Posts Tagged fairy garden

Decorating Your Fairy Houses for the Holidays

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Project Extension

Decorate more than just your full-sized house for the holiday! A project adapted from the Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book for a demonstration at the Plow and Hearth store in Marlon, NJ.

Decorating Your Fairy Houses for the Holidays

I took a couple of pages out of my Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book for a recent Plow and Hearth demonstration earlier this month at their Marlon, NJ store. It was fun getting messy while meeting several fairy gardeners that came to see what I was up to!

For this demo, I turned one of their fairy garden houses into A Very Fairy Christmas House with a little paint, glue and detailing that took about 2 1/2 hours to do. Needless to say, I could have crafted for another 2 1/2 hours!

This Fairy Christmas House project was adapted from the Fairy Haven project in the Prop Shop book. Check out the photos below for more ideas:

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Project Extension

This is the fairy house that is in the Prop Shop book. What you can use is just about anything within a fairy’s reach. The Prop Shop book goes over multiple ways of attaching different items to the resin house. 

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Project Extension

The same fairy house used in the Prop Shop book before the renovation. The end result will look nothing like the house you started with! 

 

 

Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Project Extension

This was one of the first fairy houses that I customized. I always wanted a pink house and this is currently the only way I can have one. Lol!

 

ANNIVERSARY SALE! Get both books for $35 PLUS FREE SHIPPING! (Until 11/30/17)

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Project Extension

The second fairy house I customized was for a Seaside Fairy Garden for client north of Seattle. This one was a fun one – I loved playing with one theme and pushing the boundaries of what I could do with it.

 

The Miniature Garden Society

A Private Community of Like-Minded Miniature Gardeners! Click the logo to learn more about this wonderful new adventure! 

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Project Extension

If you use your customized house outside in your fairy garden where it can get weathered and aged, just plan on giving it an update every year or so. Everything weathers in the garden!

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Project Extension

The Seaside Fairy House before the renovation photographed in our front miniature garden.

 

Find your Plow & Hearth Fairy Houses here.

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Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Find the Fairy Haven renovation instructions inside the new Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book along with 36 more projects designed specifically for the miniature garden – written by a miniature gardener! 

 

 

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Project Extension

A Very Fairy Christmas House! We are ready for the holidays! 

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New Format for Your Mini Garden Gazette Newsletter & Video Letter About Miniature Topiary!

New Format for Your Mini Garden Gazette Newsletter: Video Letters!

They say a picture says a thousand words. I wonder how many words a video says? Lol! Join me and thousands of Fellow Miniature Gardeners for you weekly dose of miniature garden goodness via VIDEO! I’m only starting to scratch the surface on what I can show you!

Today’s video is all about creating topiary for the miniature garden. See it here.

These videos will only be through the Mini Garden Gazette newsletter (sign up here) and archived in The Miniature Garden Society where they will be added to and expanded upon as we move forward. This is still a brand new hobby so we are still assembling all the many delicious insights, how-to’s and to-do’s as we go. Join us here, for yourMini Garden Gazette Newsletter. Join us here forThe Miniature Garden Society where we are digging deeper and dreaming bigger!

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Oh Deer! Tips on How to Keep the Deer and Rabbits from Invading your Gardens

Apparently the garden deterrents for deer are the same for rabbits. Collecting regional tips from our Miniature Garden Society members is just one of the perks of joining us!

Oh Deer! Tips on How to Keep the Deer and Rabbits From Invading Your Gardens

Alright, truth be told, I don’t know everything about miniature gardening BUT that’s only because I can’t live everywhere.

You see, I live in the city so my experience with keeping wildlife out of my garden is quite limited – unless you consider my husband as wildlife which happens from time to time – and yes, he is hard to keep out of the garden. My dog, Kitty, takes care of the squirrels and attempted visits from the neighbor’s cats trying to get to the catnip but, other than that, the only other wildlife we need to be concerned about here in Seattle are slugs and snails.

