Posts Tagged railroad gardening

Simple Heat Zone Map is Handy for Internet Plant Shopping

MG-Spruce-Dilly-Pusch - 1

The Jean’s Dilly on the left, Pusch Norway Spruce on the right. Time to do a little cleaning up of the miniature garden beds now the the weather has warmed up.

Simple Heat Zone Map is Handy for Internet Plant Shopping

Do you buy plants on the Internet?

Are you wondering how you can know for certain what plants you can grow in your area? When you shop at your local, independent garden center, they have already done their homework on what plants will do well in your area. But if you’re shopping online, you need to know just a couple of things, to make sure the plants you are ordering will survive and thrive.

We know as gardeners, we have been trained to look at the cold hardiness of the plant to see if it can survive the winter but, for the warmer States, there are different concerns: the heat.

Harold, from Burbank, California, asked if the Dwarf Alberta Spruces (Picea glauca) can survive in a railroad garden that gets several 100 degree Fahrenheit days in the middle of tAd-FallPlanting - 1he summer. How do we find that out? By referencing the American Horticultural Society’s Heat Zone Chart, we find that the heat zones in Burbank (heat zone 8 ) are outside the recommended zones for the Dwarf Alberta Spruce (heat zones 6-1). From this research, we can figure out if he would have better success with a Dwarf Norway Spruce (Picea abies, heat zones 8-1) instead. And yessiree, he will.

Now, because the Norway Spruces are on the edge of the recommended heat zone for Burbank, CA, and we know they like their roots to remain cool and damp, by planting it in part sun and adding a simple mulch each spring, Harold will have a much-easier time maintaining the dampness in the soil. The roots are kept happy, which will keep the Dwarf Norway Spruces happy, which keeps Harold happy, and everyone is happy! Hope you are too.

But I digress. Happily. :o)

Short Needle Mugo Pine. Pinus mugo 'Short Needle.'

A true miniature Mugo, the Short Needle is hardy – but not heat-hardy enough for Batan Rouga, LA.

Another example is from another miniature gardener from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Lori asked whether the Mugo pines (Pinus mugo, heat zones 7-1) would work in her garden. The pines are really tough plants but, referencing the heat zone chart, they are just outside of the Louisiana heat zone 9, and are two-too many zones away to feel safe recommending them. There are just too many hot days for the Mugos to survive – in theory, however.

 

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We have the cold-hardy and the heat-hardy zones in all our plant listings in our online Miniature Garden Center Store!

That said, gardening is a personal and sometimes, a very arbitrary hobby. What works for one gardener may not work for another in the same area. In each and every State, there are many micro-climates and something as simple as a different garden bed on the shaded side of the house may be just fine for one conifer, but not for another type that isn’t as adaptable. In the hot states, the air-movement is also a factor so by spacing out the conifer, or thinning out the shrub a little, the air will be able to move through the tree, help it breathe and stay cool.

You can find out more about heat zones in The American Horticultural Society A-Z

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Find everything you need to know to get started in the hobby with the bestselling Gardening in Miniature book from the world’s top garden publisher, Timber Press!

Encyclopedia of Garden Plants where they have comprehensive listing of (almost) any plant grown in the States today and the heat zones for each plant are within the individual listing. It is a truly wonderful reference book for the dedicated gardener. Mine lives in my desk drawer, ready for action at the flick of my wrist. I’ve marked off a lot of the plants, full-size and miniature, in the book so I can one place that I can go to remember what’s what.

Online, you can find a more heat zone chart information from their website at: http://www.ahs.org/gardening-resources/gardening-maps/heat-zone-map. It used to be searchable, but if you are ordering plants from our store, you should find the heat zone information in each miniature garden plant listing.

As the golden rule suggests, choose right plant for the right place for the best success!

See what we have in our online Miniature Garden Center Store here.

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In Search of The Perfect Miniature Garden Tree

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

I’m always on the look out for fun advertising fodder or puns to use – it’s one of the perks of the job. :o)

In Search of The Perfect Miniature Garden Tree

The store was a bit quiet the other day and Steve was looking for something to do. So, I told him to see what was up in the big world of miniature garden trees, fairy trees, railroad garden trees or bonsai starts by just Googling them to see what comes up. Whoa Nellie! Here’s what we found out.

From the Two Green Thumbs' archives.

