Posts Tagged fairy garden

Miniature Fairy Gardening : What They Won’t Tell You But I Will

TruthAboutMoss 1

Miniature Fairy Gardening : 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!

Your Miniature Garden Center

 

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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

valentineportrait 

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Faith, Hope and Pixie Dust: Miniature Gardening with Disney

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Faith, Hope and Pixie Dust: Miniature Gardening with Disney

[Updated from November, 2010.] A trip to the toy store the other day to lurk for miniature garden ideas instigated a trip to the video store to rent the latest fairy movie from Disney, Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue. It’s all in a day’s work here at America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center.

You bet I watched it  – and no, I don’t have children, nor do I have a child in my life that I could borrow for the excuse to watch it. I just did.

Oh, you’re doing it again, aren’t you? You’re laughing at me!

Now this is the kind of invaluable market research that is part of my job as leader of the hobby, researcher of everything mini garden and owner of the world’s only Miniature Garden Center dedicated to gardening in miniature. It’s this is the level of sacrifice

;o)

Nah, really, I just wanted to see if there were any cute ideas I can share and, never-to-be-disappointed-by-Disney, there were more than a few new ideas that you can put in your bag of tricks the next time the kids or grand kids want to get miniature gardening.

Miniature Fairy Garden

Get the kid’s imaginations working with some hands-on fairy fun and magic in the miniature garden.

Fairy Origins and Lore via Disney

– Each time a baby laughs for the very first time, a fairy is born. This is called their Arrival Day, similar to our Birthdays. Wait. Did I hear a giggle?

Disney latest line of fairy toys can easily be used in the miniature garden.

Disney latest line of fairy toys can easily be used in the miniature garden.

– Fairies are from Pixie Hollow and each fairy has a different purpose. They come to the “mainland” to help with the change of the seasons by coloring the flowers in the spring, they help pollinate and tend to the gardens and crops in the summertime, paint the leaves in the fall and make icicles and snowflakes in the winter. Just place what they do before the word fairy and you can create any character for your own purpose. Examples include, “Wind Fairy, Pumpkin Fairy, Dog Fairy, Spruce Fairy, etc.

– Fairies are about 5” tall and are dressed in anything natural that usually illustrate their purpose. Flower fairies wear petals and leaves, the pumpkin fairies wear the pumpkin and the wind fairies… huh? Wait. Are they naked? Lol!

– The fairies help to put the hibernating animals to sleep in the fall or to wake them up in the spring. I wish they could do that for me when I can’t sleep at night. Oh, and they also take care of wounded animals everywhere.

– They paint the stripes on bumblebees and design the patterns on butterflies. Awesome.

– They use fireflies as flashlights. When you see a firefly, it is really fairy flying around.

– Male fairies are called Sparrowmen. They look like elves with wings and acorn hats. I love that name!

A pretty fairy in the mini garden.

A pretty fairy in the mini garden.

Points of Attraction

– Fairies love shiny objects just like me. Place a small mirror or something shiny in the garden to attract them – or me. Lol!

– They sometime use buttons as stepping-stones to lead the fairies to your fairy house. If you do use buttons, please don’t relay on your fairy to keep them in place. Instead, use our Mini Patio Mix Kit. It’s easy and fun to use.

– Create a wee leaf-plate for the “fairy offering” to help lure them into your garden. Fairies eat fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and bread. Place a wee snack as an offering and see if they take you up on it.

– Fairies smell slightly like cinnamon. If you catch a whiff, there is a fairy nearby but not the fairies are still not edible.

– They use mint leaves as a toothbrush and pine needle combs. They use cotton balls as pillows and leaves as blankets. Fairies prefer the natural house and lean-to’s so they can go inside and see out the windows.