So, this is where the Miniature Garden Society comes in.

The Miniature Garden Society is a member’s-only website and a place where I can put all the information I’ve collected on the hobby, and also add insight from the other members of the Society that have more experience with a certain issues than I do. And it’s only going to get better as more people from different areas join us. Right now we have fellow miniature gardeners from all over the US and from Canada, India and the UK.

There is a forum in the website too, so you can asked the Collective directly for insight, opinions or any other ideas on that you are working on.

(See our Squirrel blog here.)

 

“The Miniature Garden Society is like an encyclopedia for miniature gardening!”

Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Dig Deeper with our New Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book! Come and get your autographed copy at the Trunk Show and WorkSHOP too!

Excerpt from The Miniature Garden Society: 

Here is a perfect example from the website, it’s our Deer and Rabbit Tips from the Troubleshooting Page in the Gardening Section. It was created with some of the info I found in my own library, but the plant suggestions came from one of our members, Karen from Virginia, who has direct experience with deer in her garden.

Deer and Rabbits

Some of this research came from Nancy Norris’ book, Miniature Garden Guidebook: for Beautiful Rock Gardens, Container Plantings, Bonsai and Garden Railways, (Kalmbach Books, WI, 2011). Note that this is a book focused on railroad gardening despite the title. The plant suggestions that are in this book are meant to be viewed from afar – not up close like we view our miniature gardens. There are, however, useful tidbits throughout the book, plus insight into how to keep deer out of the garden. A full review of the book will be up in the MiniatureGardenSociety.org soon.)

Nancy’s Suggestions for Repelling Deer:

  • Use stinky deer spray. Deer hate smelly stuff. Two eggs, garlic cloves (she doesn’t say how many,) cayenne pepper and castor oil for the spray to stick on the plants. Blend with “some” water and let it stew for 2 days. Strain and spray.
  • “Deer don’t like their food associated with dead animals, like eggs and soap.”
  • Any noise deterrents, like clicking fountains, they get used to.
  • Any random sprinklers only work for a short time.
  • Store bought repellents, Plant Pro-Tecs (garlic) or Liquid Fence (NOT a urine spray, as Nancy states, it’s made up of eggs, garlic, kelp and a few other things.)
  • If you build a fence, make it high and solid – deer won’t jump over it if they can’t see to the other side.

IMPORTANT: Nancy mentions that you still need to protect newly planted deer-resistant plants because the plants that come fresh from the nursery are often fertilized with inorganic fertilizers that are made from salt. Just like cows love salt blocks, apparently deer love the salts in the soil. After planting, feed the plants compost, organic seaweed solution or bone meal sparingly. (The salt-fertilizers will gradually leach out of the soil, but she doesn’t say how long it will take.)

Further Research

  • Apparently the same rules apply for rabbits.
  • Deer stay away from any poisonous plants, prickly plants and strong-scented plants, like herbs.
  • Plant red-twig dogwood around the perimeter, deer love them and will fill-up on them, leaving your other plants alone. The dogwood shrub can handle the constant pruning, apparently.
  • Hanging CDs, twirly garden art or flags.
  • Irish Spring soap shavings – it’s the strong scent again. Replace shavings after a couple of rainfalls. Some hang them in nylon stockings around the perimeter of the garden.

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

Deer-resistant Plants for Miniature Gardening:

Deer repellent tips and apparently the same for rabbits too.

Deer-resistant Plants for Miniature Gardening:

Trees

Cedar
Crape Myrtles
Cypress
Dwarf Alberta Spruce
Elms
Hollies (Ilex crenata unconfirmed)
Junipers
Pines
Willows

Shrubs

Arborvitae
Barberries
Boxwood
Cotoneaster
Euonymus

Perennials

Ajuga
Astilbes
Ferns – all
Grasses, ornamental
(Mondo grass not confirmed)
Moss
Sedums
Thymes

UPDATE / NEW INFO:

This comes from Fellow MG, Diane: “To keep deer away, spray SKYYD on everything.  A good covering spray will last quite a while even in the rain.  It works very well but as soon as you lapse and don’t get it sprayed in time, the deer move in.  It smells just awful after it’s mixed.  Blood, dead something. It now comes in powder form and you mix your own. Beyond awful smelling.  But it keeps the deer away, so I’m ok with it!”

