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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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