Group shot taken in 2009. We still have some of these miniature gardens today that are still in miniature gardens now that I revisit the photo. I can see only one tree (that we don’t carry anymore) that ended up to big for us: the bushy cypress in the orange pot in the middle. I’ll remember the variety name at around 2 am tomorrow morning. Lol!

Miniature Garden Trees – Fairy Approved!

Where did everybody go? Lol! We’ve never shut down for the winter because miniature gardening has always been a season-less hobby for us here in Seattle, but you can do it anywhere. We’ve mentioned before how we can easily keep gardening and because you can plant a container at any time of year. You can plant in-ground anytime the ground is not frozen too. So keep gardening until you can’t, I say!

I so need the garden therapy after a hard week at work and I’m sure you can always use some peace and tranquility too. Checkout the wide variety of hardy trees and shrubs for your miniature garden adventures this season here, where they are sorted by USDA zones. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below!

Miniature and dwarf trees for railroad gardening

You can see how using high-quality, well-behaved trees is a worthy investment for any railroad gardener. The cone-shaped trees are dwarf spruces. The variegated shrub, bottom-left, I think is a euonymus and I’m pretty sure the blue shrub, bottom-right, is a Blue Star Juniper. That’s Steve in the back.

 

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Railroad Garden Trees

Miniature and dwarf trees for any garden railroad must behave as expected. This may be why most railroad gardeners shy away from the plant-side of the hobby and tend to focus more on layin’ the tracks and runnin’ the trains – at least in my experience they have.

If a tree doesn’t grow in as promised, and grows super-fast without the engineer-gardener expecting it, it can cause a major renovation and upset for the railroad that was built around that now-overgrown tree. The beauty with railroad gardens is the same as miniature gardening, the age of the garden really brings the charm and magic. So to upset a grown-in, planted scene merely two or three years after planting, will bring the age of the scene back to “0.” Fun if you planned for it but if you didn’t, not-so-much!

All our true miniature and dwarf trees and shrubs are of the highest quality in the country, are very well-behaved and do as the tag says in shape, growth rate and care. Our trees are always well-packed by (quite possibly) the best packer in the country (Steve, for real,) and they are sent the fastest way to avoid any stress, by USPS Priority Mail. We have plants for all sizes of miniature gardens.

Bonsai starts or pre-bonsai, this is the popular Elf Dwarf Spruce.

Elf Dwarf Spruce or Picea glauca ‘Elf.’ This tree is about 8 to 10 years old. Transplanted in 2012 from a 4″ pot.

 

Bonsai Starts

In our research, we have found a great many trees that we carry in our online store are used for bonsai as well. I’ve always bragged about how our trees naturally grow-in to look like a bonsai in a couple/few year’s time and while it feels like cheating, we’re just letting nature take its course. It appears as bonsai starts go, ours are pretty inexpensive if you have some time to grow them in for awhile.

Plant your Two Green Thumbs’ tree in a pot at least 8″ deep and let the baby tree grow a thicker trunk and wider branches for a couple/few years. Then bonsai the roots to fit them into the bonsai tray – you’ll be glad you did because you’ll be that much further ahead in the growth of the tree. If you bonsai a young tree right away, it will take much longer for the trunk to develop and the branches to reach out and thicken.

Don’t want to wait? Check out our one-gallon pre-bonsai trees up in the plant section of our Etsy store here. We do get smaller “pre-bonsai” tress in from time to time too, if you would like to join our email list to get first dibs. (Average cost is $20 or less!)

Happy Miniature Gardening!

 

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MORE Effortless Growing With Proven Miniature Garden Plants

MORE Effortless Growing With Proven Miniature Garden Plants Miniature Plants from Two Green Thumbs.com

An old Tompa Dwarf Norway Spruce that is now about 16 years old is STILL 10″ tall. The cone shape resembles an Alberta Spruce – but in miniature. I cleared away the bottom branches to make the shrub into a tree. Hardy to zone 3 (-40F), it’s tough and holds up well around kids and dogs, loves full sun and grows very slowly. For in ground or containers.

MORE Effortless Growing With Proven Miniature Garden Plants

This is a continuation of an earlier post, on miniature plants for miniature gardening, fairy gardening and/or railroad gardening. When I first started the search for plants that will work well in the miniature garden 16 years ago, I found a number of miniature and dwarf conifers that were perfect to use and sold as “railroad garden plants.” Since then, the gardening in miniature niche has grown slowly into a international pastime and the growers have responded to the demand – thankfully. But, the question remains, how do they age in a miniature garden? What do they look like after a few years? Here are more examples of how our favorite miniature and dwarf plants can grow into perfect majestic trees in miniature.

