Posts Tagged mini garden

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


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.


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:

Moss absorbs its water through it’s leaves and it does go dormant in the dry, summer months so if you’re wondering about your moss and why it looks dead, it’s probably dormant.

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.


Miniature Garden Book Set, Shipping Included

Miniature Garden Book Set, Shipping Included



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Patriotism in the Miniature Garden

A patriotic miniature garden.

A patriotic miniature garden for Inauguration Day. 

Patriotism in the Miniature Garden

Honoring the United State of America today! I think it’s the biggest ceremony that we have in the US despite who you voted for.

We’re proud to be the only miniature garden store with a Made in the USA department that we established years ago.

It is important vote with your wallet and shop your favorite micro and independent businesses – we’re the businesses that truly appreciate your support!


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See our flag printable up in our store.

A fun patriotic USA flag banner. A quick, fun project for the miniature garden.

See our flag printable up in our Etsy store.

Insight into making the right-colored lights is up in our

Insight into getting the right-colored lights is up in our

You have your hobby, now here is your club, the Miniature Garden Society! 

Our tiny gardens are up in the store.

Our tiny gardens are up in the store from time to time. Join our email list to find out when our new kits are in stock!

See all our kits here.

Join our email list here.

Creeping Thyme cascades down the front of the pot.

Creeping Elfin Thyme cascades down the front of the pot.

Find our Creeping Elfin Thyme here.

Authentic miniature patio collects moss naturally.

Only with our Mini Patio Mix Kit! An authentic miniature patio collects moss naturally, stays in place and ages really gracefully. You can keep reusing it as you repot and replant your miniature garden over the years.

Find the Mini Patio Mix Kit here.

The patio is made with our Mini Patio Mix Kit and our Stone Sheet.

The patio is made with our Mini Patio Mix Kit and our Sea Green Stone Sheet.

Find the Mini Patio Mix Kit here.

Find the Sea Green Stone Sheet here. (Comes in large and small sizes.)


A Jean Iseli Hinoki Cypress is over 10 years old.

A Jean Iseli Hinoki Cypress is over 10 years old.

Find all our Hinoki Cypress here.

Insight into making your own accessories is in our

Insight into making your own accessories is in our

See the here.

The flag printable comes in 3 scales.

The flag printable comes in 3 scales.

Find the printable DIY USA Flag Banner here.

Find our Creeping Elfin Thyme here.



A patriotic miniature garden.

A patriotic miniature garden. Be sure to tuck the paper accessories away for July 4th!


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Who Else Wants to Garden in Miniature?

German edition of Gardening in Miniature

It’s ready! The German edition of Gardening in Miniature is now released.

Who Else Wants to Garden in Miniature?

Now don’t get me started singing ‘It’s a Small World After All’ because that ear-worm usually lasts for days – but it is, and in more ways than one.

We are tickled pink to introduce the German version of our Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World book! Yep! The little-hobby-that-could is still growing slowly around the world, keeping people awake at night with all the ideas dancing in their heads. Lol!

Here are a few miniature gardening friends that I have previously blogged about, for your perusing pleasure: Shop Two Green Thumbs


Cyprus Island

India, Isreal, Austria, Romania, Phillipines, Argentina, Puerto Rico & England.

Romania & Japan

You will also find a number of new businesses created around the idea. I think the only way to find someone in your area is to Google “miniature garden” with your city’s name and see what comes up. Here are a few Fellow Miniature Gardener Entrepreneurs that we’ve been following on our social channels throughout the years:




And here is where to get the english book in Europe – stay tuned, they should be getting the German edition in soon. Or, find it on here.

Got a connection or business? Leave it below! 

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

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo



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Miniature Football Gardening, Superbowl XLIX

Miniature Garden Plants is Our Specialty!

Miniature Football Gardening with Two Green Thumbs

I couldn’t resist joining the fun.

Miniature Football Gardening, Superbowl XLIX

There will be a short pause in the proceedings as Seattle goes nutty for the Seahawks this weekend. It would be negligent to even think of getting any real work done. I’d best join ’em. ;o)

See more of the Seahawk Miniature Garden photos from Superbowl XLVIII:

– Close-ups and Decorating Ideas.

– Plant and Shed Details.


Like this? Join us here for our Mini Garden Gazette. It’s free. You’ll get a free PDF too, The Best of the Mini Garden Gazette, Vol. 1. Join us here.

Miniature Football Gardening



Shop Miniature Gardens at Two Green Thumbs

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5000+ Fellow Miniature Gardeners Growing on Facebook!!

Miniature Garden Tiki Party

It’s a miniature garden tiki party!! Enter your photo on our Facebook fanpage for a chance to win a set of Tiki decorations for your mini garden!

5000+ Fellow Miniature Gardeners Growing on Facebook!!

Over 5000 fans on Facebook – and the number is still growing.

Sometimes I get so lost in the day-to-day workings of the online store, blog and website that I forget about why I do what I do. Laney, friend and fellow miniature gardener from Mississippi, reminded me last night on my Facebook page how much I make so many people happy. That really hit home and it actually made me start to tear-up. And truth be told, I teared-up again writing a thank you message on my Facebook page! (What a softie, eh?)

Without you guys, our fellow miniature gardeners, I don’t know where we would be and I don’t know what we would be doing. So thank you for giving us a job, keeping us off the streets and for helping Steve and I make a living bringing happiness to others. It makes all the boring and frustrating parts of the working-on-the-internet more than bearable.

Over 5000 Likes on Facebook!

Enjoy almost daily posts on the Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Facebook Fanpage! We try to keep it interesting and inspiring!