See their website here: www.plantskydd.com/

And this is currently Susan’s latest tactic which we still need to see if it works over the winter – Susan is trying to distract them with a yummy lawn-replacement: “We have heavy deer predation here and woodchucks are also quite a problem. I am experimenting by replacing the “lawn” with microclover. My goal is to make mowing go away and to perhaps divert the critters from my perennials. Microclover is supposedly less invasive than Dutch White-I do not want it sneaking off into the woods that surround us. Time will tell, but the tender tasty clover is definitely popular with the deer, woodchucks and even turkeys. I am hesitant to say it is working, lest I jinx it. Now the overwinter test.”

Like this? Then you’ll love our Miniature Garden Society website! Learn more about it here.


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

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Four Ways To Improve Your Craft Skills

Gardening in Miniature Kits from Two Green Thumbs

With the Miniature Garden Door Kit you can paint the trim before you put it together – so much easier and the results are perfect.

Four Ways To Improve Your Craft Skills

Hey, someone has to do it. Someone has to keep you inspired, right? As the sign says above my studio door, “Play Each Day.” So have no fear, I am here to help you in find a way to play each day! Just call me your creative-enabler.

But, alas, I know how it goes all too well: sometimes I don’t want to think to hard, nor do I want go hunting for the right

Gardening in Miniature Kits from Two Green Thumbs

The Gnome Door is perfectly sweet. Like the Miniature Garden Door, you can paint the trim before you put it together for a very professional look. Shown above unpainted but still looks great. Click the pic to see more of it.

parts, and nor do want to be bothered doing the miniature math but I want to do something different! I so want to make something!

Geez, I sound like Goldilocks at a craft store. Lol!

CUE: Miniature Garden Kits!

I don’t know about you, but when I see a good kit that entices me by just looking at the pieces, I get excited. I can’t wait to get home, get my glue and my tools, sit down and work through the instructions and see what happens. There is a sense of satisfaction with a kit too – I think I would say it’s almost as satisfying as making something from scratch because, more often than not, it’s something you would never build from scratch anyway, right?

But, there was something else that was nagging at me as to why I enjoy kits so much. I think I found out why:

Gardening in Miniature Kits from Two Green Thumbs

Our new Adirondack Chair Kit is the real deal. Historically accurate, perfectly to scale and very sturdy when done. Treat with wood hardener/preservative before leaving it outside. More about preserving wood in the Prop Shop Book. Click the photo to learn more about this new kit!

Kits improve your crafting skills.

Craft Kits – Kits are laced with ingenuity simply because they have to be broken down into kit. Whether it’s a new way to glue something, join parts together, or a simple accent piece that you would never have thought of adding, there is always something to learn from doing a craft kit because you’re “seeing” someone else’s way of doing something.

Bash a Kit Beforehand – If you know where you are going with the kit, you can easily bash* some of the parts and pieces before you glue it together. For example, if you were to make a rustic chair from the Adirondack Kit, you can get most of the painting done while the small pieces are still mounted in the sheet, before you punch them out. (See photo at left.) After you punch them out you can score, knick and or sand the parts to look worn and aged before gluing it all together. (See the Aging Adirondack project in the America chapter of the new Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book.)

Bash a Kit Afterwards – You can certainly do the aging techniques on the finished piece but you can also add decals, stamp patterns, embellish it to look more fairy-like with tendrils and mossy-bits tucked here and there. (See the Patriotic Chair and the Fairy Haven projects in the new Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book.)

