Welcome back to our continuing series on how we do things differently with the gardening in miniature hobby. (See Part 1: How We Garden here & Part 2: How We Use Plants here.) Today we are talking about how miniature gardeners use mini accessories differently than most other miniature-based hobbies.

While railroad gardening has a strong interest in accessorizing, the bonsai hobby’s use of any miniature accessories is few and far between. With miniature gardening, we need to pick and choose what miniatures to use because there are very few, so far, that are made specifically for us – although we are building our selected inventory slowly over at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center.

But the railroad gardeners have a certain look to their buildings and accessories that pigeon-hole them into their niche. Any bonsai accessory seems to be only Asian in theme. Would it be cultural appropriation if we made a bonsai into an American scene? Would anyone be offended?

Now, I know what you are thinking. “But Janit, there are all kinds of garden miniatures for the garden out there in the big box stores!”

Okay, lets first eliminate all the fairy garden accessories and all their fantasy designs that are not realistic. THEN we eliminate anything that is not a legitimate scale – because without scale nothing would coordinate, right?

But it’s not only the realism and the proper scale, it’s how the accessories weather outside in the living miniature garden. Now take away every accessory that will melt in the rain, fade quickly in the sun, get lost in the soil because it’s way too tiny, or break as soon as squirrel knocks it over.

I wonder what kinds of accessories would be left for us to choose from in a big box store?

You see the only accessories that warrant a place in our miniature gardens are sturdy realistic miniatures – the miniatures that are a true replica of the full-sized version whether that be a birdbath, bench or water can.

We’re picky that way because we are different – like you.

This is an excerpt from our latest bestselling book, Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Handmade Projects for Your Tiny Living World on how we make and use miniatures – differently:

Instead of spending hours indoors renovating a dollhouse, we take our miniatures outside and put them in the soil. We can complete the garden from start to finish in a couple of hours; that’s a feat seldom heard of in the dollhouse world. We don’t just craft anything and everything either; our projects have to rev up our imaginations, fill our hearts, fit into our tiny gardens, and be special enough to warrant giving up such valuable real estate.

We are versatile crafters as long as it has something to do with the miniature garden. We dabble and masonry, mosaics, woodworking, painting, and all kinds of applied arts. We love to use our hands and mind to build and make rather than just buy an idea to plunk down in a pot of soil. We relish the realistic details, knowing that that is where the magic and enchantment is made.

– Janit

Now, are YOU ready for something completely different?

Check out the Miniature Garden Society where we are building, growing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded miniature gardeners from all over the world. We’re the same people that wrote the Gardening in Miniature books on the hobby. We’re the same people that have been in the trenches, nurturing the hobby throughout the last 20 years without any sponsors or anyone telling us what to do. We are independent. We have the insight, information and inspiration that you will ONLY find at MiniatureGardenSociety.org/. Because it’s our passion too.

Find out more about the Miniature Garden Society here.

Continue to Part 4 here.

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