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Hinoki Cypress is a favorite tree for the miniature garden. This one is over 12 years old and is still a great tree for the tiny garden.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Marie Antoinette had rivers and streams built into the landscape so she could have ducks and swans. The green stone sheets available in our online store really helped with the stone wall.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Irish Moss (Sagina subulata) creates an instant lawn. The small bush at the front is a Parahebe that we are testing to see if it behaves this summer. The yellow grass in the river is Miniature Sweet Flag (Acorus griminess ‘Ogon’)

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

The details lure in the viewer for a closer look.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Lil’ Hameau in HO scale. The gangly Boulevard Cypresses create the illusion of tall trees. The small details, combined with the tiny gravel, deliver the scale of the garden to the viewer. 

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Teenie tiny! The grounds close to some of the buildings were kept simple while the larger gardens surrounded the palace, like the popular Gardens of Versailles. That’s a Majestic Japanese Holly on the left that has kept its berries from last summer.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Marie Antoinette was known for her shoes and her fashion but she enjoyed the outdoors and gardens too. She built the Hameau on the palace grounds to simulate a small farm complete with sheep and chickens so she could have a place to play with her children.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

The Gardens of Versailles are represented by topiary shoes. The classical diamond motif is repeated on the living cushion.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

All I need is a tiny dancer! A little pagoda cinches the scale of the tiny Pixie Dust Dwarf Alberta Spruce. That grass is Irish moss that has been starved – it’s small, yellowy and mossy – and perfect for this wee scene! 

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Must get a better picture! Here’s a close up.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Maidenhair Ferns from Fancy Fronds Nursery are mixed with English Daisies.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Steve layered in the back of the display to look like the outside of the Hameau. Marie Antoinette staged several of her outdoor buildings to look like an old farmhouse and barn. This would be an interesting technique to use for miniatures.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

A lovely blend of textures and colors by Bruce.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

That small Almond Tree on the right is just about to burst into bloom – just in time!

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Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, Part III

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

Moving boulders around in the world’s smallest dry riverbed – it’s tough work. ;o)

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, Part III

This is the one week in the year that the Washington Convention Center turns into a garden mecca. Perfect timing for winter-weary gardeners just itching to get out and turn some soil. Today was the polish-up-your-display-day at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show that is on tomorrow through Sunday.

In continuing with this series, here are some final prep photos and a couple of sneak peeks of the final display – the big reveal is tomorrow so stay tuned!

PS – I’ll show you how we pack and move the miniature gardens at the end of the show with minimal fuss. With all the flurry and excitement, I forgot to take photos of the load-in!

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

Little Majestic Dwarf Japanese Holly kept its berries on – thankfully! We needed some orchard-like plants for this display.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

There are a number of smaller Saxifraga that make great miniature bedding plants for the tiny gardens. They like sun and well-drained soil. A grower-friend puts a big rock in the planting hole and plants her Saxifrage on top of it with good results in this rain-soaked region.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

I cut up the square brick sheets to create the stone “walls” for the wee driveway to the Hameau. Glued them to a piece of border, then painted them the same color as the gravel. The small clips really helped clamping it together until the glue dried, and standing up the piece, so it could dry after painting it. I think we found them at a dollar store.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

The brick sides were installed using the Mini Patio Mix Kit (includes the borders too.) The gravel was laid down right on top of the Mix and pressed in ever-so-slightly before misting. There is still loose gravel on top of the patio, but it’s not going anywhere now. We found the crushed mini-gravel at Bedrock Industries, Seattle, Wa.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

A mix of accessories – we always bring several possibilities because you never really know how it is going to look until you get everything together and installed. Then you can swap out the accent pieces to see what looks best. Most of these accessories are either discontinued or one of a kind. 

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

SNEAK PEEK – The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette: The Meadow

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

SNEAK PEEK – The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette: A Cherub in the Daisies

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

SNEAK PEEK – The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette: The First Vignette.

See the previous blogs in this series here.

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Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, Part Deux

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Hey Hercules! One of the many, many reasons I love my husband – he can lift heavy pots to strange places!!

Miniature Gardening at the
Northwest Flower & Garden Show

Welcome to part two of this series of blog posts for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

Load-in was yesterday and, as usual, it was a fine balance of organized chaos. It looks a lot worse than it really is. AND it always takes days to get organized and to set up – but it’ll take minutes to dissemble!

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show

Load ‘em up! We got the bulky stuff into our garden truck… doesn’t look like much, huh?

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Our big miniature garden is trapped in so it wouldn’t slide around. We place it on cardboard so we can slide it to the back of the truck-bed.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

More flowers are tucked in here and there – bracing them so they don’t slide out of the truck on the viaduct.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

… and the rest of the plants into Bruce’s van.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

On our way to the Seattle Convention Center. That’s the Skybridge where we will be displaying.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

No, really, everyone is organized – really! Lol!

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Load everything in, sort it out and start building!

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Get the trim on and the facade in place and everything else will follow.

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Judith Jones from Fancy Fronds Nursery lent us an array of really cool ferns for the display. Judith is a fern-aholic, quite entertaining and extremely knowledgeable – I learn something everytime I speak with her! She’s creating a Teddy Bear’s Picnic with her co-conspirator, Vanca Lumsden – can’t wait to see what this very creative garden duo come up with! It’s always fun! 

Miniature Gardening at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Inside the Convention Center: Huge trucks, bull-dozers and the piles of compost and sawdust are for the big display gardens – or “full-size” gardens as we like to call them. Another reason to go with miniature gardening – it’s much easier on the back!

We’re going back again today – and I’ll get some more sneak peeks for you – stay tuned!

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