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Spotlight on Dori’s Miniature Garden Bungalow, from American Miniaturist Magazine

Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

Fellow Miniature Gardener, Dori Allard, made it on to the cover of April’s American Miniaturist magazine!

Spotlight on Dori Allard’s Miniature Garden Bungalow, from American Miniaturist Magazine!

What a treat! I’m not sure how long I have known customer and fellow miniature gardener, Dori Allard but, I’ve known her definitely long enough to call her a friend. So, when she posted this cover of April’s American Miniaturist Magazine on the Miniature Garden Society Facebook page, I didn’t immediately see her name on the bottom, right corner. I knew Dori was an avid miniature gardener but I was slow to realize that she was a miniaturist as well, until I studied the photo and I saw “Scene by Dori Allard” at the bottom. It was my turn to squeal with excitement. How awesome is that!?!

You may not believe me when I tell you that a couple of her photos that were inside the magazine looked full-size. I said to myself, “Wow, is that her studio?” and “Oh, look, she’s making another house!” Lol! You KNOW it’s excellent miniature work when you have to do a double-take to figure out if the scene is really a miniature one! Congratulations, Dori! ❤

So, in case you missed it, Dori sent me a copy of her magazine and I wanted to share. She scored 5 full pages as well as the cover! Here is a visual recap of the “She-Shed” article from American Miniaturist Magazine.

Click to enlarge the photos so you can see more of details.

Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

The front porch. I love how Dori caught the light on the two women visiting, it really looks like the morning or evening sunshine. If you look closely, Dori has a miniature version of my Gardening in Miniature book on the coffee table that she miniaturized herself. She knows how to get straight to my heart, eh? Lol!



Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

Look at that color! Miniatures and miniature gardening is one way to get exactly what you want: a purple house with turquoise shutters! How fun! My husband would move out if I painted our full-size house like this but, you can have it all in small and do just about anything in miniature!


Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

Details upon details is what makes this project so much fun to look at. The path was made from egg cartons.


Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

Dori did the mosaic on the pot and then proceeded to make the geranium flowers to go in it!

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Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

This scene is the one that I thought was Dori’s full-size work space. Not. Lol!


Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

And this is another photo that I thought was full-size because of the tiny house with the front porch that looks like this project. Awesome! I love the dollhouse buildings for dollhouses, they are worlds within worlds. 


Your Miniature Garden Center


Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

As you get into the details, you can start to see just how much fun dollhouse miniatures can be. You can really make anything your heart desires and it doesn’t have to take up a lot of room.


Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

I love all the clutter in and around the bench. 


Miniature Garden Plants is Our Specialty!


Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow

A miniature garden in a miniature wagon with a miniature house it in. There are worlds-within-worlds in Dori’s scene!


Dori Allard Miniature Garden Bungalow


Like this? Then you’ll love the American Miniaturist Magazine! It’s one of two main miniature magazines that is issued monthly, specifically for the dollhouse miniature world. The other magazine is called Dollhouse Miniatures. They are both filled cover to cover with miniature inspiration, projects, advice, inspiration and a whole lot more. I really had a hard time choosing between the two, so I might just have to get both! You can also find them at your local dollhouse miniature store, look for back issues as well as current issues for both magazines.

(I receive no kickbacks nor am I an affiliate, I just love them and know you will too! :o)

Find our more about us at where we spread and share the joy of gardening in miniature, since 2001. Our main store is Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center where you will find all the plants, parts, patios and pieces for your miniature gardening. Join us and thousands of other like-minded miniature gardeners for your FREE weekly newsletter, The Mini Garden Gazette here.

Miniature Gardening: Go Ahead, Act Your Shoesize


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I’m Taking You With Me – Your Miniature Garden Cub Reporter

I’m Taking You With Me – Your Miniature Garden Cub Reporter

Well, well, well!! It’s about time, isn’t it? We’ve been so busy building the new website for the last two years that it feels really, really good to finally be doing the things I wanted to do with YOU!

