Posts Tagged condo gardening

Troubleshooting Miniature Plants in the Miniature Garden

Ladybug in the Mini Garden

Jump on these “Kodak Moments” in the miniature garden. When you come across a photo opportunity, drop everything and get the camera. You’ll pat yourself on the back for it later.

Trying Something New in the Miniature Garden

“My plant is turning brown and getting leggy, it was fine before
I got hold of it, what am I doing wrong?”

It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out learning to garden, or if you’ve been gardening for twenty years, some plants can be tricky to learn how to grow. In our Miniature Garden Center, we normally test each plant for resilience, which is why you won’t see much changes in our core inventory of true miniature trees, shrubs and bedding plants.

We have a customer that buys 5 or 6 of each plant, knowing that she will lose a couple of them while learning what the plant Miniature Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.comneeds. “One will die right away because I’ll try to grow it in the wrong place… “ She was quite funny and surprisingly quite serious. This is indeed extreme. The garden maxim, “Right plant, right place” helps tremendously!

But sometimes I adapt her point of view when I’m shopping for new plants I’ve never grown before. I’ll pick up at least three of the same plants – or I try to if my budget allows, and I do make sure I put the “right plant in the right place” and not force any plant to my bidding.

In other words, don’t get discouraged if you kill a plant. They don’t grow on trees – a good lot of them are trees! There are multitudes of microclimates throughout any region so you may have to try a couple of different situations to find out what the plant needs. And yes, it may discouraging but, out of your learning curve, you create opportunities!

I’ve written about how plants tell you when they are unhappy, so here’s a quick recap on some of the signs you’ll see from the plant and what the issues could be. Keep in mind these are sweeping generalities because we are not talking of the individual plant, just the issues.

AdS-leader-joinus

Light Issues

Snail in the miniature garden

A visitor in the miniature garden. He didn’t stay long, there wasn’t anything in this miniature garden that suited his tastes.

Leggy branches – The plant wants more light. Move closer to the light source or out in the sun more. Wait to see new growth at the crown of the plant (the base) before shearing back the leggy branches and then the plant should flush in nicely.

Dried tops of leaves – Too much light at once. The light has scorched the leaves of the plant. Move it away from the light or give it more shade. Wait for new growth before clipping off damaged leaves. Note that if you cut all the damaged leaves off without waiting for the plant to show you it is recovering by putting out new growth, you are cutting off its food source.

Water Issues

Soggy soil, black soil or soil is growing mold or moss – you are either watering too much or the pot doesn’t have a drainage hole. Back off the watering, let the soil dry out to barely damp, churn up top surface of the soil. Unless you’ve chosen water/moisture-loving plants, make sure the pot has a drainage hole.

Soil is crusty, peeling away from the side of the container – Not enough water. When soil dries out completely, the water rolls right off of it. Prevent this by churning up the top layer of the soil, place the pot in a bucket or similar container, water it thoroughly, letting the water drain out of the drainage hole.

Conifer Dieback in an Hinoki Cypress

Preventative Care: Check your miniature and dwarf conifers for “Conifer Dieback.” It’s how the little plants exfoliate. Stop and clean it out whenever you see it so the plant can breathe. If you put it off for another day, you will forget about it and it will be too late. (Speaking from experience!)

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

Soil Issues

Soil for Containers – Use potting soil only. Yes, I know your garden bed is full of soil but that’s different. Potting soil has certain things in the mix that are ideal for a contained environment. Garden soil will turn to mud in a pot. Stay away from Miracle-Gro soil or soil with fertilizers in them. They are supposedly best for vegetables or seasonal container – although I have’t heard many good things about that kind of soil, regardless what plants are used.

Soil for the garden beds – There are many different types of soil in the gardens across the world. Consult with a knowledgeable gardener or visit your local independent garden center in your area. Bring a sample with you for them to see. They will know exactly what you need – or don’t need.

