Posts Tagged condo gardening

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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!

 

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Top 5 Miniature Garden Kits Make Gift-Giving Easy!

Top 5 Miniature Garden Kits Gifts!

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Top 5 Miniature Garden Kits Make Gift-Giving Easy!

Oh the weather outside is… um, who cares? We can still have some garden crafty fun with these wonderful indoor garden kits this season! Here’s what we have for YOU!

Don’t you just love the thrill of a new kit? The expectation of spending time doing Unique and unusual miniature garden accessories, kits, plants and more.something that you’ve really wanted to do. Savoring the fun of unpacking all the parts and pieces one by one, appreciating the moment and taking your sweet time. Discovering all the details, flipping through the instructions, enjoying all the photos before skimming the step-by-step instructions. Carefully planning a block of time to make and create or, calling up your Mom or friend to tell them, “Come over! It’s here!”

Or, it could be just me. But, I really don’t think so.

Kits can also be a way of creating a lasting memory, getting the whole family involved – or by simply making one with your Grandma over the holidays. You can get a few different kits for everyone to mix and match or simply get one kit for each person to make sure everyone leaves with a miniature garden. It will be a gift that keeps giving through the year as you check-up on each others miniature gardens, add special accents or accessories throughout the year and decorate them for an occasion or anniversary.

New Kits are a Hit!

Here are some fun kits for you to enjoy this season from the studios of Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center. There are indoor kits and hardy combos for outdoors too. Note that you can put any kind of container garden together at anytime as long as your potting soil isn’t frozen. So, go ahead, make a bit of a mess and get your hands into the soil instead of the shopping mall. It’s good for the soul and the environment; it’s a great gift to give and a very fun way to spend time with those you love this holiday season.

Classic Indoor Miniature Garden Kit

Our Classic Indoor Miniature Garden Kit.

The Classic Indoor English Boxwood Kit

A best-seller that we’ve been putting together for years now. The boxwood tree needs bright indirect light and does really well underneath a grow bulb too. (There are grow bulbs that can fit into regular lamps now!) The tree is paired with plants that like the same growing conditions for easy maintenance.

All you need for this Indoor Miniature Garden Kit is a pot, average 8” wide and deep, and potting soil with no additional fertilizers or water-retaining polymers, a pair of gloves, a water mister and a pair of scissors. That’s it!

Get a little crafty in the miniature garden with Two Green Thumbs!

New Combo Kits

We have three different combinations for this season that you can choose what to include. These unique kits make a fun gift to give because it can just tickle the imagination by ordering the accessories only, or you can include everything to make a perfect gift of miniature gardening. Add the plants? Add a Gardening in Miniature book? The choice is yours! Patio materials, Mini Patio Mix and shipping by Priority Mail is included for US residences, including Alaska and Hawaii.

Bird Lovers Miniature Garden Kit

The Bird Lovers Miniature Garden Kit shown here with the plants and Gardening in Miniature Book. You choose what you want to include!

The Bird Lovers Miniature Garden Kit includes two birdhouses and a birdbath for your miniature feathered friends, a rocker and a cedar trellis that is staked to hold up in the garden soil.

Dog Lovers Miniature Garden Kit

Dog Lovers Miniature Garden Kit shown without the plants and book – can make a great gift too!

The Dog Lovers Miniature Garden Kit includes a wee doghouse, a bowl of dog food and the cutest rawhide bone you ever saw. An Adirondack chair and a stump-table are also included.

Garden Lovers Miniature Garden Kit

Garden Lovers Miniature Garden Kit – add the plants, add a book, or not – it’s your choice!

The Garden Lovers Miniature Garden Kit has a very sweet bench and table set, garden hand tools, a water can and a picket fence.

Indoor Mini Garden Kits from Two Green Thumbs

New Indoor Mini Garden Kits are complete with soil and pot included.

New Mini-Mini Kits

This is our first all-inclusive Indoor Mini Garden Kit with the pot and potting soil included! The pots are really nicely done, pretty yellow or blue colors and come with a matching saucer. The plants are in a 2-in-1 pot shown above with half Baby Tears and half Dwarf Mondo Grass, and comes with tiny accessories, patio materials and a 32-page PDF is included.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

Tiny Moss Garden can make a great gift for a friend or coworker.

