Country Woman’s Gardening Guide to growing a miniature garden.
Want to experience the joys of backyard planting while barely lifting a trowel? Try on miniature gardening for size. For expert advice on this miniature gardening phenomenon, Country Woman turned to Janell Hall, garden manager for the Village Gift Barn and Country Gatherings in Berlin, Ohio, who specializes in designing miniature gardens.
“They let you create your dream garden on a manageable scale,” she notes, pointing out petite planters on a patio, atop tables and tucked in various flowerbeds. The tiny landscapes are perfect for green thumbs with limited time and space— and the urge to dig a little. “With an inventive mind and a large container,” Janell says with a smile, “you have acres of room for creativity.”
Interested in growing a miniature garden of your own? Here are some of Janell’s top tips to the art of miniature gardening:
Location, location, location: Mini gardens can thrive in many spaces, as long as you choose the right plants for the location. For a shady nook, consider miniature ferns, vines or mosses. In a sunny spot, opt for dwarf conifers and herbs.
The theme’s the thing: Pick a motif—be it a garden that’s formal, rustic or inhabited by forest fairies. Refer to life-size gardens for inspiration.
Contain it: “Mini gardens can be planted directly in the ground or in containers; displayed inside or outside your home; and, can be as simple or elaborate as you wish,” says Janell. Best of all, you can use about anything as a container, as long as it holds potting soil and offers sufficient drainage from the bottom. If it doesn’t have drain holes, make sure you can drill some. Clay pots, enamel bowls, old buckets, feed troughs, window boxes and terrariums all work well.
Pick the right soil mixture: Try an all-purpose, lightweight potting soil. Spreading pea gravel on top will hold soil in place and give the garden a finished look.
Plant away: Plants that stay small, grow slowly or are easy to cut back work best. Consider flowering vines, mini ferns and ground covers.
“One thing I warn everyone about is being bitten by the miniatures bug,” Janell adds. “Once you discover how enjoyable it is hunting for plants and accessories to fit your little scenes, you won’t be able to stop making them. I have nine mini gardens at home— one in the ground and the rest in containers ranging from old washtubs to terra-cotta bowls.”
Ready to get started? Check out these resources for miniature gardening supplies (oldeberlinvillage.com and miniaturegardenshoppe.com) and then CLICK HERE for a step-by-step guide on how to create a miniature garden of your very own!