If you have been following us for a while you will recognize the Tompa Dwarf Spruce shown in the photograph above, as it looks today. It was planted around 2004, here it is in 20072010, 2011, 2014. (The garden is 12 years old, with one unnecessary repot, the tree is about 3 or 4 years old when we get them from the grower.) The flowers at the base are Ajuga reptens ‘Chocolate Chip’ or Chocolate Chip Bugleweed – that’s been in the pot with the Tompa for years, I just trim back the runners each spring.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

MORE Effortless Growing With Proven Miniature Garden Plants & TwoGreenThumbs.com

I think this photo was taken around 2010, just after we moved into our house. That is the same Ajuga planted at the base of the Tompa. And this was before I limbed-up the bottom branches to “show some leg.” :o)

Find It:
Tompa Dwarf Spruce
Bugleweed (Ajuga)
Cedar Trellis (made in the USA)
Park Bench
Terra Cotta Brick Sheets

 

MORE Effortless Growing With Proven Miniature Garden Plants & TwoGreenThumbs.com.

A 6 or 7 year old Mugo pine stands about 5″ tall in our larger miniature garden. The Mugos are tough too. They hold up well around dogs and kids. Hardy to Zone 2 or -50F (burrrr!)  Drought tolerant when established in the garden bed and they are perfect for containers. Mugo pines can handle that hot afternoon sun but if it’s in a pot, don’t let the soil completely dry out.

 

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The Valley Cushion Mugo Pine has a spreading habit so the tree will stay very compact, low and flat, wider than tall. As the trunk lifts the canopy up off the ground, place smaller scaled miniature underneath it to make the Mugo appear huge. Click the photo to see more photos and care information.

Our Trees and Bonsai

Some of our trees come “pre-bonsai” and are grown specifically for that purpose, but they are PERFECT for our miniature gardening, especially in-ground where you need bigger trees for a more of a presence. Some use our regular (meaning, not “pre-bonsai”) trees and shrubs as bonsai starts too – but if you grow it in a miniature garden for a couple few years before “bonsai-ing it” (technical term ;o) you’ll have a much thicker trunk and branching system to start with.

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.MORE Effortless Growing With Proven Miniature Garden Plants & TwoGreenThumbs.com

The growers are growing smaller. A response to the miniature garden and fairy garden trend. Use a few of the 2″ potted trees in the same miniature garden to create more of a presence. Planting the young trees together, (not touching though, let the air circulate in between them) when they are so young will help them through the extremes – they are still babies, after all. Okay, all together now, “Awwwwww…” Click the photo to see more.

 

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A young Thoweil Hinoki Cypress growing happily in the corner of our miniature in-ground garden. It’s in dappled shade, that is Baby Tears at the base of the tree. When the top foliage flushes out a little bit more, I’ll trim up the leaves at the bottom of the trunk and it will instantly look like a tree.

See other Hinoki trees in miniature here.

Find It:
Thoweil Hinoki Cypress
Baby Tears
Birdbath
Bench

MORE Effortless Growing With Proven Miniature Garden Plants & TwoGreenThumbs.com

I’m a bit biased, however, I love all the miniature and dwarf hinoki cypress, but I’m looking forward to watching this Thoweil grow up. It grows into a narrow, upright shape that will make a perfect anchor tree for the garden. Hinokis are hardy to zone 5 or -20F. This is the Thoweil Hinoki Cypress in a 4″ pot. The tree is 4 to 5″ tall here.

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MORE Effortless Growing With Proven Miniature Garden Plants & TwoGreenThumbs.com.

The tiny Thoweil is also available in a 2″ pot. Clean out any dead foliage from inside the tree when you see it. It is how the tree exfoliates and it needs your help to get rid of the dead stuff when the tree is young. Older Hinokis and conifers can get rid of this dieback naturally.

 

MORE Effortless Growing With Proven Miniature Garden Plants & TwoGreenThumbs.com

Another fun surprise as a great miniature garden tree. The Humpty Dumpty Dwarf Alberta Spruce is the real deal: a miniature version of the majestic Alberta Spruces in our forests all over the US and Canada. This one has been “limbed-up” to make it look more like a tree. The tree is almost 10″ tall here and is about 12 years old, I suspect. We’ve had it in this container for at least 8 years and when we get them from the grower they are about 4 years old. Click the pic to see more.

