Miniature Gardening: Imagine Enormous Possibilities

  • Written by Molbak's

By Molbak’s

Molbak’s was thrilled to welcome best-selling author, Janit Calvo, to a special seminar and book-signing event. Calvo’s book, "Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World" is a customer-favorite at Molbak’s and, and the reason is simple: Miniature gardening sparks our imaginations in a very big way. 

The fascination with miniature forms is nothing new. The first known human artifact is a tiny female replica that dates back to 35,000 to 40,000 BC. Dollhouses and model railways have been delighting hobbyists for centuries. Teacup poodles, dwarf plant varieties, matchbox cars—miniaturized versions of the original are all around us, more charming and captivating because of their size.

But don’t let the whimsical, playful nature of miniature worlds deceive you. "Some seem to think its child’s play and not for real gardeners," Calvo explains. "But gardening in miniature can be as challenging as designing a full-sized garden; proportion and scale, elements of garden design, and sustainability all need to be considered."

Here’s a quick overview of how to get started creating your own mini-garden:

1. Think it up. Miniature gardens start and end with imagination.  Think of the story you want your mini garden to tell, then consider what container and elements you’ll need to bring your scene to life.

2. Round it up. Sometimes just one tiny piece of inspiration—a mini watering can, a pint-sized Gazebo, a wee ceramic sleigh—can spark an idea that turns into a delightfully complete scene. Finding the elements to fill your mini-world takes patience and creativity, but remember: the search is half the fun.

3. Set it up. After you’ve tracked down the right plants and elements for your miniature garden, experiment with arranging them atop the soil. Place the larger elements first then decide where you want the smaller pieces to live.

4. Plant it up. Once the overall design is established, dig in. Plant the plants with the largest root mass first. Dig a hole for the roots, plant and smooth out the soil, then move onto the next plant.

5. Spruce it up. When finished planting, smooth the soil a final time, gently water the entire surface with a sprinkling can, and press soil down lightly with your fingertips. (This will help keep your soil contained and keep your patios, paths and hardscaping tidy.) Incorporate your paths, and design elements and stake them in place if necessary.

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