Posts Tagged inspiration

Growing, Evolving & Updating: Miniature Gardens vs. Fairy Gardens – What is the Difference?

Fairy door and windows.

Not a miniature garden but very cute! From the “Our Favorite Miniature Gardens” – and old album from HGTV.com

Miniature Gardens vs. Fairy Gardens – What is the Difference?

This is an update to a blog that I published on the difference between miniature gardening and fairy gardening about 6 1/2 years ago. 

I opened up a little can of worms the other day on our Facebook page.

Thankfully, I’m a little hardcore when it comes to gardening and I like worms.

Fairy Gardening with Two Green Thumbs.comI had created a post for our Facebook page that linked to a series of fairy gardens on HGTV.com (link has been changed) and suggested that they should start hanging out with us “real miniature gardeners.”

I must admit, that was a bit hasty in retrospect, but I didn’t mean to offend anyone so here’s an explanation of where that comment came from.

The first picture in the album was the one shown above, with a couple of windows and a door nailed to a tree with a fairy in front of it. Inside the album, however, there were a couple of pictures that were very pretty little fairy gardens, and pictures of a fairy house and a gnome house – but they were all fairy gardens, not miniature gardens. HGTV had called them miniature gardens – thus the comment “that they should start hanging out with us ‘real miniature gardeners.'”

A very pretty little Fairy Garden

From the HGTV.com album. Fairy gardens are a type of miniature garden and if there is a fairy in it, then the word ‘fairy’ belongs in the name.

“Why?” asked Facebook follower Patti Sherwood, the founder and leader of the Miniature and Fairy Garden forum on Garden Share.com (This forum appears to be dead now.) “… because I truly believe that every attempt at creating a garden of any kind should be applauded and not criticized.”

That is STILL a great question, Patti.

But I felt like Martha Stewart. She is always made fun of because of her quest for excellence and perfection. But, you know what? She raised our game. Martha made us want for a better home and a better life through the domestic arts. Heck, we didn’t even call it “domestic arts” until she did! It was called housework and cooking. How unglamorous… until Martha  came along and redefined it for us.

Yes, I think every attempt at gardening should be applauded, especially because plants help the air, reduce our stress, help the environment, and add comfort visually and emotionally.

But, promoting any type of gardening is not what I do. My focus is living miniature gardening.Janit's Mini Garden Etsy Store

“Lettuce define our terms.”
              – Kermit the Frog

 

A “Little” History

The term ‘miniature garden’ used to be an all-encompassing phrase for any small sized garden, living or artificial. It could be as big as a
small backyard or as small as a thimble-sized terrarium. Dish gardens, bonsai, penjing, rock gardening, railroad gardening, gnome gardening, tray gardening, windowsill gardening, teacup gardening, terrariums, vivariums and Wardian cases (I’ve probably missed some.) were all called miniature gardening before the miniature garden hobby took off. Now, the terms have officially changed.

So here is the definition of miniature gardening.

And yes, it is my own definition, I can not think of who else would have the authority and perspective to define it so I’ll claim it. You’ll now find this definition on many websites.

Living Miniature Gardens

Living Miniature Gardens include plants, patio/paths and an accessory all in scale with one another.

Definition: A miniature garden is the perfect blend of tiny trees, plants, hardscaping and garden accessories that are in scale with one another to create a lasting, living garden scene or vignette. Miniature gardens are gardens in miniature.

That’s it, right there.

And as a leader and a professional (like HGTV.com) I feel it is part of my job to bring out the best miniature gardener in everybody.

So, when one is adding a fairy figure to a bunch of plants and calling it a miniature garden, that isn’t right, it is a fairy garden.

A window and door hammered onto a tree is not a miniature garden. It could lead to one – but I would be hard-pressed to even call it a garden. Where are the plants?

A sign propped up in the corner with a fairy a pebble path is a fairy garden, not a “miniature garden” even though it is cute as a button.

And the “Our Favorite Miniature Gardens” on the HGTV.com site was an album of fairy gardens.

The Big Boys Aren’t Getting it Right

Best selling Gardening in Miniature book

We wrote the book on it.

It’s interesting to note that these types of big “garden” websites seem to not really care about being precise nor do they seem to care about teaching the right things to their viewers/readers.

I found another great example of this from the Better Homes and Gardens website recently, where they called a planted jello-mould a ‘terrarium’ and proceeded to plant up a dish garden incorrectly, (the charcoal layer is a filter and goes on top of the gravel,) called it a bundt pan, and used plants that have completely different watering and light needs – THEN they put a pebble path and a wee bench in it, technically making it a miniature garden. It is SO not a terrarium, it isn’t even funnySee it here.

I was a bit floored after viewing so I posted it in one of my independent garden center forums and asked if this type of information should be corrected by us, the professional gardeners in the industry. I had several store owners chime-in and basically said, “So what? It’s cute and it will sell fast. They’ll have to come back and buy more plants!” 

Oh. Dear. I was under the impression that customers are people that trust independent shop owners to sell them the right solutions that will work – not die. If a customer just wants to buy plants from an untrustworthy source that will die, that’s what big-box stores are for. :o)

So it seems that some store owners just want sell you anything and these big websites just want the traffic for their advertising revenue. BUT why they mis-inform their customers/readers leaves me very perplexed when it is just as easy to create and teach proper content?