 

MORE Effortless Growing With Proven Miniature Garden Plants & TwoGreenThumbs.com

It’s charming in the 4″ pot. Hardy to zone 2 or -40F, sturdy and durable. Spruces are drought tolerant when established in the garden bed. Remember that plants are about 15 degrees LESS hardy when planted in pots.

Find It:
Humpty Dumpty Dwarf Alberta Spruce
Tricolor Sedum
Dog
Doghouse (comes with the food dish & rawhide ;o)
Bench
Basket

See more on miniature garden design and combining plants with texture and color too.

Want to dive deeper into this wonderfully creative hobby? Join us at the new Miniature Garden Society, a private members-only website that is full of everything miniature garden with a lot more to come! Learn if it is good fit for you here.

Join our email list here for a weekly dose of miniature garden with our Mini Garden Gazette delivered to your inbox at the end of each week!

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Effortless Growing With Proven Miniature Garden Plants

The mighty Tansu Japanese Cedar - or Cryptomeria japonica 'Tansu' - is a real charmer for the miniature garden. Provide evenly damp soil in a part shade/part sun spot and this little guy will constantly delight. Bronzes in winter. See the new 'Twinkle Toes' variety, now up in the store! The bench is about 1 1/2" tall.

The mighty Tansu Japanese Cedar – or Cryptomeria japonica ‘Tansu’ – is a real charmer for the miniature garden. Shown here, it’s about 18 years old, (they are 3 to 4 years old when we get them.) Provide evenly damp soil in a part shade/part sun spot and this little guy will constantly delight. Bronzes in winter. See below for the new ‘Twinkle Toes’ variety, now up in the store that grows even slower. The bench is about 1 1/2″ tall. That mat of ground cover below the tree is Platt’s Black Brass Buttons.

Effortless Growing With Proven Miniature Garden Plants

It’s time to show off some of the miniature garden trees and shrubs that have been growing in our miniature gardens. We are in Seattle, Zone 7, with very temperate winters with the occasional freezing. We use to have cooler summers, but last summer was the hottest/driest on record with high temperatures that lasted for months. Our miniature garden trees and shrubs came through like champions.

There is still plenty of time to get everything in the ground in your miniature garden before summer. Click into the photos or the links for more information on zones, care and maintenance for any of the plants. From the photo above, see the Tansu here. See the NEW Twinkle Toes here. See the Platt’s Black Brass Buttons here.

Stay tuned for more next week, there were too many miniature plants to include in just one post! Note that most of the plants shown in this blog post are outdoor plants. See our indoor options here.

Plants-Spring-2016 - 2 (2)

Oooh! I love how the camera picked up the rimmed branches of this old Nana Hinoki Cypress! The Hinoki’s are a favorite for the miniature garden, they come in all shapes, sizes and colors and they never disappoint. That is Dwarf Mondo Grass to the left and Miniature London Pride to the right of it beside the stone.

See all the Hinoki Cypress here. See the Dwarf Mondo Grass here and the Miniature London Pride here.

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The Fernspray Gold Hinoki Cypress is one of our faves. It turns greener in the part sun and bright gold in full sun. In winter it turns all sorts of ambers and purple if it’s cold enough. The branches can be trimmed to stay bushy, or let them flay-out to form a canopy. Miniature Daisies are at the base of the trunk.

See the Fernspray Gold Hinoki Cypress here. See the Miniature Daisies here.

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The is what the Fernspray Gold Hinoki looks like when you first get them. They all have a wee trunk underneath, trim away the lower branches to raise the canopy and make it more tree-like.

See the Fernspray Gold Hinoki Cypress here.

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Tiny cones are developing on the ends of an older Fernspray Cypress. These tiny cones may mature into teenie cypress cones (cute alert!) or they may slough off. Either way, it’s fun and interesting to watch these little plants grow up from being little baby plants to “big” trees in the miniature garden.

See the Fernspray Gold Hinoki Cypress here.

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This is an untrimmed Hinoki Cypress that has been left to grow on its own. I’ll go back into it and clean up some of the leggier branches to simplify the silhouette a bit. The tree is about 15 years old, the miniature garden is about 10 years old.

