~ I’ve made well over 3,000 miniature gardens of all shapes and sizes since I started this business in 2001, in-ground gardens as well as in containers. I spent the first 12 or so years doing street and garden markets which helped add-up to that number and, I must say, each one was different.
If you are just dipping your finger into the soil with this new hobby that is the perfect blend of garden, art and craft, I have found that there are a number of ways to begin the journey of creating your own tiny living world.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Choose your site for your mini garden
Right plant, right place applies in miniature as well. Decide where is your miniature garden going to live: In ground or in a container? Indoor or out? Then figure out what kind of light does that spot have: Full shade? Morning sun? Then choose the plants that will do well in that environment.
Note that indoor plants are tropical plants that like to stay 60 degrees or above all year ‘round. No, you can’t expect an outdoor plant to be happy indoors for very long but if you do, just know it to fail within a couple of months but it will last much longer than a bouquet of flowers!
Use the search to find your miniature garden plants for your area up on your Miniature Garden Center store. Click on the little magnifying glass in the upper left corner and type in your zone OR scroll down on the lefthand menu and choose “Shop by Zone.”
2. Choose your favorite tree
If you have the luxury of planting anywhere, checkout our miniature and dwarf trees and shrubs that are ideal for miniature gardening, and pick a tree that sings to you or tweaks your interest. Some trees can be “limbed-up” to show some more trunk so it looks more like a tree than a shrub. Then choose your “mini bedding plants” (a.k.a. ground covers) by matching the same light and water requirements as your tree.
3. Choose your favorite theme
Want to create based on a theme? How about a mini forest or backyard? Do you want it formal? Rustic? Or do you want to re-create your grandmother’s life-sized garden in miniature?
While there may not be an exact miniature version of the full-size tree that you need, you can more-than-likely find a similar, slow-growing, small foliage tree that is similar in growth shape. Use images of life-sized gardens to help kick-start your brainstorming session and Google for ideas. Look for iconic miniatures that will weather well, like a classic a rose arbor or grandma’s favorite garden chair. Be selective about the accessories that you want to add to your miniature garden rather than trying to do too much with such a small space. Don’t clutter the small scene with too many accessories and details that will get lost in the living miniature garden.
4. Choose a container
Sometimes the container just beckons to have a wee world in it. Let the colors and the personality of the pot help or dictate the mini garden theme. An unglazed, terra cotta pot would be the perfect pot for a rustic backyard garden-theme. A big, black, glazed, ceramic pot would look smashing with a formal-style miniature garden planted with a Blue Pygmy Juniper, Hens & Chicks and Wooley Thyme for the understory that all enjoy the full sun and tolerate the odd dry soil.
See all our miniature garden trees, plants and accessories for miniature gardening here.
5. Try a complete kit.
I have a variety of Miniature Garden Kits in my online store, to suit a number of different environments. They come complete with full color instructions that guide you through the simple steps to create a mini garden in a container, and it can be applied to an in-ground garden too.
Miniature gardens make great gifts for that hard-to-shop for person in your life, hostess gifts, centerpieces for family gatherings or weddings. They do very well at charity auctions and raffles too.
Enjoy your mini garden journey and adhere to the most important, number one rule of gardening in miniature: Make it fun.
- Visit our Miniature Garden Society website where you’ll find everything and more! (See the video below!)
- Here are the bestselling Gardening In Miniature books, published by Timber Press
Visit the source of the miniature garden hobby here.
Visit America’s Favorite Miniature Garden Center’s here.
Like this? You’ll love our weekly Mini Garden Gazette! It’s FREE and truly unique – there is nothing else like this! Join us here – just scroll down a bit to fill out the form!
Thank you for your email responding to my enquiry regarding sending to Australia – I inadvertently removed your email but just wanted to say I will be placing an order with you but will await the publication of your e-book to get me started. So much looking forward to reading the book
Helen in Oz
What would be the best plants for an all shade garden??
Hi Rosalie! You don’t mention where you are – can you email us with your zip code so I can help you with a better answer? You can email us through our main website https://www.TwoGreenThumbs.com. (If I leave it here, I get too much spam.) TY – J.
I want to build a fairy garden out side in a large pot or somthing, do I need to put an all weather type coat on the pieces before I do this?
Hi Pam, It depends which accessories you are using. Most of ours don’t need any UV protectant spray but the big-box-store-resin items will need to be coated with a UV Protectant spray to keep the accessories colorful. It slows down the bleaching process, at the very least.
Janit, hi! I spoke with you briefly on the phone, I live in Canada. I emailed you at two thumbs, I think. I forgot the email address you told me to use. Just wanted to let you know.
Hi Kim! I missed seeing this note with the new WordPress platform for some reason. I’m not used to it yet – apologies! I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org if you still have the info handy. Apologies again – J.