Tiny Miniature Moss Gardens

We’ve been playing with these for over two months now and they are still just cute as a button! Spray the moss at least once a day to keep it fresh. Tiny moss gardens can live on a windowsill and come with your choice of a gnome or a Buddha, a water mister is included. Moss is forgiving – if you forget to water it, it can be revived. Find the three different kinds of moss gardens up in our etsy store here. 

Any questions Steve and I are here to help! Get in touch: 206-352-0494 (PST – Mon-Fri. 10 -4 or leave a message!) or anytime at info@TwoGreenThumbs.com.

Need to schedule a delivery for a certain day? We can do that too!  The USPS deadline for shipping is December 20th. All our high-quality plants will be okay if left in the box for total of 5 to 7 days.

Like this? Join us for your monthly Mini Garden Gazette delivered straight to your inbox – you’ll get a free PDF for just signing up with us! Join us here.

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

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How to Install Mini and Fairy Houses in Your Miniature Garden

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

Working with Plow & Hearth’s miniature garden houses today. We’ve worked their Fairy Garden Cottage with Turret into an already existing miniature garden layout here and found that it can add another level of curiosity and enchantment.

How to Install Mini and Fairy Houses in Your Miniature Garden

Working a tiny house into your miniature garden design can add another dimension to an already existing layout. Once the viewer sees the tiny house, the story starts to evolve and curiosity starts to bubble and perk as the questions begin: Whose house is that? What’s going on inside? I wonder if I can I see inside? Houses and buildings are especially effective with young children because their ability to suspend realism is very endearing, as well as the house being big enough not to get broken or lost in the garden bed.

Shop Two Green ThumbsSo, with a little help from Plow & Hearth today, we have a few houses to play with in various ways in our miniature gardens here at our studio. It is interesting to note that the few rules that do apply to miniature gardening apply to using miniature houses too. We found that it is still the combination of plants, patio and accessories with the house, that come together to create that “Aaawwww!” moment that delights and enchants instantly. Let’s take a look at the photos to see what works and what doesn’t.

[Click on the photos to enlarge them.]

In the photograph above, we fit the house underneath the canopy of a Jacqueline Hillier Elm, top-left corner, next to small Shimpaku Juniper shrub to the left of the house, you see the tiny trunk. The tall column of the Sky Pencil Japanese Holly to the right of the house works as an anchor point and helps to put the building into perspective for us. The patio and furniture helps deliver the scale.

The bottom layer is filled with small-leafed Sedums and ground covers to cinch the garden beds and to nestle-in the accessories. I resisted the urge to clean-up the shot and left the fallen leaves and debris alone. Note that the simple things, like a log or a boulder, can add a sense of permanence to the scene.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

The same house, simplified. If you took away one element, the plants, the patio or the chair, the scene would look incomplete.

Here, we’ve used the same house in a different part of the garden – it’s Plow & Hearth’s Miniature Fairy Garden Cottage with Turret. The fine-foliage of the beautiful Tansu Japanese Cedar canopy on the right helps to put the house in scale, the smaller Balsam Fir and ground cover Red Thyme finish the simple scene on the left. If we didn’t have the patio and chair to complete the idea, the house would look a bit lost. This patio is made from rolled marble pebbles and tumbled glass pieces and laid-in by hand with our Mini Patio Mix Kit.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

I think there needs to be something else going on, like a birdbath or patio furniture. The house seems a bit lonely. Lol!

Unique and unusual miniature garden accessories, kits, plants and more.

When photographing the houses, we found more mystery by photographing the scene from behind a taller tree or full-sized plant. That is a Pixie Dwarf Spruce on the right and another Balsam Fir on the left. The big trunk behind the house is a full-size Alpine Fir. The patio was made from our stone sheets and locked-in with our Mini Patio Mix Kit. This is Plow & Hearth’s Resin Thatched Fairy Cottage.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

Fitting a scene in an already existing garden still needed a bit of help to look right.

It was very fun to walk around the garden and see where the house looked its best but, funnily enough, we had to go back to our main components to get the look that we wanted. The patio and pathway situated the house enough to make it look like it belonged there and the smaller plantings brought the scale down to match the house. Here, in this photo, there were a couple of miniature garden trees and trees to work with: that amber-colored shrub to the left is a small heather and then to the left of that is a Pixie Dwarf Spruce help layer the full-size plants down to miniature.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

I couldn’t resist pairing the house with the reds and pinks of that Rose Glow Barberry behind it.

