Getting Started With Miniature Gardens
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Miniature gardening is a trend that’s on fire today! Traditional dish gardens, terrariums, and European blooming gardens have all been around for years.
But if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, miniature gardens are the way to go today.
And it’s easy to see why.
Today’s mini gardens take the traditional dish garden and ratchet it to a whole new creative level, made possible by the many miniature plant choices and accent pieces available today.
Because creating fairy gardens is not difficult, it’s become a hobby that can be enjoyed indoors and outdoors by people of all ages, especially children.
Even if you are a complete gardening novice, you won’t have to look far online to find all the inspiration and help you need.
From creating magical fairy gardens to finding imaginative containers to use, a quick online search will provide a ton of ideas and practical knowledge you can use to get started.
One place that’s filled with ideas is Pinterest, but there are many more places you can check out as well.
Once you begin to create your first one and see how easy it is to do, I’m sure it won’t be your last.
If you scroll down further, there is a short video tutorial that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.
Miniature Gardens or Fairy Gardens – Which Is It?
Often these two terms are used interchangeably. There are differences, however.
With miniature gardens, the focus is on creating and growing a garden, with strict attention paid to the proper proportion and size of the plants when combined with the accessories used.
Any accessory, like a small bench, bridge, or even rocks, can be the starting point to set the initial scale. It’s similar to model trains, where the layout is built around the gauge (size) of the train.
The small-scale garden bed is then planted and maintained, combining miniature garden plants to serve as trees, shrubs, and groundcover. Any indoor plant that fits the size and scale of the accessories can be used.
Fairy gardens focus more on accessories, often with little attention paid to the plants, if any are even used.
It’s something to keep in mind when choosing plants and accessories. Miniature gardens need to maintain proper scale and proportion to look good. Fairy gardens do not.
What Are The Best Miniature Garden Plants To Use?
Assuming your miniature or fairy gardens are indoor projects, you’ve got options when it comes to selecting the right mini plants to use.
For trees, try taller plants like Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens), Neanthe Bella Palm (Chamaedorea elegans), Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla), Cypress / Cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana). Each of these houseplants is slow-growing, which makes them a perfect fit in container gardens.
For groundcover, shorter plants like Dwarf Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonica ‘Nana’), Baby Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii), Corsican Mint (Mentha requienii), and Ivy (Parthenocissus) work well. Several types of moss also can also be used as shrubs and groundcovers. Among my favorites are sheet moss, Spanish moss, reindeer, and sphagnum moss.
Adding a splash of color can quickly be done with flowering plants like kalanchoe, African violets, and begonias.
Succulent plants and air plants can be successfully used in miniature gardens as well.
Most local garden centers carry a wide variety of plants that do well indoors. But not all are suitable for miniature gardens due to their leaf size and rapid growth habits.
Use the plant varieties listed here as a guideline for choosing the right plants for your project.
Where to Find Unique Fairy Garden Accessories
I mentioned that the fairy garden accessory items you can add are only limited by your imagination. Your unique vision is what will really make your fairy garden special.
From fairies, gnomes, and mushrooms to a trellis and furniture, choosing the right mini garden decor will really bring your piece to life.
If you’re looking for unique accent pieces or supplies to create or complete your project, take a look at a few of the items showcased here.
Many of these types of accessories can be purchased locally at your florist, garden center or hobby shop, or you can shop an entire catalog online for more creative choices.
Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned veteran, with more than 750 accent pieces available, you’re sure to find just what you need. Don’t forget, they make great gifts for the avid gardener, too!
My Favorite Accessory
Nothing will breathe life into your miniature creation more than including a cute animal or two.
The most popular animals include cats, dogs, birds, and frogs.
But my personal favorite is the hedgehog.
These cute little guys add a playful touch to miniature gardens or terrariums and really attract attention because they add such a whimsical touch.
I love all animals, but a cute little hedgehog always makes me smile!
Caring For Your Miniature Fairy Garden
General care and maintenance of fairy garden plants are much the same as any type of indoor houseplant.
They will do well located in a brightly lit area but not in direct sunlight. Water lightly, as most of the plants need to be kept moist but not saturated.
Good drainage is essential. Never allow your plants to sit in water.
Some pruning is necessary to keep the plants adequately sized for your fairy garden. Prune any plants used as bushes and groundcover often enough, so the plants stay bushy and full.
Occasionally fertilize using an organic houseplant fertilizer diluted to one-quarter strength.
Miniature Garden Ideas and Inspiration For Your Home Or Patio
In this short video, you’ll get a lot of ideas you can use to get started on one of your own!
I hope you enjoyed the video, and thanks for sticking with me this long. Now go and get your hands dirty!
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Til next time!
I’m the owner of Greenfield Flower Shop in Milwaukee, with more than 40 years of experience in the floral, wedding, and event business.