Posts Tagged railroad gardening

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.

 

The Miniature Garden Society

 

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

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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.

 

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

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.

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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.

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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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A Favorite Miniature Garden Tree: The Tansu Japanese Cedar

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

This Tansu Japanese Cedar has been with us for over eight years. It’s 15″ tall right now.

A Favorite Miniature Garden Tree: The Tansu Japanese Cedar

I was cleaning up our in-ground miniature garden the other day and found this miniature garden gem, our Tansu Japanese Cedar, (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Tansu’) growing happily in the back corner underneath a big Azalea. We’ve had an incredibly dry summer, but the Tansu is now established (meaning the roots can find their own nutrients) so we water it sparingly with our other established plants in the same bed. It lives in a part sun / dappled-shade spot which helps keep the soil damp. “Right plant, right place” is so true, especially when planting in the ground.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

The same Tansu in late fall of 2007 and looks to be about 6″ tall. It’s planted in a container with a Mother Lode Juniper on the right, Elfin Thyme in front and small Hens and Chicks in the front, left.

The different colored foliage on the Cryptomeria japonica ‘Tansu’ above, is its winter blush. In areas where temperatures dip in the winter, Cryptomerias change color dramatically. It’s a nice change when you need it most. The Mother Lode Juniper on the right is blushing too, the yellow will change to plum and amber in the cold air. Both plants will turn back to their rich green color when the weather warms up in the springtime.

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Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

When you find the Tansu in 4″ pots, they are only 5″ tall.

The Dwarf Japanese Cedars are suitable for zones 6 through 9 or to -10F. You can overwinter it in a garage if you are in a colder area, or treat it like an annual and enjoy it for as long as it lasts – which will certainly be longer than a bouquet of flowers for the same price. If you do, remember to take photos of your miniature garden when it’s done so you can show it off to your unsuspecting friends and family. Lol!

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

The Tansu Japanese Cedar is also available in 2 ½” pots and are cuter than cute. They are 3″ to 4″ tall in this size. Available in a set from our online store linked below.

Enjoy the tiny, 2 ½” conifers in a container for a couple of years to let them get a bit bigger before planting them in the ground. The 2 ½” conifers are available in sets here, in our online store. We’ve paired them with plants that like the same placement, but mix up the textures to make garden design more interesting to the eye.

The growth shape is quite charming as the Tansu gets slowly bigger. They are under 5″ tall when found in the 4″ pots and start as an irregular cone-shape leaning to one side, then the branches billow up to create a gorgeous rich-green canopy. Find it in the 4″ sized here, up in our online store.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

Fine foliage is critical for realism in the miniature garden. Mix up the textures with broadleaf plants, like the Variegated English Boxwood, another perfect candidate for a part sun / part shade spot.

Companion miniature garden trees and shrubs for the Japanese Cedar are Hinoki Cypress, Balsam Fir, Hemlock, Elm, Boxwood, Dogwood or Spirea. Miniature garden bedding plants that will work well are any ground cover Thyme, Brass Buttons, Cranesbill, Dwarf Mondo Grass or Fairy Vines.

See all our plants here.

Miniature Garden Plants is Our Specialty!

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

The same Tansu in 2012, we planted it in spring of 2010.

See what’s available now in our online store – we’ve sorted our trees into hardiness zones for your convenience! Shop by Zone here. We ship all year long safely, from our studio in Seattle. We are online online only and do the odd show in the Seattle area. Join us here to keep up to date on where we are.

Like this? Then you’ll love our Mini Garden Gazette! It’s monthly and it’s free. Join us here.

Miniature Gardening with Janit Calvo

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