Now you can start to see how the smaller plantings around the house make it work. Now I want to live there. This is the Plow & Hearth Miniature Stucco Fairy Garden Cottage with Thatched Roof.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

The ground covers in this part of the garden were planted about 4 years ago. You can see how fun it is to left them grow and weave together. I’ll have to get in there next spring and weed out the New Zealand Brass Buttons (the mini fern-like plant) as it is fairly invasive.

Just a little patio is all you need – pardon the pun – this one was made from marble pieces, an ivory stone sheet and our Mini Patio Mix. The Plow & Hearth Adirondack chairs are an invitation to come on in and sit down. The stumps are staked to hold in place in the garden soil. Again, the rocks add a sense of permanence. Find the miniature garden ground covers up the our online store here.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

Have fun tucking some miniature details here and there to pique the viewers curiosity and force them to come in for a closer look.

Sedum cuttings in the wee pots make the perfect miniature container plants. Now you can see how aggressive that New Zealand Brass Buttons is but it grows on runners, so you can easily shovel-prune it or pull up the runners by hand, but boy does it look sweet.

Plow & Hearth carries the best book on Miniature Gardening too, if I may add. See Gardening in Minature: How to Create Your Own Tiny Living World up in their store here.

Like this? Then you’ll love our Mini Garden Gazette newsletter. It’s free and its once a month. You get a free PDF upon signing up too. Join us here.

Sophisticated Fairy Gardening, by Janit Calvo

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

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Miniature Gardening News From Around the World

Miniature Garden Plants is Our Specialty!

Flower Show Miniature Settings Photo

Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, is caught taking photos of Dr. K’s miniature garden exhibit at the Singapore Garden Festival. Yay!! Photo from Louise Krasniewicz of the Flower Show Miniature Settings blog.

Miniature Gardening News From Around the World

Shop Miniature Gardens at Two Green ThumbsGeez, I take a week-off from blogging and miniature gardening goes on a world tour. Lol! Just in case you missedwhat’s been happening in the ever-growing world of The Little Hobby That Could, it’s making some serious headway throughout the world. Here is your update!

But First, Clarification for the Masses

But first, let us define our terms. Two things that stand out as I read the comments coming in from the general public, is that (1) miniature gardening is bonsai and (2) it is nothing new.

While bonsai is a form of gardening in miniature, this new way to garden is about just that – a garden. Bonsai means “tray-plant” (bon = tray, sai = plant) and its focus is on growing miniature versions of trees in shallow, tray-like pots. Bonsai really is an art form that requires diligence, patience and constant maintenance.

Miniature gardeners design with living plants and trees that mimic full-size plants, grow slowly and are planted as a garden in regular containers, or right in the ground. We adhere to the main garden rule, “right plant, right place” to minimize the maintenance so the garden is able to grow and weave together naturally. Most mini gardens are able to stay together for years before needing any repotting and the root-pruning is minimal, if it is needed at all.

Old fashioned miniature garden style

I used to make these a lot when I did the farmer, garden and craft markets. I called them “Old Fashioned Miniature Gardens” – it was the kind of garden your Grandma used to make. Nowadays it would be called a Fairy Garden. The blooming plant is an Armeria, or Pink Sea Thrift that is pulled apart into small starts. Photo Janit Calvo

And no, miniature gardening in not new – it’s just new to the marketplace and to most people, plus it needed some serious updating which is why I picked up the torch and ran with it. The one thing I discovered while selling my miniature gardens for years at farmers markets and trade shows, is that people have been miniature gardening and fairy gardening for decades. It was such a personal hobby, and there was no where to share it until social media linked everyone together, so it went unnoticed until recently.

Shop Two Green Thumbs

From The Gardens by the Bay website.

I’ve been captivate by these since seeing them on Instagram last year. The Singapore Garden Festival was held at the Gardens by the Bay where you’ll find these wonderful sculptures called the Supertree Grove. It must be amazing to see! Click the photo to visit the site. Photo from GardensByTheBay.com.

Singapore Garden Festival Finds Miniature Gardening Fits the Bill

A delegation of miniature gardeners from the Philadelphia Flower Show’s Miniature Settings were invited to the Singapore Garden Festival to show, tell and teach about miniature gardening. Vice chair of the exhibit in PA, Louise Krasniewicz, was accompanied by Deb Mackie and Nancy Grube, all three are award-caliber miniaturists. Dr. K. (aka Louise) chronicled their journey on her Miniature Flower Show Settings Blog. It starts here and you’ll find links to the other exhibit and workshop posts further down on the page.