White stuff on top of the soil or on the side of the pot – It’s a big word for the small stuff: efflorescence. It’s normally a build up of salts and other mild chemicals accumulated from the watering. It may be an issue for more sensitive plants but generally it’s harmless. You can scoop it up and throw it out or churn it back into the soil. If it appears on the sides for the pot or on the miniature patio, wipe it away as you see it because it will harden over time.

AdS-leaderboard-TGTplants

All Issues

Miniature Garden Vignette

When the groundcovers start to invade your patio, clip the individual branches back, (as opposed to shearing them all at once,) to make it look more natural.

The internet has become a great resource for gardeners. You can literally type what you see in the search bar and you’ll find it quickly using the image search. I found a huge bug in the backyard last week, it was huge, (okay, it was huge by my wimpy standards) striped and, well, huge! So I typed, “big striped bug” in the search bar and there he was! A Lined June Beetle! Who woulda thought? Be sure to look at a couple of different “answers” or authority sites to verify the information is correct.

Another fantastic resource is your independent garden center. There is usually at least one walking plant encyclopedia working there – you know those brainiac people that know every plant, how it grows, what it needs and the history behind it? THOSE people are fantastic resources that can help and there’s a good bet they know exactly what you are talking about. Bring a photo with you or snip a sample branch or leaf off and seal it in a plastic bag to show them. Gardeners love to show off their plant knowledge so ask away!

So, the moral of this long blog post is that if you have a plant that is not working for your situation and your not able to adjust to save it within a reasonable time – do not fret! Every plant that you lose opens the door to trying another plant and, chances are it will be a better fit for you anyway!

 

Book Cover - Low Res 008

The world’s bestselling book on the hobby! Click in to get your copy autographed. Or, find it on Amazon [dot] com!

 

Advertisements

Comments (5)

Miniature & Fairy Gardeners: Enjoy A Cyber Monday Sale All Week Long!

CyberShopping

 

Miniature & Fairy Gardeners:
Enjoy A Cyber Monday Sale All Week Long
From Your Miniature Garden Center Store:
TwoGreenThumbs.com !

True miniature plants and trees, realistic and durable mini accessories, kits of all shapes and sizes and much, much more. Only from TwoGreenThumbs.com, your favorite miniature garden center!

Ad-christmas2013

 

Leave a Comment

Godzilla [Squirrels] and the Miniature Garden

From the Mini Garden Guru blog

Godzilla and the Miniature Garden

Alright, a squirrel is not miniature Godzilla but they may as well be – they are the perfect-sized monster for our miniature gardens, fairy gardens and railroad gardens.

Squirrels and chipmunks are really Godzillas in miniature.

Squirrels and chipmunks are really Godzilla in miniature.

As you may have noticed in your garden, ’tis the season for chipmunks and squirrels to ramp up their hunting and gathering to a feverish pitch before winter sets in. You would think that in temperate climates, like here in Seattle for example, there wouldn’t be as much of a panic to collect food as we hardly get a a freeze, (and if we do it only lasts a couple of days.) But, alas, there is no reasoning with those big eyes and the fluffy tail  – and off they go digging a huge pit in the middle of the miniature garden. Hey, don’t laugh, it IS a huge pit in miniature! ;o)

So, I asked a bunch of different gardeners on their one cure for the miniature Godzilla: cayenne pepper. Not pepper flakes: the powder. And, you can find it in bulk at your local dollar store. Sprinkle it on the bare soil-spots in your miniature garden, fairy garden, or railroad garden, and the squirrel will move on to easier digs, literally.

Miniature squirrels for the miniature garden add life and action to the scene. Start the story by scattering some scraps around them to make it look like they got into something. Click the picture to see them up in the store.

Miniature squirrels for the miniature garden add life and action to the scene. Start the story by scattering some tiny scraps around them to make it look like they got into something. Click the picture to see them up in the store here and here.

There are other ways of course, get a dog, use natural repellents like garlic sprays or animal urine. (Um, how to you collect that?? UPDATE: Fellow MG, Susan mentioned that its found on Amazon. Ew. Lol!)

