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Delightful Miniature Gardening

By beckygardener
April 29, 2016

The wonder of tiny items and plants can spill over into gardening. Have you ever thought of creating a miniature garden scene? You'll be surprised at how easy it is.

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Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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goldfinch4
Apr 29, 2016 4:44 AM CST
These are fun projects to create Becky! And everyone enjoys them from little kids to grandparents. I love the little buildings you've incorporated into your designs. Great idea about your boxwood bonsai trees too.
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Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Apr 29, 2016 7:03 AM CST
Great article -- fun to read and inspiring. :-)

I noticed the buildings, too... they look like those little decorative "birdhouses" that I see at the craft store and wonder what I could do with them once we'd painted them... *light bulb*

We've been making things out of polymer clay for "fairy furnishings" and picking up things here and there also. I've coated polymer clay pieces with PYM II since Goldfinch told me about it, but I've recently read that once fired it's already waterproof and can go outside (or in the case of a recent creation, into the fish tank).

I do put a coat of clear polyurethane spray (sometimes matte, sometimes glossy) on almost anything I put outside... it's especially needed for those cute little dollar store finds or anything hand-painted, but I've been surprised by finishes that have failed to be weatherproof... so if you want to be sure, give it a spray!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
Apr 29, 2016 8:52 AM CST
@critterologist PYM is supposed to offer UV protectant too, that's why I use it for outdoor polymer.
Cubits Store: The Sempervivum Patch - plants, containers, accessories!
Also stop by Timber Treasures and Garden Buddies on Cubits
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Apr 30, 2016 4:02 AM CST
Very beautiful, Becky! I love your miniature gardens Thumbs up
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Apr 30, 2016 5:58 AM CST
Chris, Jill, and Vickie - Thank you!

Thanks also for the heads-up about PYM II. I will have to see if I can find that spray product somewhere around here or perhaps mail order it. I did spray my pieces with a clear coat poly spray but I don't know if it is as good as PYM II.

Jill - You are correct .... those little houses are mini birdhouses that I paid a $1 for at various stores (Walmart, Dollar Store, and Michael's Crafts). They were really popular a couple years ago. I am sure that Michael's Craft Store still sells them. The aluminum buckets were on clearance at Walmart this past November for $5 or $6 each, so I grabbed several of them. Wished I had bought more of them now. They do still sell the metal ones (not painted), but the price is higher. I had to drill holes in the bottom of each bucket for drainage, but that wasn't hard to do.

These were so much fun to make and design. I also bought a big bucket of plastic farm animals that contained different sizes of the same animals. So I can make larger scenes or make those smaller scenes. I have various sizes of containers around my gardens, so plan to use the bigger animals in some of those to make a larger scale scene.

I have plans to make more Hypertufa containers this summer. Maybe some larger sized. Family and friends love to look at the scenes I've made. My granddaughters especially enjoy them. I tell them that the fairies and plastic animals come to life at night. Whistling Smiling

I am now thinking I should go back and get the dinosaurs plastic creatures that have the same variety of sizes.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
[Last edited by beckygardener - May 1, 2016 6:26 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1132992 (5)
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Apr 30, 2016 6:16 AM CST
Also ....

The blue metal bucket with the little blue house with red chimney was created (with my help) by my daughter's roommate for her Birthday. She had seen something similar on Pinterest and wanted to make one. So I surprised her by giving her the miniature pieces in a wrapped box and invited her over one day to create her own miniature scene. She painted the house, chose the pieces & plants from my collection, and put it all together in a couple of hours. Took a couple of hours because she had to paint the house first and then spray everything with poly spray to protect the pieces. She thoroughly enjoyed making it! And as you can see, she did a pretty good job with my suggestions. I also only had certain colors of exterior paint, so she (and I) mix the paint to get unique colors. You can purchase small sample jars of paint for cheap and it is plenty to paint those little houses. Thumbs up
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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foraygardengirl
Apr 30, 2016 6:33 AM CST
Great article...I love your interesting and creative scenes!
But be warned...this can become addictive Sticking tongue out
I am now re-arranging some of my gardens to make room for elf and fairy garden scenes.
I buy large round plastic pot saucers or tree rings to make scenes (the bigger the better), and drill some holes in the bottom. I also find tree stumps or slices and use those. Anything goes; you are only limited by your imagination!
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Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Apr 30, 2016 6:40 AM CST
Jeanie - Oh! Don't you know it! It IS addicting!!!

The craft stores like Michael's Crafts sell miniature items and I find myself wandering over to that section ALL the time to see what new scene I can create! I found some metal plant stands at Walmart recently that raise some of the mini scene containers off the ground so they are more prominent. I am on a mission to figure out which plants do best as miniature plants. Anything with small leaves or succulents gets my attention now. Most of the plants in my yard are large. It's fun finding and planting in the opposite direction. Big Grin
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Apr 30, 2016 7:20 AM CST
Great idea Becky. Beautiful, and such fun! One of these would make such a beautiful gift to take to the funeral home to a friend or loved one grriving the loss of their loved one. I am always searching for that most unusual unique plant or container of plants they have at the flower shop to send when I need to send flowers. I want my offering to just 'wow' that person and cheer them up a bit. To bring a small ray of happiness in their hurt broken world right now. Gee, this would be like nothing you could buy. Add a beautiful bow & small card, and wa-laa!
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Apr 30, 2016 8:27 AM CST
Donna - That would certainly make a very special and personalized gift to a loved one. You could find a miniature man, woman, or boy/girl child to add to such a scene to create a lovely memorial gift. Or an angel in the scenery.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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SarasotaPatty
Apr 30, 2016 11:54 AM CST
Great stuff Becky! Thanks for sharing!

I love the little houses all painted up...I too have seen them raw and wondered what to do with them. Now I know!

FYI--Joanne's Fabrics also carries quite a selection of miniatures for fairy gardens at good prices. Great prices if its the end of summer and they start putting out their 'fall' items!
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Apr 30, 2016 12:06 PM CST
Patty - Thank you! And thanks for the tip about Joanne's Fabrics! I forgot about them. I have one located in the city just south of me. Thumbs up
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Orchids Garden Art Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Cat Lover
Butterflies Bromeliad Region: Florida Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SarasotaPatty
May 1, 2016 10:19 AM CST
You're most welcome! I tip my hat to you.

Because of you I now have to make a trip to Joanne's myself! Big Grin
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
May 1, 2016 11:07 AM CST
Whistling Thumbs up
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
Critters Allowed Birds Butterflies Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover
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critterologist
May 2, 2016 6:40 AM CST
I've also picked up a couple of nicely detailed resin pieces (fairy house, fairy gypsy wagon) and some furnishings from "Collections Etc" -- they have good sales,including free shipping promotions, and reasonable prices for most things even without a sale.

Goldfinch, good point about the UV protection for the polymer clay. I'll continue to coat with pym II, but for the fish tank what little info I found suggested that uncoated pieces might be safer. The arch we made is in the betta bowl which gets total water changes about every other week (it's a 2 gallon container), so that should help keep the fish safe, and we'll see how long the piece lasts underwater. Who knows, it could end up in a miniature garden with some glass fish and a mermaid instead!

Thumb of 2016-05-02/critterologist/6bdd90

I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.

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