Because I’m taking you with me! Yay!

Join me on a winter tour of our favorite wholesale wholesale nursery today. It’s this type of insight that I’m bringing to my new Miniature Garden Society so you can learn about, see more of and experience your miniature garden hobby in ways that you never thought of before: through the eyes of the person who brought it to the marketplace AND wrote the bestselling & most informative on it. (Whew! :o)

Our members can look forward to coming with me on a tour of the second largest garden show in the nation next month, a mecca of miniatures in April – the largest in the States AND you’re coming with me to the huge Epcot Garden Festival at Disney World where I’m presenting my new book, The Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Handmade Accessories for Your Tiny Living World by Timber Press (An affiliate Amazon link.)

SO JOIN US!! It’s all happening inside the!

Miniature Garden Gift Ideas from Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center!

Here’s the script to the video:

I’m brought you with me today! I’m Janit Calvo, founder of the Miniature Garden Society and your new cub reporter for everything miniature garden. This is the type of insight and info-tainment that I’ll be bringing you this year through the Miniature Garden Society. Yep – I’m bringing you with me wherever I go!

Today, we are here at our favorite wholesale nursery just outside of Seattle, Washington. It’s a frigid January day in the Pacific Northwest and our gardens have been frozen for the last 2 weeks. Luckily, we specialize in cold hardy plants for the miniature garden and our plants are definitely hardier than I am!

So this wholesale nursery specializes in all types of perennials and this is where we get our miniature garden bedding plants – okay they are ground covers but isn’t it more fun to call them miniature garden bedding plants?

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.comI’ll bring you back here in the summer because you can’t see just how pretty all the plants look right now – they cover the rows up every winter to give the plants some protection from the often-unpredictable pacific northwest weather.

Some days the sun will warm the plant material up only to dip down to freezing at night. By covering up the plants, it evens-out the temperature and the plants don’t get subjected to that extreme difference each day. It’s just an extra step that this nursery takes to make sure their plant material is high quality all the time.

Another reason they cover them up  plants (or keep them in a heated greenhouse) is to speed up the growing process so they can sell plants faster but they do make sure they harden-off the plant and actually put the plant through two stages to make sure it hardy enough for the outdoor weather.

You can see all the greenhouses that line the fields – there are about 97 of them here. All but a few of them are unheated. But look at the rows and rows of plants. It’s a dangerous place to be if you are a plant-aholic! We’re back here in the corner sourcing some lavender for a customer so this is the view looking back from where we came. In the summer all those fields are full of flowering perennials and it’s just lovely.

Join us at the for more insight and fun with your miniature garden hobby. This spring I’ll be taking you to the second biggest garden show in the country, I’m taking you to the miniature mecca that happens in the United States each year AND – we’re all going to Disney! Yes, I’m taking you to the Epcot Garden Festival where I’m doing a presentation on my latest book, The Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Handmade Accessories for your Tiny Living World!

So join us – you’ve got your hobby, now here is your club:!


Gardening in Miniature, now in it's 5th printing!

We wrote the book on it. Get your autographed copy here.







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New, True Miniature Garden Trees are Deliciously Miniature Indeed!


Wonderful new, true miniature conifers are now in stock at your Miniature Garden Center, Check out the darling little developing cones on the Hildburghausen Miniature Norway Spruce. I am in love!!

New, True Miniature Garden Trees are the REAL DEAL!

“One for you. One for me. One for you. One for me… ” Lol! Sometimes I wonder why I am in the business of gardening in miniature. I’m like a kid in a candy store but I don’t eat the profits, I plant the profits. Thankfully, I’m running out of room in my in-ground garden to house them – but, wait – the dog can do without a lawn right? ;o)


And Primo it is! We are loving this new dwarf arborvitae, ‘Primo!’ This is exactly what we look for: a small tree that looks like a “big” tree in miniature!