There are sound emitters, sprinkler systems and motion detectors that you could spend your money on as well. Or, you could fence in the pots, (ugly to look at,) use plastic forks (ugly again until the plants hide them.) Lastly, you can offer the squirrels something better, like sunflower seeds and refill it twice a day. If your thinking peanuts, remember that peanut shells are poisonous to dogs, and the squirrels plants them EVERYWHERE, so I don’t recommend them.

But, with the cayenne pepper, especially for the miniature garden, you can really be precise as to where you sprinkle it. You can protect any part of the garden that you want to, with special attention to the freshly planted areas where the soil is easy to dig. The dark color of the pepper blends into the soil-color and the treatment won’t take-away from your miniature garden scene.

Like this? Join us for your free Mini Garden Gazette newsletter delivered straight to your inbox on the first Friday of each month – go here to fill out the form on our main website.

Miniature Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

From the Mini Garden Guru blog

Comments (2)

In the Miniature Garden With Mom: Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother's Day from TwoGreenThumbs.com

Happy Mother’s Day from Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hope you are making miniature gardens for Mother’s Day. She will love the garden. Then she will love you more for doing that for her, way more than any of your brothers and sisters. Then you’ll be her favorite child. Then it’s all good.

Have fun,
Janit & Steve.

PS – See America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center Store here and see our main website here.

 

Our doghter, Kitty, helps with the Mother's Day photo shoot. :o)

Kitty helps with the Mom’s Day photo shoot. It look like she can smell that miniature dog. Lol!

Shop for more miniature garden fun!

Click the pic to see all the merchandise. Got an idea of your own for one of our images? Get in touch!

 

 

 

 

Comments (1)

Miniature Gardening for the Fairies with Plow & Hearth

Fairy Gardening with Janit Calvo

Check out the lighted lamp post – cuteness! It was a fun project to build for the Plow & Hearth, North Wales store in PA. Variegated boxwood on the right, that lime-green tree that is in front or the house is a wee Wilma Cypress, or Lemon Cypress. That ivy in the front isn’t really in scale with the rest of the garden, but made a nice accent to trail down the front of the planter so it wouldn’t look so stark.

Miniature Gardening for the Fairies with Plow & Hearth

While in Philadelphia last week, I just had to give our friends from Plow & Hearth a call to see what is new and fresh this season for their miniature fairy gardening. I got more than I bargained for – I was asked to create another fairy garden for their North Wales store. So, not only did I have the chance to get up close and personal with the new items, I stayed and played for awhile and met a few fellow miniature gardeners too! Here is what happened.

Fairy Gardening with Janit Calvo

The raised planter was really fun to work with. There was enough room for two different vignettes. I designed it by placing the houses in first, then figured out where to put the trees and plants.

Fairy Gardening with Janit Calvo

The smaller houses now have smaller furniture to match. The teapot and cups are glued onto the table so you don’t have to fuss with them – or lose them. Dwarf Mondo Grass is on the left, Baby Tears to the right of it.

Your Miniature Garden Center

Fairy Gardening with Janit Calvo

I used our Mini Patio Mix Kit for the foundation for the house – and it was big enough for a front porch area too. Place the furniture as you would in you full-sized world and don’t block the door – the fairies won’t be able to go in and out. ;o)

Fairy Gardening with Janit Calvo

Plow & Hearth have pretty new sets for the spring. The whole line is interchangeable and everything seems to match with any house or furniture set.

Fairy Gardening with Janit Calvo

That red tree is a Coprosma ‘Pina Colada.’ It’s placed in a cache-pot that I buried right into the soil to make it look like it’s a big planter for the middle of the plaza. The tree may complain about being indoors eventually, but since its in the cache-pot, I can be replaced very easily. (Some spend $10 for a bouquet of flowers that last a week, why not spend the same on a temporary plant that can last for a couple of weeks or months?)

Shop Two Green Thumbs

Fairy Gardening with Janit Calvo

Fairy crossing! The new fairy furniture sets are very sweet .

Fairy Gardening with Janit Calvo

Placed in a brightly lit spot, this garden should happily grow and weave together.

Find the planter here on Plow & Hearth’s online store.

Find their fairy garden houses and furniture here.

Find the plants that I used here.

