I just love that word, “understory.” It sounds so mysterious to me like it should be some sort of literary reference to a subplot in storytelling. Understory. Whoa. Lol! Google’s definition is “a layer of vegetation beneath the main canopy of a forest” and, for us miniature gardeners, it’s what makes a miniature garden come alive and look realistic, like a true garden in miniature.
When you start to think about your miniature garden bed, it follows the same rules in full-size gardening. Start with an anchor plant, this is usually a tree or three, and fill in the understory with layers of shrubs and plants to form a wall of texture, color and green loveliness. Look to the full-sized garden designers for inspiration and ideas to add to your own garden. (Um. Wait. By “full-sized garden designers” I’m talking about the scale of their work, not the size of the gardener. Lol!)
Here are some of our favorite summer “miniature garden bedding plants” or ground covers or understory plants, whatever you want to call them. Click the photos to enlarge them.
Find the Dwarf Hens and Chicks here.
The White Diamond Sedum is not always in stock, see what is in stock here.
(Sedum pachyclados ‘White Diamond’)
That fern-like plant is Platt’s Black Brass Buttons, find it here.
(Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’)
Find the Miniature Ice Plant here.
Find the Irish Moss here.
So you can see with these few miniature garden bedding plants, just how much you can mix up the textures in your miniature understory. Like full-sized garden design, be deliberate and mix up the size of the foliage and the colors. If you choose all fine-leafed foliage it tends to blend together and look messy. By adding the grassy Dwarf Mondo Grass or the rigid leaves of the Miniature Ice Plant for example, it defines the different plants in the garden bed – meaning you can see what each separate plant is and they don’t all run together.
See all our miniature and dwarf trees, shrubs and understory plants up in America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center, TwoGreenThumbs.com. We have them sorted by light here or zone up in our online store here.. Right plant, right place applies in miniature too AND you can plant a miniature garden in a container any time of year!
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