Check out the wonderful additions to our online miniature garden nursery this season! TRUE miniature and dwarf trees and shrubs! Just in time of the holidays too – you can really surprise any miniature gardener, fairy gardener, railroad gardener, conifer collector, bonsai artist, shohin or mame artist or any plant nut for that matter.

Our miniature trees are of the highest quality in the country, if I must say, and they all are “good in the pot” until next spring as long as you keep them watered – even if is it freezing outside (frozen is much better than freeze-dried, right?) Keep them outside and you’ll keep them happy even if you are not ready to plant them or wrap them up for the gift-giving season.

You know you can plant anything in-ground as long as the soil is not frozen or soaking wet  AND you also know that you can plant a container garden at anytime of year.

These new trees and shrubs are outdoor plants. Don’t think you can fool Mother Nature by keeping them indoors  – unless you just want to enjoy it as a temporary arrangement, like cut flowers for example. You can find all the growing information and planting zones in each tree listing too.

If you have any questions, or find that something you wanted sold out – because quantities are limited – get in touch with us at and we can put your name on the waitlist for the next time the plant(s) become available. (This may not take as long as you think since our grower is now fully on board with the miniature garden idea!)


The new Jana Dwarf Spruce. All those little ball-shaped buds made me giggle when I this took this photo!

A list of our new and back in stock miniature and dwarf trees this season now up in your Miniature Garden Center Store, 

Geisha Japanese Holly – Lovely, tiny, rounded leaves.

Hebefolia Miniature Canada Hemlock – Awesome. The smallest Hemlock ever!

Hildburghausen Miniature Norway Spruce – You need to see the tiny cones!

Jana Miniature Norway Spruce – The buds all over it made me giggle. Lol!

Jeddeloh Canada Hemlock – Perfect for the full shade mini garden. 

Just Dandy Hinoki Cypress – Wonderful emerald green colors.

Little Charmer Dwarf Hinoki Cypress – Different colors & textures in one!

Little John Dwarf Hinoki Cypress – Amazing pattern in the swirling branches.

Moonfrost Canada Hemlock – A permanent a favorite for the mini garden.

Primo Dwarf Arborvitae – So looking forward to growing this one!

Shimpaku Chinese Juniper – Perfectly hardy to trim into a any shape.

Sky Pencil Japanese Holly – Evergreen and tall, the perfect anchor tree.

Tom Thumb Cotoneaster – Year-round interest, flowers in the spring.

Valley Cushion Dwarf Mugo Pine – Hardy and loves the full, hot sun.

Wee Willie Dwarf Boxwood – Versatile! Topiary, hedge or a wee tree!

White Bud Mugo Pine – A joy to grow, becomes a terrific “big” tree.

See the photos, close ups and growing information in our New and Back in Stock trees, plants and shrubs for the miniature garden hobby. It’s our specialty!

Like this? Then you’ll love our Mini Garden Gazette Newsletter delivered to your inbox each and every Friday afternoon. Sign up here!


The smallest Hemlock that we’ve had in the last 15 years in business. The Hebefolia Canada Hemlock is named after the perennial Hebe plant because if it’s tiny, rounded leaves. “One for me. One for you….” Lol!


I didn’t see these tiny cones on the Hebefolia Canada Hemlock at first. Check out the tiny stripes on the backside of the leaves too. It’s the little things, isn’t it? :o)

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April Fools in the Miniature Fairy Garden

April Fools Day in the Miniature Garden

Foolin’ around with the fairies for April Fools Day.

April Fools in the Miniature Fairy Garden

Fooling around with the fairies for April Fool’s Day! Click to enlarge the photos.


April Fools Day in the Miniature Garden

What did YOU think that fairies needed that nobody talks about? Leave your comments below, we would love to hear from you!

April Fools Day in the Miniature Garden

The backdrop was made from a bamboo placemat. We glued stakes on the back to hold it rigid, and to stake it. The trees were painted for more color. That back vase is just that – it’s not planted up – the branches will last for a couple of months before they will need replacing.