*Bash a Kit – Means to adapt a kit to what you want it to be by adding to it or taking away from it. It’s a popular term in the model-kit world. For example, a model-maker would by a kit to build an army Jeep but would paint the pieces to his liking, add different decals to personalize it and make it completely different than what is was originally intended to look like.

Gardening in Miniature Kits from Two Green Thumbs

It’s a MINIATURE Fairy House Kit! New from our studios. You can make a tiny fairy house for your miniature garden – CUTE!!

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

Gardening in Miniature Kits from Two Green Thumbs

Assembled by hand with everything collected into one convenient box – more than enough to make your wee fairy house your very own. All you need is you and the glue!

Craft Different Types of Kits – Be sure to try different kinds of kits with different materials and unique designs. Stay tuned for more miniature garden kits coming up. We have some really fun ideas for you!

More Kits Coming Soon!

We are working on a variety of kits for the miniature garden and fairy garden. Some will be coming from our studios or from our Prop Shop book, and some of the kits are/will be developed by a pair of IGMA artisans who are so meticulously detailed and design oriented its humbling. Lol! Check out their kits here and let us know what you think. There is more to come from this dynamic duo!

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Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop Book

Dig Deeper with our New Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop book!

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Miniature Garden Tutorial Video: Understanding Scale

Miniature Garden Tutorial: Understanding Scale in the Miniature Garden

Miniature Garden Tutorial Video: Understanding Scale

Miniature Garden Tutorial: Understanding Scale

A large-sized miniature garden or 1″ scale. The pot is about 22″ across and about 1′ deep in the middle. I planted the tree and shrub closer to the middle of the pot so their roots will have plenty of room to grow.

Miniature gardening is just one way we can enjoy miniatures in today’s world. I’ve written about The Biggest Little Industry on Earth many years ago, and gathered a long list of how we love anything miniature. Heck, careers have been made out of miniatures and billions of dollars have been exchanged because of miniatures! Stop to think about how much they are a part of our every-day and you will see miniatures in a different light.

With all types of miniature-making, scale plays a very important role. Without using scale as a rule-of-thumb in your gardens, scenes or dioramas, the project would look like a random collection of items, a box or shelf full of stuff. I’ve written about the use of scale before too, (linked below,) but in the gardening in miniature world we used scale a bit differently – and I can’t think of any other comparison in the miniature industry so, again, this hobby stands apart from the rest.

You see, when the right miniature plants and trees are used in the miniature garden, it’s only the accessories that have to be in scale with each other. The plants we use and recommend at TwoGreenThumbs.com, for the most-part, adapt perfectly to almost any miniature scale. Check out the video demonstration to see how scale is used in this miniature garden and you’ll see what I mean.

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The tree behind the birdbath is a Just Dandy Hinoki Cypress, the tree to the left is a Jacqueline Verkade Canada Hemlock. See what’s up in our store here, or shop by your zone here.

Your Miniature Garden Center

Apropos Proportion

Now let’s go a bit farther and talk a little about proportion, a valuable attribute for any kind of design, build or fabrication.

We know that the plants can adapt to any scale BUT the overall size of the garden is still a factor.

For example, if you use small-sized accessories for your in-ground garden, they won’t get noticed and will get lost at a distance. Large-sized accessories are ideal for in-ground because they can be seen from a-ways-away, like from your deck or from a window in the kitchen.

Different sized containers work better with certain scales too. Small accessories get lost in big pots and, this is a very common oversight, large-sized accessories can easily overwhelm small pots.

This is adapted from our bestselling Gardening in Miniature book, Chapter 3, Shrinking the Garden Rules:

  • For containers that are 2” to 5” wide, use small-sized (1/4″)miniature accessories.
  • For containers that are 5” to 10” wide, use medium-sized (1/2″) accessories.
  • For containers 10” and up, use large-sized (1″) containers.