To help us celebrate we are having a Facebook photo contest for the next week. We are giving away three sets of miniature tiki party decorations that you can add to your miniature garden, like the ones shown in the photo. (The combination of colors and driftwood pieces will vary.)

Win Miniature Tiki Party Decorations!

Win a set of Miniature Tiki Party Decorations! (Color combinations and driftwood pieces will vary.

How to Enter

1. We want to see your miniature garden party pictures! It can be any type of party. it can be small, large, potted or planted in-ground as long as it’s a party.

2. Go to the  Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center page on Facebook and “like” us on Facebook if you aren’t already.

3. Add your photo to the Facebook page, it’ll automatically go into the photo album and you’ll be entered in for your chance to win.

You may enter more than once as long as it’s a different miniature garden in each photo.

Here’s a blog on how to photograph your miniature garden to help you hone your miniature garden photography skills. Have fun, good luck and the winner of the winners of the contest will be picked next Monday, August 26th.

If you like this then you will love our FREE monthly Mini Garden Gazette newsletter. Join us here and get a FREE bonus pdf download as soon as you confirm your subscription. Join us.

Miniature Tiki party at night.

Miniature Tiki party at night. We used our white miniature christmas lights (found them a JoAnn Fabrics and/or Michaels Crafts in their small holiday tree section.) Now, we’re just missing one of those miniature wood tiki carvings…


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Miniature Gardening: It’s an International Affair

Miniature Gardening in Romania

Loosely quoted, “With a touch of magic, your beautiful garden will spring from your dreams. A bench leaning against a tree or a small fountain hidden among giant flowers will create a peaceful space you can escape to anytime.”

Miniature Gardening: It’s an International Affair

Sharing the new miniature garden hobby is too much fun. With customers throughout the world, it was inevitable that the international garden magazines would pick up on this latest huge garden niche / hobby. We were tickled when a couple of them came to us for pictures and input, here’s what came out of the connections. They told us what pictures they liked from our website/ this blog and our flickr-photo page and we sent back the high resolution photos for them to use.


Here is a Home and Garden Magazine from Romania. They found some plant sources for those of you across the pond who need to find the right plants we use. Here is their website:

Miniature Gardening in Romania

Gradini in Miniatura – now you know how to say Miniature Garden in Romanian!

For some of the trees we use:

For the Fairy Vine or Mulenbeckia:

The article tells how to use slow-growing plants, where to place them and general potting tips on soil and fertilizer. Here’s a loosely edited quote from the article:

“Finally, add accessories – they make the difference between a simple flower pot and a miniature garden. For the planting seem more real, always use same scale (find it stated on the label products). Even if you put a doll, it’s nice to create the impression of human presence, this will create a story: a rake “forgotten” on the grass or miniature cup of tea on the table. Animals add charm to the arrangement.

For the translation, we used the handy Google Translate and had some help from my Romanian friend, and fine artist, Florin Brojba. (Wave! Wave! ;o)

Want to know more? Check out our About Miniature Gardening page on our new website that we are adding to each week here.

Miniature Gardening in Romania

They even have the cover of our new book in the article too! Timber Press is everywhere!

Miniature Gardening in Romania

The photo, middle-right, is Laney’s miniature garden from MS, she was one of our contest winners from last year. Way to go Laney! ;o)

Miniature Gardening in Romania

Very sweet! A huge, warm thank you to Sabina Usurelu, the Garden Editor at Casa si Grandina!


This next article was such a pleasure to help with. From Japan! We’ve always known the Japanese are as equally enthralled with all things miniature, but to be ask to contribute  was such a treat knowing that the art of bonsai, the grandfather of miniature gardening, has long roots in the history of Japan. And here they asked little ol’ me for photos of my work. I’m still giggling… check out the fun they had with this 6-page article.

Miniature Gardening in Japan

Bises is a beautiful, full color, huge, glossy magazine dedicated to gardening in Japan. All kinds of flower and vegetable gardening, lots of roses, recipes, garden design and much more. I wish I could read Japanese!

I didn’t have any luck translating the Japanese in this article but I’m still going to try.

Miniature Gardening in Japan

The editors at Bises loved our miniature garden shed made in 2005.

Miniature Gardening in Japan

I love how they dissected the big garden into the smaller photos.

Miniature Gardening in Japan

And here are some of their miniature gardens and plant suggestions.

Miniature Gardening in Japan

Look for the woman in the photo in purple on the right side, just in front of the garden bed. She was ‘photoshopped’ in to look as if it was her garden. Too fun!

Miniature Gardening in Japan

I love their miniature stonework – check out the stairs that the little guy is standing on.

Miniature Gardening in Japan

“Watch out, tiny gardener! Here come the scissors!” Lol! Hey, they are probably giggling in Japan too! ;o) Check out those wonderful doors on the building. Small-leafed ivies and Baby Tears fill up the beds. I think that’s a small-leafed Sedum that the “giant” hand is cutting. Photo is from

Miniature Gardening in Japan

See the gardener on the bottom trimming the Rosemary? Lol! A big thank you to Ms. Hanako Yagi, the Editor in Chief at BISES.

Miniature Gardening in Japan

This photo is just too sweet. Two tiny gardeners tending their miniature garden. The plants look like Scottish and Irish Moss for the lawn, Fairy Vine for the twiggy shrub in the back and small-leafed Sedums are in the pots in front of the building. Photo is from

Hey, the Beatles had to make it big overseas before they were a hit in their own country – who knows what will happen in the brand new world of miniature gardening?

Most of the items in the photos are from our online store here.

Like this? You’ll love our free Mini Garden Gazette. Published monthly and sent straight to your inbox. Click this link, sign up and get your free “Best of the Mini Garden Gazette #1” instant PDF download after confirming through your email. 

Miniature Beach Garden

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