Find more realistic accessories for miniature gardening here.

Join us for more miniature garden fun and adventures here.

Janit Calvo's Fairy Garden built for Plow & Hearth

 

Comments (2)

The Evolution of the Miniature Garden

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

The new, tiny trees and shrubs add another layer of realism to the miniature garden. In this miniature broken pot garden, the Gemstone Hinoki helps anchor the height of the Sky Pencil Ilex and balance it with the cascading garden.

The Evolution of the Miniature Garden

Hey! Pssst! Wanna buy a forest?

We are enjoying the new miniature garden plant sizes now that we have the major nurseries across America growing smaller, to meet the needs of mini and fairy gardeners across the nation – and the world for that matter. A recent garden center trade magazine cited a new trend in smaller plants coming from Europe. Huh? What? It is SO already here, Buddy! Perhaps our gardens were too small for him to see – but wait – now the plants are getting even smaller. Lol!

If you loved our mini and dwarf conifers for your miniature or fairy gardens, you’ll love the new sizes of tree that are now in stock. Tiny trees and shrubs in 2 ¼” pots are quite possibly, the cutest plants on the planet. Here are a few of them that we’ve been working with over the last year – and yes, I will get back to that forest for sale.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

A tiny Jersey Jewel Japanese Holly is “tots adorbs” as the kids say these days, meaning totally adorable that is. (The shortened version must save some time? ;o) It is paired with Elfin Thyme. The pot is about 5″ wide.

Your Miniature Garden CenterIf you haven’t tried our miniature garden plants in your miniature, or fairy gardens yet, how about it? We have been growing with the same trees since we started professionally miniature gardening 15 years ago. We still amazed at how they maintain their small size but develop a majestic look in miniature. They truly are a delight to grow. Here are some previous posts where you can find more photos of our plants and trees after a couple/few years of growing:

Why Conifers Make Great Miniature Garden Trees

And one more here on the Tansu Japanese Cedar.

Here is one of our online miniature garden galleries on Flickr. After you scroll through and look at all the gardens, start over again and look at plants in the gardens right here.

I know, I’m from Seattle. What about different climates? Here is some information on miniature plants for Texas and Florida.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

This diminutive Nana Lutea Hinoki Cypress with the golden foliage picks up the tiny flower color of the budding Golden Divine Barberry. This pot is about 6″ wide.

And here is your forest! We have two different sets of six tiny trees that could easily be grown together to create a miniature magical forest. Oh my, I think I just inspired myself – I need to go make one now, that sounds like too much fun. Lol!

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

From lower left, clockwise: White Pygmy Sawara Cypress, Jean’s Dilly Dwarf Spruce, Miniature Juniper, Nana Lutea Hinoki Cypress, Valley Cushion Mugo Pine, Top Point White Cedar. As a group they are hardy to -10F, full sun, well-draining soil. Click the picture to see all the details.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

Clockwise from lower left corner: Jersey Jewel Japanese Holly, Tansu Japanese Cedar, Chirimen Hinoki Cypress, Thoweil Hinoki Cypress, Dwarf Princess Elm, Tsukumo Sawara Cypress. The different textures of the conifers combined with the deciduous Princess Elm and the Jersey Jewel Holly has a ton of seasonal interest all year long. As a group, hardy to -10F, full sun. Click the picture to see all the details.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

Aren’t they just the best? From left: a tiny Jean’s Dilly Dwarf Spruce, Fernspray Gold Hinoki Cypress, and Valley Cushion Mugo Pine that is so cute you will want to take it with you wherever you go. Lol! Click the picture to see all the details.

Geez, I’m like a kid in a candy store with these little guys! See all the sets and combinations here in our New and Back in Stock Department. Just a note that the 2 1/4″ conifers are just babies, and need protection from any extremes until they grow up a bit.

Like this? Then you’ll love our Mini Garden Gazette Newsletter! Join us here.

In Seattle? Come and see me at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show on Wednesday, February 11th at 5pm at the DIY Stage! Admission is only $10 after 3pm and you are sure to find parking that day at that hour too. More info here.