April Fools Day in the Miniature Garden

I found this miniature bathroom set many years ago at a miniature show. It’s discontinued, but it’s the PERFECT fairy bathroom! Lol!

April Fools Day in the Miniature Garden

Customized fairy figure. It’s a Mary Brown fairy that I glued material onto, painted, painted and painted in layers, and remade into my own lil’ fairy.

Come and play with us – we just have a little fun in the miniature garden! Join our email list here to receive your FREE weekly Mini Garden Gazette, the world’s most popular newsletter about miniature gardening. It’s written by miniature gardeners, for miniature gardeners. Sign up through our main website here.

Want to dig deeper? Join us at the NEW Miniature Garden Society! It’s a members-0nly website that is dedicated to collecting, sharing and studying the art of gardening in miniature. Click in here for more information and what you’ll get by being an exclusive member!

April Fools Day in the Miniature Garden


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A Little Fairy Gardening with Plow & Hearth

Fairy Gardening with Plow & Hearth

Playing with Plow & Hearth’s Tree Stump Fairy Garden furniture in our miniature gardens.

A Little Fairy Gardening with Plow & Hearth

If you’ve been following my work then you know I haven’t done a lot with fairies in my miniature gardens. It’s not that the idea isn’t appealing, my Mom has always been nutty about them and the two of us would enjoy pouring over any fairy book whenever I was home sick from school. I also fondly recall being entranced with Water Babies, a book by Charles Kingsley that Mom gave me too. What is it with young, childlike figures with wings that mesmerize us so?

Now before you go sending me emails again, please note that fairy gardening is different than miniature gardening in the same way fiction is different than non-fiction. Fairy gardening is based in fantasy and miniature gardening is based in realism. It’s as simple as that. Fairy gardens tend to be focused on the houses, figures and accessories. Miniature gardens are focused on the plants, trees and garden design.

So, when Plow & Hearth approached me for a collaboration, it opened up that fairy door again and in I went. And, after an hour of searches on the Internet I can safely ask the question that hasn’t been answered yet: how do you make a realistic fairy garden? Join us on our exploration of fairy gardening with Plow and Hearth and, together, we’ll figure this out and have some fun along the way.

There are a number of very fun fairy garden items up in the Plow & Hearth store here, but for now, we focused on the furniture accessory sets for our containers because we can’t get into our soggy garden beds right now. (Working the soil when it’s wet will compact the soil and make it difficult for water, air and roots to get through. The damage can be long-lasting too.) When the weather warms up this spring, we can get out into the miniature garden bed and hash-out some more realistic layouts and ideas that I’ve been accumulating. 

What about you? Do you care about realism in the fairy garden at all? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.

Fairy Gardening with Plow & Hearth

This cute set looked great in the miniature garden next to our miniature trees and plants.

This is the Ivy Fairy Garden Set, an eight piece set – includes another barrel planter that isn’t shown. We drill holes in the bottoms of the miniature planters so they don’t fill up with rainwater and rot the plants. That wee shrub on the left is a true miniature Duflon Fir, the “big” tree on the right is a grown-up Majestic Japanese Holly. See our Jersey Jewel Japanese Holly here – it’s easier to find than the Majestic.

Fairy Gardening with Plow & Hearth

The detailing is crisp and well done. It’s a nice set for a miniature garden.

Find the “permanent” patio solution up in our store. We used the Terra Cotta Stone Sheet and locked it in with our Mini Patio Mix Kit. These stones are level and flat – ideal for miniature furniture so they don’t sit askew.

Fairy Gardening with Plow & Hearth

Cute accents on the birdhouse and the arbor is really sturdy.

Fairy Gardening with Plow & Hearth

I keep playing with that pond – some days it’s fire pit with a tea light in it, other days it’s a small pond. I use a rag-towel to “wick” out the water if I want to empty it.