If you are NOT going to see the movie, here’s a synopsis:

The mAd-Fairyovie was very fun in typical Disney fashion. The only characters are the Dad, the daughter and the fairies. The Dad is very pre-occupied with his work collecting, studying and mounting bugs and butterflies, which is completely horrific for a fairy to see! The daughter catches a fairy by accident (Tinkerbell) and they bond. Dad eventually finds out, catches a fairy and rushes to expose his find to the world. Just before it is too late, he is swayed when he sees his daughter flying with the fairies, pleading for the release of her friend. The fairies befriend the Dad and, with a heavy dose of pixie dust, make him fly too. I love the end where the Dad, daughter and all the fairies are all hanging out spending quality time together.

Checkout your local toy store for a number of different fairy figures to use in the miniature garden that are child-safe, washable and durable. Introduce fun and magic to the children while you still can.

Sign up to be on my mailing list to stay inspired here.

Like this? Please visit the Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center here. We appreciate your support to keep us going and we specialize in superior, personalized customer service!

See more:
Whimsical Fairy Swing DIY
About Miniature Fairy Garden Moss
Declutter Your Fairy Garden 

Checkout Disney’s wonderfully Interactive Pixie Hollow Website here.

Sophisticated Fairy Gardening, by Janit Calvo

NEW LOW PRICE!! Click the Picture to read the intro! An expert view on fairy gardening and how to make them look authentic in your miniature garden.

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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 MiniatureGardenSociety.org 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 MiniatureGardenSociety.org!

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 MiniatureGardenSociety.org 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: MiniatureGardenSociety.org!

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s New in the Big-Box Stores for Fairy Gardening and Miniature Gardening for 2017?

What’s New in the Big-Box Stores for Fairy Gardening and Miniature Gardening for 2017?

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.comWe have hobbies to escape, to transport us out of our everyday lives, to get purposefully lost in the details and in the doing. This past year we’ve watched our miniature garden hobby grow even further and take root in more hearts than ever as it keeps spreading throughout the world. Needless to say, it’s been very interesting to watch it grow from where we sit, from selling it in street markets at the turn of the century, to a worldwide trend-turned-hobby as we see today.

We’ve also watched many small businesses develop around the hobby – and now it’s grown into the mainstream where it needs to grow so everyone can learn about miniature gardening. While it is our mission to make our hobby as well-known as knitting – and seeing the idea in the big-box stores is really awesome – but those corporate powers that be should have asked for “little” help, imho.

Needless to say we did see this coming, like all trends that find their way to get mass-produced in China without regard to the nuances of the hobby. It started with Hobby lobby a couple of years ago as they took the lead from the independent garden centers who loved it as a new way for their customers to grow. As the miniature garden idea spread it was inevitable that the large, corporate craft and hobby stores would begin to produce their own products that catered to the hobby. And sadly, some of the items have been blatantly copied from smaller companies and ourselves, reproduced in China by people without conscience or ethics. But it’s just business, right?  

Big Corps and Little Gardens

Yes it in english too! :o) Click the picture to see it in our online store or find it on Amazon at the link below!

Yes it in english too! :o) Our Gardening in Miniature book is available wherever books are sold. Click the picture to see it in our online store or find it on Amazon wherever you are located!

What the big corporations and gift manufacturers don’t seem to do is to consult with anyone directly related to the trend before taking an idea to China – it surely doesn’t look like they did. (It doesn’t look like anyone does!) I’m not sure if anyone at Michael’s Crafts or JoAnn’s Fabrics and Crafts was actually a miniature gardener or a fairy gardener while they where brainstorming their new lines of miniatures for the hobby – and that shows. AND it looks like they just copied what the other fairy suppliers copied with no consideration for the end user -> YOU! (There’s my consumer advocate side again!)

So here’s a little insight in a quick video of what is out there this season so you can see what is up, as well as how you can use it – or can’t use it – in your own fairy garden or miniature garden work. Caveat emptor : a number of the items are not weatherproof, will melt in the rain, and the color will fade in the sun quickly. 

Making Miniature Magic

If you are serious about gardening in miniature and recognize the joy, depth and creativity it can bring to your own world, join us at the Miniature Garden Society! We have many projects to help you stay creative all year ‘round, plus all the information, insight and advice that you need to grow a successful miniature garden wherever you are. To learn more about it, visit here.