Your Miniature Garden CenterThe Huffington Post Tries a Little Gardening

The Huffington Post did a little miniature gardening last week and posted a series of different gardens found on the popular Hometalk website. The headline boasted fairy gardens but, alas, there was nary a fairy in sight in the photos they choose – temporary arrangements, terrariums and my twee garden ideas were included. Please feel free to like, repost, comment and share. Thank you, Huffington Post!

The Daily Mail Online Gets On Trend

The Daily Mail is a popular website from the UK. They highlighted a series of my photographs this week for all to see! The only thing – I wish they spelled my name right. Lol! See the gallery here. Please feel free to like, repost, comment and share. Thank you, Daily Mail!

And Houston? We Have a Contact in India!

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll recognize these gardens as the winners of the international segment of our Great Annual Miniature Garden Contest last year. (The winners start here.) They are now up and running with their own website, (its a work-in-progress so check back!) and you can keep in touch with them on Facebook here.  

Who knew such a little garden could have so much impact?

Visit our online store for all the right plants, parts and pieces here.

Like this? Then you’ll love our monthly Mini Garden Gazette newsletter. Join us by filling out the very short form on our main website here: http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com, and confirm through your email.


Miniature Gardening

 

 

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Happy Fourth of July in the Miniature Garden

July 4th in the Miniature Garden

Here’s a quick and easy diy for a flag-banner for your July 4th Miniature Garden.

Happy Fourth of July in the Miniature Garden

After renovating this pretty miniature garden a couple of weeks ago, I was drawn to it again for a Fourth of July theme. I couldn’t resist the blue pot as the perfect base, and that Jacqueline Hillier Elm to hang my flags on. Happy Fourth Fellow Miniature Gardeners!

Click to enlarge the photos.

July 4th in the Miniature Garden

Rather than buy new accessories for a special occasion, collect the accessories that you already have that are the appropriate color. Or, you can paint, refreshen or update an worn accessory with the theme color – just keep the color palette simple so you can use the accessory after the holiday and it won’t look like it is a leftover or afterthought.

Find the Jacqueline Hillier Elm here.

Find the doghouse here.

July 4th in the Miniature Garden

This is a DIY that you could easily make for any theme. The flag was dragged-and-dropped from a Google image search into a Word file, then copied into a column and printed out. This idea can work with just about any theme from “It’s a baby!” to “Welcome Home.” 

July 4th in the Miniature Garden

Collect marbles for an added splash of the red, white and blue. Floral wire shaped with a pair of round-nosed pliers are handy to have in your toolbox. The Made-in-the-USA birdhouse suits the theme perfectly.

Find the birdhouse here.

July 4th in the Miniature Garden

A drainage hole was drilled in the bottom of this wheelbarrow before it was planted. Even though it’s a miniature, it would still fill up with water or rain and rot the roots of the plants, if the water didn’t have anywhere to go. 

Find the wheelbarrow here.

Find the blue chair here.

Find the picnic basket here.

July 4th in the Miniature Garden

Experiment with different leaves to see what works. The miniature Calla Lily leaves mimic water lilies and the Saxifrage looks like mini water lettuce (Pistia) – I’m missing a zing of color though.

Find the green stone sheet here.

Find the Mini Patio Mix here.

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

July 4th in the Miniature Garden

See our July 4th selection up in The Miniature Garden Center and click the photo above.

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Tips and Techniques: How to Renovate an Existing Miniature Garden

How to Renovate a Miniature Garden

A pretty miniature garden scene. This photo was take about 6 weeks after the project photos were done for our Gardening in Miniature book. The tree is a Jacqueline Hillier Elm, the two globe-shaped shrubs on either side are White Pygmy Dwarf Cypress.

 Tips & Techniques: How to Renovate an Existing Miniature Garden

Renovating a full-sized garden can be back-breaking work and take weeks to complete. Over the years of gardening in miniature, I’ve discovered it takes an average of 20 minutes to renovate a miniature garden – with no back-ache or sore muscles. In this post, we are revisiting a miniature garden that was made for the Pond in a Pot project in the Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World book. I’ve been letting a few of the miniature gardens grow without doing any maintenance so you can see (a) how fun they can be to grow one and (b) how easy it is to garden in miniature.

Click to enlarge any photo.

How to make a miniature garden pond

Here is a summary of the Pond in a Pot project, from the Timber Press winter catalog, 2013.