See all the Hinoki Cypress here.

Miniature Plants from Two Green Thumbs.com

Isn’t she lovely? Do you call your trees she or he? Lol! I’m smitten with the color of this new Cryptomeria japonica ‘Twinkle Toes!’ I suspect that it it grows similarly to the Tansu Japanese Cedar, but the flecks of yellow throughout the foliage twinkle in the sun, and it grows even slower, at 1″ to 3″ per year.

See the NEW Twinkle Toes here.

Miniature Plants from Two Green Thumbs.com

The limey-green foliage looks really delicate but it’s a very sturdy tree. The color turns bronze in the winter for more seasonal interest when you need it most.

See the Twinkle Toes Japanese Cedar here.

Like this? Want be the first to know of any new trees, plants and accessories that we find? Join us for your weekly dose of miniature gardening and get your Mini Garden Gazette delivered straight to your inbox! Join us here.

Been there, done that? Want to dig deeper into the hobby with a bunch of like-minded miniature gardeners from all over the world? We’re meeting at the NEW Miniature Garden Society members-only website. Find out more about what we are doing here.

 

http://twogreenthumbs.com/Miniature_Garden_Society.html

 

Miniature Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

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Godzilla [Squirrels] and the Miniature Garden

From the Mini Garden Guru blog

Godzilla and the Miniature Garden

Alright, a squirrel is not miniature Godzilla but they may as well be – they are the perfect-sized monster for our miniature gardens, fairy gardens and railroad gardens.

Squirrels and chipmunks are really Godzillas in miniature.

Squirrels and chipmunks are really Godzilla in miniature.

As you may have noticed in your garden, ’tis the season for chipmunks and squirrels to ramp up their hunting and gathering to a feverish pitch before winter sets in. You would think that in temperate climates, like here in Seattle for example, there wouldn’t be as much of a panic to collect food as we hardly get a a freeze, (and if we do it only lasts a couple of days.) But, alas, there is no reasoning with those big eyes and the fluffy tail  – and off they go digging a huge pit in the middle of the miniature garden. Hey, don’t laugh, it IS a huge pit in miniature! ;o)

So, I asked a bunch of different gardeners on their one cure for the miniature Godzilla: cayenne pepper. Not pepper flakes: the powder. And, you can find it in bulk at your local dollar store. Sprinkle it on the bare soil-spots in your miniature garden, fairy garden, or railroad garden, and the squirrel will move on to easier digs, literally.

Miniature squirrels for the miniature garden add life and action to the scene. Start the story by scattering some scraps around them to make it look like they got into something. Click the picture to see them up in the store.

Miniature squirrels for the miniature garden add life and action to the scene. Start the story by scattering some tiny scraps around them to make it look like they got into something. Click the picture to see them up in the store here and here.

There are other ways of course, get a dog, use natural repellents like garlic sprays or animal urine. (Um, how to you collect that?? UPDATE: Fellow MG, Susan mentioned that its found on Amazon. Ew. Lol!)

There are sound emitters, sprinkler systems and motion detectors that you could spend your money on as well. Or, you could fence in the pots, (ugly to look at,) use plastic forks (ugly again until the plants hide them.) Lastly, you can offer the squirrels something better, like sunflower seeds and refill it twice a day. If your thinking peanuts, remember that peanut shells are poisonous to dogs, and the squirrels plants them EVERYWHERE, so I don’t recommend them.

But, with the cayenne pepper, especially for the miniature garden, you can really be precise as to where you sprinkle it. You can protect any part of the garden that you want to, with special attention to the freshly planted areas where the soil is easy to dig. The dark color of the pepper blends into the soil-color and the treatment won’t take-away from your miniature garden scene.

Like this? Join us for your free Mini Garden Gazette newsletter delivered straight to your inbox on the first Friday of each month – go here to fill out the form on our main website.

Miniature Gardening with TwoGreenThumbs.com

From the Mini Garden Guru blog

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Photography Tips for Miniature Gardens and Fairy Gardens

Sometimes a shot that should work, doesn't look right. Here are some tips and ideas to get the most out of your miniature garden or fairy garden photography.

Sometimes a shot that should work, doesn’t look right. Here are some tips and ideas to get the most out of your miniature garden or fairy garden photography.