Gee, I guess I’ve been doing it all wrong all these years, but at least I can sleep at night. Please enjoy our ad-free website and online store where we care about our customers, the information and the products we sell ~> ONLY at TwoGreenThumbs.com apparently!

What do you think? Am I being too picky about nomenclature? Leave a comment below about my current definition of what we do here at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center and help us define what we do so we can continue to share, enjoy and create living miniature gardens.

Sophisticated Fairy Gardening, by Janit Calvo

Our new eBook! For Advanced Fairy Gardeners only. It’s an addendum to our Gardening in Miniature book. Click the picture for more.

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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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Tired of Winter? Tired of Politics? Have NO FEAR…

Miniature Garden Society - the best website for Miniature Gardening on the Planet!

Miniature Garden Society – the best website for Miniature Gardening on the Planet!

Tired of Winter? Tired of Politics? Have NO FEAR…

…Your Miniature Gardeners are HERE!

Ugh. That silly groundhog called for SIX more weeks of winter…

Okay, you’re going to have to envision my green cape with my miniature garden logo flapping behind me in the breeze okay? With a green leotard, a mini skirt and really cute boots… can you picture it in your mind? Good. Nice boots, huh? Lol! Here’s what I have for you:

  • A website full of original content on your favorite topic of miniature gardening that is growing and evolving constantly.
  • A place to connect to people that do the same thing you do.
  • A website where there is always something growing.
  • A place for you to ask any question about miniature gardening, plants or accessories.
  • A website where you can find a yummy project for the afternoon, or for the long weekend.
  • A safe place for you to go on the internet that is free of flashing ads, videos that play at random, or ads that have tracked your latest search.

But wait. There’s more.

How about a website that shows you how you can make money doing what you love to do?

I’ve been working on this website for over 2 years now but it feels like I’ve only just started because there is still a TON of information that I have to put up in this unique website.

More projects, insight, how-to’s, upcoming show reviews, interviews and reviews of everything miniature garden! PLUS – I have a super-exciting secret that I’m ONLY sharing here, on this intro page to the Miniature Garden Society Website. You’ll have to click-in to find it out. (Promotion period for this has ended.)

:o)

 

Miniature Garden Society - the best website for Miniature Gardening on the Planet!

The Miniature Garden Society website includes – and will include – exclusive reviews, previews, interviews and news! Fun and informative! Click the picture to find out more. ;o)

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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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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!

AdS-leaderboard-Plants

 

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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How to Make a Miniature Stonehenge Garden

Miniature Stonehenge Garden

Our Miniature Stonehenge Garden photo has been making the rounds on the Internet and shared by thousands on Facebook and Pinterest. Here’s a little How-to so you can make your own!

How to Make a Miniature Stonehenge Garden for the Solstice

[From December 21, 2012] Dang. It’s the end of the world and I was supposed to take my credit cards on a wild vacation! Well, maybe next time… ;o)

 Miniature Garden Display

The Miniature Garden Display from the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, 2007, where the Miniature Stonehenge picture was taken.

Speaking of a wild trip, the little photo (above) has had quite a journey over the past month thanks to our friend Nancy Wisser over at the Clonehenge blog, and to thousands of shares through Facebook and Pinterest. We’ve been swamped with emails asking where to get it and how to do it so we got a how-to together for you here, in honor of the End of Days.

The Miniature Stonehenge Garden was from our display at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in 2007. The display was called ‘Miniature Gardener Interrupted’ and while it wasn’t our strongest display, it sure was fun to make a mess and leave it there for the entire show. (Yes, the irreverent artist inside me still rises up at times. Such rebelliousness. ;o)

Miniature Garden Ebook

How to Make a Miniature Stonehenge Garden

Hover over the photos for the captions:

We found the miniature Stonehenge Kit at a Barnes and Noble store, call ahead if your going to one of the brick and Janit's Mini Garden Etsy Storemortar stores, they may have them in stock. Otherwise, find the “Stonehenge Kit” in our Amazon affiliate store here.

The little Stonehenge Kit comes with a map to show you where to place the stones – makes it easy-peasy. The stones are made of resin and are easy to drill.  Use florist’s rod or an old metal coat hanger and you’ll need 16 rods.

Decide on your plant material first. We used Irish Moss (Sagina subulata – it’s not really moss per se; it’s a perennial ground cover.) in the above display garden, which is about ½” deep and grown from a 4” pot planted the previous summer. For this how-to, we used 3″ long rods because our native moss is almost 2″ deep before the soil level starts.  The rods should go down into the soil at least 1” to stay firmly in place.

You may not have enough time before the end of the world to order the Stonehenge Kit so I’ve included a close up of the stones towards the end of the slideshow so you can make your own out of Polymer Clay or Fimo.

Happy Solstice!

Join us for your FREE weekly Mini Garden Gazette to have more miniature garden fun here.

[Posted on 19/12/2012] All sales through our online store are GUARANTEED. If the world does end on Friday, we will give you a complete refund!! ;o)

And whatever you do, make it FUN!

 

Shop Two Green Thumbs

Miniature Gardening with Two Green Thumbs

 

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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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