Fairy Gardening with Two Green Thumbs.com

Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

I left it to grow without doing any maintenance on it for the last year so you can see what happens – it’s still a cute garden! Our big puppy tends to rearrange our miniature garden accessories from time to time.

Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

Tools for the task can be found easily.

Renovating a miniature garden is just as much fun as making one. You can easily get lost in your own little world, see what plants are growing wild, and what needs a bit of help. Just like full-sized gardening, you will have plants that don’t survive, or some that didn’t do well. With our changing winters, it’s good to keep an open mind if something didn’t make it through the hard-freezes of the polar vortex, for example. This gives you an opportunity to try a different plant, or choose a plant that is hardier than your zone. It’s easy to swap the the plants out with fresh ones, or fill-in the gap in the garden bed with a new accessory.

The tools you need, you can find around the house or in your garden shed. If you don’t have garden clippers, a sharp pair of scissors will do just fine. Designate a specific soup spoon and dinner fork for your miniature garden. Thrift stores are place to go for these. Pick up a sharp cutting knife while you are there, it will come in handy. Keep an old toothbrush for cleaning up your accessories or scrubbing-down your patio. A soft rag is handy for cleaning out the pond and wiping down the outside of the pot.

Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

Begin by pulling out all the dead plants. The Dwarf Mondo Grass in all our gardens didn’t make it through last winter for some reason. (It’s hardy to 0F and our coldest temperature was 18F) Next winter, I’ll make sure I shear that White Pygmy Cypress (behind my hand,) to prevent it from getting leggy and to keep those wonderful creamy tips. This will help separate it from the Dwarf Pagoda Japanese Holly on the right.

Links for plants: Dwarf Pagoda Japanese Holly – Jacqueline Hillier Elm – Dwarf Mondo Grass – Red Thyme

Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

Trim back all the dead branches and foliage. Miniature roses follow the same rules as full-size roses, deadhead the spent blooms just above a 5-leaf branch. For other shrubs, trim back any dead branches, and branches that are criss-crossed in the middle of the plant and any branch that is growing downward.

Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

At this point in the season, you may have new buds mixed with spent buds. Take a moment to sort them out before deadheading (cutting off the spent blooms.)

Find miniature roses from our friends down in Oregon here at HeirloomRoses.com, there are dozens of them!

Miniature Garden Plants

This miniature ‘Popcorn’ rose is intermingling with this cypress (I’m not remembering the name!!) I’ll let the rose bloom for now, then trim it back, away from the cypress, when the flowers are done.

Miniature Garden Ebook

Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

Churn-up the top layer of soil with your garden fork. Throughout the year, all container gardens develop this crusty layer and redirect the water to the outside of the pot, away from the plant’s roots. By breaking up this layer, the water will go where it is needed. Churn up the soil gently around each plant.

Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

Prune away all dead branches in the trees and shrubs. Prune or pinch-off any new growth along the trunk and lower branches to keep your tree looking like a tree.

Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

Bail out your miniature garden pond.

Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

If the miniature garden is grown-in, you may be able to lift the pond-pot out gently, clean it up and replace it.

Miniature Garden Center

Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

Be careful not to get anything in the pond’s hole. You can barely see the upside-down pot that the pond is resting on at the bottom of the hole.

Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

Replace the accessories. And you are done!

Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

Or create a new look by adding different accessories.

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Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

Little gaps in the ground covers create an opportunity to nestle-in another focal point.

Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

Add a couple of flowers to float in the pond. You can float the tiny flowers on leaves to make them look like water-lilies.

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Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

If your miniature garden is big like this one is, have fun creating tiny vignettes throughout the garden. It lures the viewer in to take a better look. After seeing this picture, I may plant something low in front of the trellis to for more interest.

Garden tools are here – or see all our Tools and Equipment here.

Miniature Gardening Renovation How-To

A miniature garden flower arrangement can add a bit of color quickly and easily. See below for the How-To link.

The Cutest How-To in the Whole Wide World.

Find the Trellis with Wall-Pot, see more trellises here.

See our current stock of true miniature garden and fairy garden trees, shrubs, and plants right here.

July Fourth Miniature Garden

Or collect your favorite accessories to celebrate an occasion for a party or a barbecue.

Miniature barbecues are here and here. Blue wheelbarrow is here. White water can. Cherry red bench.

Like this? Then you will love our Mini Garden Gazette! Click into our main website to join us for more fun in the miniature garden.

Gardening in Miniature by Janit Calvo

Click the picture to get your autographed copy from our online store. Or Amazon[dot]com has it too!

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