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

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Happy New Year from the Miniature Garden!

New Year's Eve in the Miniature Garden

Happy New Year from the Miniature Garden!

Happy New Year from the Miniature Garden!

Join me on a photo journey for this year’s New Year’s in the Miniature Garden!

We had a busy week making plans for the new year – and a new video for our Miniature Garden Society. See it here or keep scrolling!

New Year's Eve in the Miniature Garden

Added “a little” twinkle and sparkle with some tiny mirrors. Another resource and idea to add to the Miniature Garden Society!

 

New Year's Eve in the Miniature Garden

Used a Christmas wreath around the NYE sculpture to add color and bling.

 

New Year's Eve in the Miniature Garden

Found this guy in an antique mall here in Seattle. He’s custom painted for the miniature garden to look old and ancient. 

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New Year's Eve in the Miniature Garden

Making sure this coming year is packed FULL of love! 

 

New Year's Eve in the Miniature Garden

I found the hat and noise maker at my local dollhouse miniature store.

 

New Year's Eve in the Miniature Garden

This garden is about 6 or 7 years old and went through one major renovation. We go over the details in the Miniature Garden Society! 

mgs-ad-fbbanner

 

New Year's Eve in the Miniature Garden

I left the lights on from Christmas – those are always the hardest to take down because I love them so. But the way I wound this strand so tightly on the branches, it will have to come off before springtime. 

 

New Year's Eve in the Miniature Garden

Now you can tell I shot the photos in my studio? Yeah, it was cold out. Lol! 

 

New Year's Eve in the Miniature Garden

A retro dollhouse miniature bench painted silver fits into the scene nicely. It’s here up in our Etsy store.

http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

New Year's Eve in the Miniature Garden

Another full shot of the custom miniature New Year’s Eve sculpture. We’ll be diving into custom painting techniques in the Miniature Garden Society.

 

New Year's Eve in the Miniature Garden

Cutting from full-sized plants did the trick to make this quick seasonal bouquet!

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New Year's Eve in the Miniature Garden

The Stone side table is from our studios and is up in our Etsy store here.

 

New Year's Eve in the Miniature Garden

I just love the miniature log animals! They won’t be packed up too quickly…

Like this? Then you’ll enjoy our Mini Garden Gazette newsletter – it’s free and it’s weekly. Join us here.

LOVE THIS? Then you’ll LOVE our Miniature Garden Society! Watch the video to see what we’re all about:

 

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VIDEO: Miniature Garden Ideas for Christmas & Winter Holidays

VIDEO: Miniature Garden Ideas for Christmas & Winter Holidays

Ah! The Big Day is almost upon us! I can feel my tension mounting as my “Oh, I want to do that too!” list keeps growing and growing. If you’re like me, sometimes it takes a while to get my momentum up to bake & decorate and then all of a sudden I become Santa’s right-hand woman. Hear me Ho-Ho-Ho. Lol!

So, here is a video packed with a bunch of miniature garden ideas to help you through the last week because you KNOW how much fun it is to decorate your miniature garden or fairy garden as well as your full-sized world. I set the video to some very pretty piano music to remind you of the magic of Christmas. The video is only a minute and a half long but it’s FULL of ideas. Please like and share it!

More Miniature Garden Gift Ideas

Custom Miniature Garden Kits – You pick, we send!

Our Miniature Garden Calendar – One garden, 12 occasions. Whoa.

A Subscription for the Miniature Garden Society! – A fun place to connect, craft and create!

More Miniature Garden Decorating Ideas

DIY Christmas Decor in Miniature! – How fun is this?

Miniaturizing Martha! – Emulating the Queen of Decorating, Martha Stewart.

More Decorating Ideas – Less the fuss!

Share Your Love!

Like this? Enjoying the Mini Garden Guru blog? Give us a “like” and a comment to let us know below!

THEN use the share buttons to help spread the joy of miniature gardening!

Want more? NEED more? Join our email list to get your weekly dose of miniature garden goodness delivered straight to your inbox each Friday, sign up here, on our main website.

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