Miniature Gardening in Cyprus
Miniature Gardens by Elena of Nikosia, Cyprus. A small island off the coast of Turkey, almost directly on the other side of the world from where I am, here in Seattle, Washington, USA.

UPDATED – 3-2022 -This photo essay of miniature gardens created by Elena of Nicosia, Cyprus is from 2012. She reached out and sent me the photos via email when she saw my work somewhere online. Unfortunately I didn’t keep the conversation, that would have been interesting to see!

But, take a closer look at the plants that she has used in her mini gardens. You’ll find that they are our houseplants and the same are outdoor plants in the southern climates, of course. But it’s the WAY that she used them that makes them look like “miniature” shrubs and “large” trees.

Miniature Gardening in Nikosia, Cyprus
Miniature Garden by Elena. A big Jade plants makes a perfect miniature garden tree. That spiky plant in the back is a Haworthia and I think the smaller, flowering shrubs in front are small Jade plants. These plants will work for indoors too.
Miniature Gardening in Nikosia, Cyprus
Miniature Garden detail of the garden above. Elena emailed me to thank me for my ideas and these wonderful pictures were attached…

~ Stardate: April 12, 2012. It was just a year ago when I wrote the blog, Miniature Gardening Crosses Borders. It was a post dedicated to my fellow Canadians to the north, and how they could access the plants and trees needed for this wonderful miniature garden hobby. But, as the hobby continues to spread world-wide, more information is needed for everyone else that is not on this continent. And, from our statistics across our websites – that’s about 175 countries. Unbelievable if you consider that there are only 195 countries in the world!

UPDATE: March 12, 2019. Um. Me thinks we’ve hit all 195 countries in the world now. And we’re approaching 1.4 million visitors to this website! Yay for Gardening in miniature! But, I digress… :o)

It’s All About the Right Plants Ma’am

When looking for plants for your miniature garden, remember that not everyone knows about this new miniature gardening hobby – STILL. But these days, if you walk into a plant store and ask for “miniature garden plants” or “fairy garden plants” you will no longer get a big fat “No.” but more often than not, you will get pointed to the wrong plants. I know I do whenever I mystery shop a garden center.

So, here are types of plants that work for miniature gardening that your local garden/plant store will be more familiar with:

Slow-growing plants with small leaves – The slower they grow, the longer your miniature garden can stay “small.” We don’t want the plants to grow up in one season, we want it to stay together and grow so we can enjoy it. You will have to re-pot it eventually though. The smaller leaves will help scale down the size of your miniature garden for the viewer.

Miniature Garden Plants is Our Specialty at!
Miniature Gardening in Nikosia, Cyprus
Miniature Garden by Elena. She used a smaller Jade plant with a Haworthia. The rock in the back really adds to the natural garden look to make it look like a full-sized garden that was shrunken down to miniature.

Ground cover plants with small leaves – These are the plants that grow close to the ground and never grow directly up, but spread out and cover the ground. They come in many different leaf shapes and colors. The faster growing ground covers can be trimmed back. Again, look for the plants with small leaves.

Miniature Gardening in Nikosia, Cyprus
Miniature Garden by Elena. Using tinier furniture in the larger pots makes the miniature garden look huge. Again, I love her use of the rock behind the tree – and her patio shapes too.

Alpine perennial plants – Plants that live high in the mountains are usually smaller and stunted in growth because the environment is colder and unfriendly. The plant wants to stay alive to reproduce, so it will grow slowly each year to protect itself. Most plants will continue to grow slowly when you take them out of that harsh environment, and some may not.

Miniature Gardening in Nikosia, Cyprus
Miniature Garden by Elena. Obviously she is not afraid to experiment – and it’s paid off for her. There’s a distinctive style to these gardens that Elena can call her very own.

Rock plants or rockery plants, preferably slow growing – Plants that grow among rocks are similar to alpine plants because they are trying to grow in a harsh place. Rock plants can grow in little soil, and are sometimes stunted in growth because of that. Again, look for the rock plants with small leaves and small flowers.

Miniature Gardening in Nikosia, Cyprus
Miniature Garden by Elena. Her miniature garden patios are really quite pretty. Look how she broke it up into two sections to make a little raised area. Just lovely!

Bonsai starts – Some bonsai trees start from a young plant. The bonsai starts usually have small leaves and are slow growing too. Young bonsai plants shouldn’t cost too much if you find it before it is trained. Note that some bonsai trees will revert to their natural growth rate if don’t “bonsai” them so, again, we’re looking for slow growers.

Miniature Gardening in Nikosia, Cyprus
Miniature Garden by Elena. Very simple made effective with the colors and the design of the patio. Notice that the circular design starts on the left side and is echoed across to the right. I think that’s a Ficus tree. The ladder helps translate the scale too.

I hope that helps get you started on your miniature gardening and gives you more ideas to look for. Do let me know of any other questions you may have. I’m always glad to hear from a fellow Miniature Gardener wherever you live.

This blog was inspired by Elena of Nikosia, Cyprus, who sent the photos shown throughout this blog. I thought if Elena can find plants and trees to use on her wonderful island off the coast of Turkey, then we all can.

Miniature Gardening in Nikosia, Cyprus
Miniature Garden by Elena. Simple again, yet very effective. Just one blue cypress with the right mix of patio and accessories can create that miniature garden magic.

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Miniature Gardening in Nikosia, Cyprus
Miniature Garden by Elena. She is hired. ;o)
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