Of course, with any creative rule, there is a bit of wiggle-room between the sizes/scales, but I think you get the gist.

In summary: Make sure all your accessories match in scale and are in proportion to the size of the container. For in-ground miniature gardens, use large-size or 1″ scale.

Link to more about scale, with more photo-examples:

Fun With Scale in the Miniature Garden

Miniature Gardening 105: Sizing Up Your Accessories

Shop by Size:

Shop all One Inch Scale

Shop all Half Inch Scale

Shop all Quarter Inch Scale

Let me know if you have any comments or questions below – it tells me what I’ve missed!

If you are serious about learning, creating and digging deeper into the miniature garden hobby, join us here.

Best selling Gardening in Miniature book

We wrote the book on it! All you need to get started in this wonderful hobby is in this book! Click the book to see it up in the online store. 

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Fairy Garden Moss : What They Won’t Tell You But I Will

TruthAboutMoss 1

Fairy Garden Moss : What They Won’t Tell You But I Will

Ugh. It’s a pet peeve of mine. I should be a consumer advocate. I just hate seeing people set up for failure – especially in our beloved miniature garden niche.

A customer emailed the other day and complained that her moss smelled musty. After a bit of digging, pun intended, I Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvofound out she used the new moss “sheets” to cover the ground in and around her plants. The moss was getting moldy because of the dampness of the soil in the living garden. Unfortunately, she was sold artificial moss for that specific purpose: to “grow” it in her fairy garden.

Ugh x 2. Really?

The fairy garden moss that is out on the market today will not work with live plants nor will it grow. It’s fake and should be used only for artificial scenes. It will suffocate and kill the soil, and any roots if it is used with real plants too. (Soil is alive, dirt is dead – but that is another blog post, right here.)

THIS includes any kind of preserved moss, moss sheets, moss clumps, Spanish moss, reindeer moss, whatever you want to call it. It will NOT grow in a living miniature nor any fairy garden.

And the funniest thing about this is: it’s expensive!

Ugh x 3!!

The Truth About Fairy Moss

Fake moss can’t replace the real thing. It will get musty and moldy in a real garden environment. Fake moss is at the top, the real moss is below on the left in sheet form, and in clumps on the right. Both live-moss samples we find on our property here in Seattle.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.

AND THEN, I see videos of “professional designers” laying the moss sheets right on the soil! The “designer” then tucks the odd (living) plant in here and there, right into the fake moss! I wonder if she can hear me yelling at her from my desk in Seattle. Lol! Poor plants. That’s just not going to work out well at all. That silly moss will become a nice moldy mess because of the dampness of the living garden, and it will fade to brown quickly in the sun too.

Quick Moss Primer:

What is it then? These are my definitions of the different kinds of craft mosses. I’m 98% sure I have it correct but, they do such crazy stuff in the craft-supply world and in the gift industry, I’m leaving a small margin of error.

Reindeer Moss – Is really a lichen. It was alive at one point, but needs to be killed and preserved to sit on the big-box-store shelves. It comes in dark green, chartreuse green and shades of brown.

Moss Sheets – A certain kind of moss was killed and treated and glued to a plastic mesh, or burlap. It is perfectly dead too. There are “moss sheets” packs that aren’t glued down as well, that can be ripped into tinier pieces for your artificial garden projects.

Mood Moss – An anomaly. Lol! I don’t know what it is made of but it is not moss. And, what made it moody? It didn’t get a seat on the bus this morning on the way to work? It didn’t have a date for Friday night? :o)

Spanish Moss – It’s not a moss either, it’s a bromeliad, Tillandsia usneoides. If you are plucking this off the trees down in the southern states, put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to de-bug it. The Spanish Moss you find in stores is preserved and very dead too.

