Friday, November 8, 2013

Miniature Gardening: Part 1

Miniature gardening, sometimes called fairy gardening, is my new and captivating hobby. I have been fascinated by fairies since, as a small child, I received my first 'Flower Fairies' book by Cicely Mary Barker. I find Barker's combination of flowers and fairies irresistible and now I am thrilled to unite the two in my own garden.

Unfortunately, I am not a very creative person, so in my search for inspiration, I visited Greystone Gardens at Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. Here I found, not only an abundance of accessories but also some beautiful examples of completed miniature gardens. Come with me on a tour ...

An English garden center -- appropriate don't you think?
Sign at the entrance to their shop
Below the 'Miniature Gardening' sign is an intriguing garden in a tree trunk ...

The gnome garden at the top of this posting was one of the first miniature gardens to catch my attention. Notice the 'gourd' bird houses and his row of 'vegetables' in that picture. The sign in his garden says, Gnome Home for Sale by Owner.

The gnome home was created in a large urn. There were numerous container choices displayed such as hypertufa planters, glazed planters, and even a teacup planter.

Hypertufa container.
I have several hypertufa containers so this will be a good place for me to start my miniature garden collection.

Every sort of accessory was displayed on a large table in the garden shop: arbors, garden chairs, planters, bird houses, garden tools ...

... and this darling bicycle was my favorite.
That sweet bicycle leaning against an arbor.
There is a garden shed and garden inside this terrarium.
Finally, I think this is my favorite ...

None of the gardens shown here have fairies in them, but it is easy to imagine them stopping to rest on a bench or chair, or strolling along a path. I couldn't control my shopping impulses and bought a couple of fairies, and several accessories. I forgot the bicycle though ... I'll just have to go back!

In Part 2 of this series I will review some books that have given me more inspiration and practical advice. Part 3 will show how I will put it all together and build my first miniature garden. Betty Earl in her book, Fairy Gardens: a Guide to Growing an Enchanted Miniature World, says, "If this is your first fairy garden, remember that creating one that meets all your criteria can take time. There is no need to rush, as it can be completed in stages. Go slow and enjoy the process." As with all my gardening, winter is the time for planning, so I will make my first mini garden in the spring. In the meantime, I am enjoying the process!

We saw snow today!  Happy winter!

Pam x

HH enjoyed the garden's classic car.

Sign on the car.
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  1. Fairy gardens are adorable, I have a friend who has an amazingly detailed one in a tufa planter. I can't wait to see yours. There are so many decorative items to choose from, too.

  2. They are really darling. I go through Clarks Summit on my way "home" and may have to stop in at that nursery sometime. I did one of these one time for our garden club's festival and built a fairy house to sit in the garden. It is a lot of fun putting them together and building the small features.

  3. What a fabulous new challenge, creating a fairy garden. I think you could really go overboard with ideas for this, I can't wait to see your miniature garden take shape. I love the Flower Fairies books but have never owned one, I keep promising myself a little treat but it hasn't happened yet.

  4. If I'd been with you a pair of Adirondacks would have come home with me. We have fynbos fairies inspired by your book but for our flowers

  5. You are going to have fun with your fairy gardens! My fairies live in the Secret Garden area under the Redwood trees. 'Baby's Tears' (Soleirolia) does well in my hypertufa fairy planters. I'm looking forward to seeing your creations!

  6. Ah Pam, How very well you would get on with Myra.

  7. They are just so cute. Looking forward to seeing yours. I'm sure they'll be wonderful.

  8. Pam I love fairies too. I look forward to seeing your creations. And I love the examples you found. So cute and perfect for the fairies.

  9. Pam, those are so cute! I am dying to make a mini garden too. In fact last night I ordered a book on mini gardening (I stumbled upon it by accident while looking for something else) and now I'm beside myself waiting for it to arrive! I really can't wait to see your finished garden too... hurry up spring and part 3 of your series! ;)

  10. I intend to start a fairy garden next spring, but the details are still up in the air. Pinterest is full of good ideas, and I've purchased a few items to start with. But I'd like to make most of my things myself, so I'll work on that over winter. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  11. I think I got that same Flower Fairies book when I was a kid! It's so pretty, I kept it and gave it to my kids. The fairy gardens are so darling. My kids just gave me a little fairy figurine and a turtle figurine to go inside my terrariums when i get around to planting them. Such great inspiration!

  12. I am sorry you haven't been well and am glad to hear that you are better. Fairy gardens seem to be all the rage. I loved miniature things as a child and still have many of them in my attic. Maybe I should break them out. You need that bicycle!

  13. Oh my...this is fascinating. I've seen lots of these on Pinterest....

    Def' MUST put this on my 'to do' list X