The chairs are part of the Adirondack Furniture Accessory Set, the tree is a Jervis Canada Hemlock that has grown-in for a few years – find some younger Hemlock trees here. And that patio is made from our Mini Patio Mix Kit and our Montana Rainbow Reds Tumbled Stone (it took a couple pounds to find enough skinny ones for this design.)

Fairy Gardening with Plow & Hearth

Mixing and matching to see what will fit with what. No, I can’t leave anything alone! Lol!

All the Plow & Hearth accessories are really sturdy and they would be great for kids – as well as “big kids” like us!

Fairy Gardening with Plow and Hearth

The Woodland Fairy Garden Set includes with a bridge (not shown) that we will definitely play with later.

See the Woodland Fairy Garden set here. The tree is an older Jean Iseli Hinoki Cypress, find a slower-growing one, the Nana Hinoki Cypress, right here. That is Elfin Thyme, a ground cover thyme that isn’t edible but makes a perfect miniature garden bedding plant. See all our plants for sun or part sun here.

Fairy Gardening with Plow and Hearth

Our tiny gnomes work perfectly in the miniature birdbath. Too cute!

Plow and Hearth Fairy Gardens

The Tree Stump Set is very cute – check out the door in the table.

Here’s the Tree Stump Fairy Garden set up on the Plow & Hearth website. It also includes a bridge that will be a lot of fun to play with in the garden bed this spring.

See our wide selection of miniature garden trees, shrubs and “bedding plants” available up in our online store. If you are a subscriber to our Mini Garden Gazette newsletter, we’ll hold your plants until your weather improves and ship them when you want. Purchase reserves the trees and quantities are limited. Sign up with us here.

Plow and Hearth Fairy House

Can’t wait to get the Plow and Hearth Fairy House’s into our miniature garden bed!

Like this? Then come and meet me at Plow & Hearth’s English Village Store in Philadelphia on Saturday, March 8th at 1 pm for a living miniature plant demonstration and Gardening In Miniature book signing.

Your Miniature Garden Center

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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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A New and Rare Miniature Garden Workshop with Expert Janit Calvo

A New & Rare Miniature Garden Workshop with Janit Calvo!

Kevin’s Garden ~ The lively greens of the garden plays with the cheerful blues of the pot.

A New & Rare Miniature Garden Workshop with Janit Calvo!

Miniature Garden Workshop

Pemberley’s Miniature Garden

“Do you want to come and play with us?”

Want to learn all that you need to know about miniature gardening?

Would you like to learn from someone who has made over 1450 miniature gardens of all shapes and sizes, has studied the art and craft for 12 years, and wrote “The Book” on it?

Do you want to make your very own miniature garden to take home?

If you have answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, come and join us for one of our rare workshops at City People’s Garden Store on Madison Ave., in the Capital Hill area of Seattle, this October 21st. 2012!

Our workshops are rare because, if you’ve been following us online, you know that we don’t get very many chances to get out there to connect, let alone speak or teach our passion. Simply put, we can serve more people online so we our focus is on that right now. But, it is nice to get out once and a while and connect with our fellow MGs. Notice I’m talkin’ about “we?” Our fellow MG, Steve, will be there to help too, so no worries about getting the finished garden into your car at the end of the workshop either!

Miniature Garden Workshop

Jay’s Miniature Garden with a Dwarf Pagoda Japanese Holly

The City People’s Garden Store is a treat in itself. It has the look of the cutest little nursery and yet, it has everything the gardener needs – for the indoors or outdoors. They have a great assortment of outdoor plants for miniature gardening that are hardy to our region, many of which would be terrific growers in your favorite pot. Their indoor plant department has a really wide selection of small plants that you can use for indoor miniature gardens. Shelves of pottery and piles of pebbles and, of course, miniature garden accessories!

So, are you thinking about creating your own little world in an afternoon? Making your own unique Holiday gifts? How much fun would that be? Start now and they’ll grow in a bit, just in time for the holidays!

So come and play with us! Here’s the link to the City Peoples website for all the details and how to register. Act fast, space is limited. Register here now.




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