Photography Tips for Miniature Gardens and Fairy Gardens

Welcome to the dog daze of summah! This time of year often brings fleeting moments of reflection as we see the subtle signs of the changes of the season coming soon. The odd breeze that feels a little cooler, the late summer sunflowers doing their thing or the end-of-summer vegetables suddenly big and ripe, getting ready to fall of the vine. But, alas, let’s not completely pack-in summer just yet, you still have at least one thing to do in your miniature garden or fairy garden before summer ends: document it! Miniature Gardening: Go Ahead, Act Your Shoesize

Different types of gardens, miniature or full-sized, can come into their prime at different times of the year. It’s really dependent upon what you are growing in your miniature garden and where you are growing it, of course. A garden full of miniature and dwarf conifers just may look its best in the middle of winter. If the garden is made of of perennials and ground covers, right now, in the middle of August, may be the peak time for your garden. This year in Seattle, we are in a record drought and we are only watering what is necessary so I plan to photograph this year’s stage later in September. Whatever time that may be for you, remember grab your camera and document it. Gardens grow, plants grow, seasons change – but you’ll have the photo for forever.

Here are some more reasons to convince you to make the effort to photograph your work:

  • Bragging rights
  • You’ll need a reminder in the dead of winter
  • You can make a T-shirt or a mug for yourself, like I did here.
  • And give them as super-easy one-of-a-kind presents for the holidays for unsuspecting family and friends
  • Use the photos for your screen saver or wallpaper for your computer
  • You can start a scrapbook of your progress and show the stages of growth throughout the seasons and the years to add another level to your hobby

Here are some previous links to blogs with more tips and techniques for photographing small scenes:

Lights! Camera! Action! Photographing your Miniature Garden

Photographing Your Miniature Garden or Railroad Garden

And here is a visual essay with some more pointers to help you get the most out of your miniature garden. It’s very similar to getting your own portrait done, make sure all the details are primped and fluffed-up before you preserve your scene for all of eternity.

Establish your shot first, or choose the area that you want to document that has a focal point. In this study, the house and seating area is the focal point.

Click to enlarge the photos:

Cleaning:

Clean up the dead leaves. Carefully trim the dead branches and leaves from the trees and shrubs, pluck the dead leaves from the perennial ground covers. Clean up any debris on the garden "floor" to help un clutter the shot. http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

Clean up the dead leaves. Carefully trim the dead branches and leaves from the trees and shrubs, pluck the dead leaves from the perennial ground covers. Clean up any debris on the garden “floor” to help un clutter the shot. Work from one side to the other to make sure you get everything, then do it again. (This is what the professionals do, that’s why they get paid the big-bucks.)

Straightening:

You may have to click this photo to enlarge it. Make every accessory and house level to each other and to the garden. In a full-sized garden, the ground is normally level and each surface, or line, is either parallel or perpendicular with the house. You can see how topsy-turvy the scene looks now. http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

You may have to click this photo to enlarge it, the lines show how topsy-turvy the scene looks. Make every accessory and house level to each other and to the garden. In a full-sized garden, the ground is normally level and each surface, or line, is either parallel or perpendicular with the house.

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Framing:

Pick your frame. Do you want to use it as a print for your wall? Or for a screensaver? Choose a rectangular orientation. This rectangle could be bigger to capture more of the interesting flora behind and beside the house. Leaving room on the other side of the bridge on the left side, you can include that wonderful trunk of the Pieris japonica 'Little Heath,' or Little Heath Japanese Andromeda. http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

Pick your frame. Do you want to use it as a print for your wall? Or for a screensaver? Choose a rectangular orientation. This rectangle could be bigger to capture more of the interesting flora behind and beside the house. I would leave more room on the other side of the bridge on the left side too, you can include that wonderful trunk of the Pieris japonica ‘Little Heath,’ or Little Heath Japanese Andromeda with the variegated leaves.

 

A vertical orientation looks great on social media, but, more importantly, it might be a better fit for where you want it framed and hanging in your house. In this frame, there is a bit too much room above the house and the balance is a little disproportionate. The house-scene should be more towards the middle of the shot, or slightly off center for more interest. http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

A vertical orientation looks great on social media, but, more importantly, it might be a better fit for where you want it framed and hanging in your house. In this frame, there is a bit too much room above the house and the balance is a little disproportionate. The house-scene should be more towards the middle of the shot, or slightly off center for more interest.