Fairy Gardening with Two Green Thumbs.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (1)

Holiday Roundup on the Mini Garden Guru Blog

Miniature Horse Head Wreaths

Horse head wreaths are the perfect compliment to a miniature Christmas tree. The main part of the head is from a Hinoki Cypress, the mane is from a dwarf Spruce. Click to enlarge.

New Miniature Garden Merchandise!

Holiday Roundup on the Mini Garden Guru Blog

Holy blogging Batman! Blogging for over 5 years, or over 300 blogs on one subject, really starts to add up. I need toJanit's Mini Garden Etsy Store be careful of duplicating my efforts because I often forget what I’ve done. Or, I need therapy for being a one-topic wonder for so long. Lol!

Here is a round-up of our holiday blogs about shopping, decorating, crafting, giving and sharing your miniature garden hobby with those that you love now, and throughout the year. I think you are like me and always want to make another miniature garden or explore another topic, technique or theme. When you use your hobby as a way to give very personalized gifts, you can start to open up more opportunities for exploring and creating – but, I’m repeating myself, aren’t I? Onward:

Miniature Horse Head Wreaths

DIY IDEA: Mini Horse Head Wreaths are very fun for the horse-lover on your list! 

On Shopping:

Give your family and friends your time and attention by creating together! Make a bonding experience that will be remembered. There are several different kits now available from our main online store.

Top 5 Miniature Garden Kits to Make

9 Fantastic Gift Ideas for Your Miniature Gardener

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

A Miniature Garden for Every Budget

Vote With Your Wallet This Holiday Season

Miniature Garden Gift Ideas

Decorating & Crafting:

Create a centerpiece or mantel display for your Holiday party or family dinner. Here’s a blog on how to bring your outdoor miniature garden inside for the day, here.

DIY Christmas Decor for the Miniature Garden

Have a Very Fairy Christmas Without the Frou Frou

Decorating Your Miniature Garden for the Holidays

Get Crafty for the Holidays

Living Miniature Wreaths

Living Miniature Wreaths from dwarf and miniature conifers – everything is the right scale – in miniature! Make it the same way as full-size and watch for the smiles.

 Giving:

Miniature gardens are fun to give and fun to get. Don’t know what to give? Here’s our gift certificates on the front page of our online store here.

“The All Time Most Thoughtful and Incredibly Creative Gift of All Time”

How to Save Money and Have Fun this Holiday

Make Quick and Affordable Gifts

Miniature Garden Wreath

A living miniature wreath made from Hinoki, Spruce, Threadbranch Cypress, Sequoia leaves and moss. Harvested from our miniature and dwarf collection of conifers.

Sharing:

A few different blogs on sharing and spreading the joy of miniature gardening:

Sharing Your Miniature Garden Hobby

Miniature Garden News from Around the World

Miniature Gardening Cross the Pond and Comes Back Again

How to Change the World One Garden at a Time

Miniature wreath made with "real" juniper leaves.

Miniaturizing the full-size method of making living garland is way too fun. The styles and themes are plentiful, the task is quick and fun.

 

On Searching this Blog:

We are working on ways to reorganize this blog so YOU can find what you need to as well. In the meantime, try a couple of different keywords in the search bar at the right and type in different combinations of your topic or question. A word, or two words, usually work the best – I see there have been searches for full sentences and unless I’ve written that exact sentence, nothing will come up for you.

Well it has certainly been a whirlwind this year with the Gardening in Miniature book tour – and then recovering from the book tour! This next year promises to be more thrilling than last though, as all the ideas are still stockpiling here in my notebooks, my head and the studio shelves, begging for release. If you liked this blog, then you’ll love our Mini Garden Gazette newsletter released monthly. Join us here.

Find the plants, accessories and patio materials that we used in these photos here, in America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center store here.

A dog named Kitty photo bombing a product shoot.

Our dog, Kitty, is our favorite photo bomber. Lol! Click the picture to see her new line of merchandise!

 

Give the gift that can last a lifetime: the joy of miniature gardening!

 

Leave a Comment

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