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Living Moss Rules: 

  • If you want moss in your living miniature garden, stick with real moss. 
  • If you want moss, you need the correct environment for it to grow it in which is difficult to replicate if it doesn’t happen naturally.
  • If you want moss to grow on rocks, you need to find moss that grows on rocks or pavement.
  • If you want moss to grow on the soil, you need to find moss that grows on the soil.
  • Moss needs light and water too.
  • DIGGING & HARVESTING MOSS FROM PUBLIC LANDS AND FORESTS IS VERY, VERY WRONG. Natural-growing moss is part of the eco-system and if you take away one part of the system, the other parts will suffer and/or fail. Please harvest responsibly or… 

Here are Some Real Moss Resources:

Here is our moss guru, the indelible David Spain with his great (and funny!) website on everything mossy: https://www.mossandstonegardens.com/

Here is our moss for sale that we cultivate here on our property, 3 different types (or stages) of growth. Only available in the winter months. Moss does go dormant in the dry, summer months so if you’re searching for our moss in the dormant months, please come back later! :o)

And leave that fake moss for your other crafty projects! Make a purse or hat for Mom’s Day, or a tie for Father’s Day.

Like this? Want to know more about miniature and fairy gardening from people who will tell you straight? Join us here for your weekly Mini Garden Gazette Newsletter!

The Truth About Fairy Moss

You can tell it is fake by looking at the backside. If it is not soil – it is fake.

Miniature Garden Plants is Our Specialty!

The Truth About Fairy Moss

Not convinced yet? Steve thought it was dried moss until I showed him the inside. Rip it open and you’ll see the fibers.

Sophisticated Fairy Gardening, by Janit Calvo

Our new eBook raises the bar on fairy gardening. Get your copy today, click the picture to go to our online store!

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Valentine’s Day in the Miniature Garden

Valentine's Day in the Miniature Garden

Valentine’s Day in the Miniature Garden can be loaded with decor – or kept really simple with one or two accent pieces.

Valentine’s Day in the Miniature Garden

Creating miniature gardens is so much fun because you can adapt them to any
situation, any theme or any occasion. But another fun thing to do with this new-again hobby – and Valentine’s Day gives you a perfect opportunity to – is to share them. A miniature garden can easily deliver a personalized message sent straight from the heart.

If you are short on decorations, a simple accent piece can still send a huge message. A red chair, an engraved heart or ‘hugs’ rock, or this simple how-to can send sweet love to your Valentine.

Don’t have a Valentine? Then it’s a perfect excuse to treat yourself and do something YOU love!

Want to see more of the 2013 Valentine Garden? They will be posted in our February newsletter, The Mini Garden Gazette. Join our email list here and get instant access to the archives after confirming through your email.

How to Make Valentine’s Day Decorations for Your Miniature Garden:

We found the package of foam hearts at JoAnns Fabrics (40% off!) to make these really quick decorative garden stakes that you can add to any miniature garden and get your message love across.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One package of foam cutouts
  • Wood popsicle sticks &/or coffee sticks
  • Paint colors of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper

Best selling Gardening in Miniature bookAAAAND the craft stores now carry all kinds of cutouts for every occasion! Paint the stakes to match the holiday color to make it look more polished. We tried writing on them with a small Sharpie marker, but it turned out a bit faded – the foam doesn’t accept the ink very well.

Be sure to take out the heart stakes after the 14th and wait for the wood to dry before storing them for next year. Like the miniature holiday decor, they should last for a long time if you don’t leave them out in the weather all year.

See our previous post of gift-giving ideas: The Most Incredible Gift of All Time. Make Quick and Affordable Gifts. A Miniature Garden for Every Budget.

More ideas from your  Miniature Garden Center:

– Pretty Garden Screen

Pretty Grapevine Birdath

– White Porcelain Pot Set with Saucers (really cute)

– White Arbor with Gate

– White Wooden Love Seat

– White Swan Porcelain Vase Set

– Short White Picket Border Fence

– Miniature Garden Plants for Sun or Part Sun

– Miniature Garden Plants for Shade

– Shop for Plants by Zone

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