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A square orientation to the frame creates a cosy shot if you want to focus on the house-scene, but, again for this scene, I would pan-out to include the trees and foliage around the house too. http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

A square orientation to the frame creates a cosy shot if you want to only focus on the house-scene, but, again for this scene, I would pan-out to include the trees and foliage around the house only because I’ve gone to all the trouble of planting and growing them in.

Perspective:

You have several choices of perspective when photographing your miniature garden or fairy garden. The above photos are from a worm’s-eye-view (or from the fairy-eye’s point of view.) But you can raise the viewpoint up a little to make a squirrel’s-eye-view (Yep, that’s our new technical term for it. Lol!) And, of course, you can do a bird’s eye view and shoot it from above, looking down into the scene but this doesn’t really read well if you have a bunch of trees in the way.

Same scene, different day. By moving the viewpoint up a bit, you may be able to work-around the uneven-ness of the ground if you having trouble getting everything level.  http://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com

Same scene, different day. By moving the viewpoint up and over a bit, you may be able to work-around the uneven-ness of the ground if you having trouble getting everything level.

Take a couple of test shots and load them on your computer or tablet for inspection. If it’s a go, shoot away. Take plenty of photos, you can always delete them but you can’t always recreate them.

Once you capture your great shot, remember to back it up or save it somewhere else just in case. Or, maybe make a T-shirt out of it. Lol!

The fairy houses and accessories in this blog is from our good friends over at Plow & Hearth. Find our bestselling Gardening in Miniature book there too!

For more realistic solutions for your miniature garden or railroad garden, visit your Miniature Garden Center store here.

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Keepin' it real in the miniature garden with TwoGreenThumbs.com

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New Miniature Garden Trees are for Bonsai and Railroad Gardening Too

Miniature Garden Trees and Shrubs

White Bud Mugo Pine is a favorite for the miniature garden. This one has been groomed for a bonsai start but we can take advantage of that, and use it as a “big” miniature garden pine tree.

New Miniature Garden Trees for Bonsai and Railroad Gardening Too!

The fall shipment of miniature garden trees arrived this week and, as usual, I was chomping at the bit for the truck to arrive. I think it’s seeing them all at once that does it. The miniature and dwarf conifers come in an astounding number of colors, textures and personalities that is simply inspiring.

If you haven’t considered a conifer or dwarf tree for you miniature or fairy garden, please do. It will change the look of your miniature garden dramatically and make it look like a true garden in miniature. See our full line of miniature garden trees and plants here, there is something for almost every zone too.

New “Pre-Bonsai” Trees

In addition to our favorite miniature garden trees and shrubs we received a bunch of pre-bonsai plants too. While they are groomed to be bonsai’d, we know that we can use them in our miniature gardens as perfect “big” mini trees, trust that growth rate will be stable, and skip all the maintenance that comes with the art of bonsai. You can impress your friends AND your neighbors!

Keep them in shape by removing any new growth along the trunk and prune away any wayward top branches.

Click the photos to see more pictures and the growing details up in the store.

Shimpaku Chinese Juniper

Miniature Garden Trees and Shrubs

The Shimpaku Juniper before grooming and growing for a couple of years.

Pre-bonsai trees for miniature gardening

This Shimpaku Juniper after grooming and growing-in for 3 or 4 years. You can see why it’s prized by bonsai artists and desired by railroad gardeners. The peeling bark on the trunk adds wonderful detailing, they are hardy and drought tolerant too.

Valley Cushion Mugo Pine

Miniature and Dwarf Trees and Shrubs for the Miniature Gardeni

The Valley Cushion Mugo Pine is available as a cute little shrub too.

Miniature and Dwarf Trees and Shrubs for the Miniature Gardeni

A bigger Valley Cushion Mugo Pine groomed and grown in for about 3 or 4 years. It’s just too sweet to watch the wee trunk gradually lift the canopy off the ground.

Seiju Dwarf Lacebark Elm

Miniature Garden Trees and Shrubs

Before growing and grooming. You can see how delicate the trunk looks. If you start with young trees, you can have the pleasure of watching them grow up.

Miniature Garden Trees and Shrubs

The Seiju Lacebark Elm groomed for a few years by the grower. Maintain this look by pruning away any new growth along the trunk, and cut any wayward, top branches. In late winter, shear the canopy into shape by looking at the tree as a whole, instead of the individual branches.

See all the new trees and plants that arrived up in the store here. We’ve sorted them for you by zone here.

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Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

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