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Timber Press and the mail-delivery miniature gardens

by Timber Press on July 18, 2013

in Craft, Gardening

025_MG_2920-72dpi-WEBWith an office full of crafters and a new book about miniature gardens, it was inevitable that Timber Press would make an attempt at creating its own tiny, living world. Designer Laken Wright volunteered as lead gardener. It was the challenge of creating a garden one-sixth regular size that appealed to her, and not, she’s assured us, because she’s the shortest person in the office. Miniature Gardens are for people of all sizes.

They also have the power to convert nonbelievers. There were a few people in the office that just didn’t “get it.” That is, until they saw the finished work. They were the ones that squealed the loudest, “Oh my god, they’re so cute!” And they were the ones who wouldn’t stop playing with the accessories, laughing at how easy raking leaves would be in such a place.

We made two gardens to show off at our biannual sales conference in New York City, which led us to discover an advantage miniature gardens have over others—you can mail them. We used UPS Store #3604 and the gardens arrived safely on the other side of the continent, where they eventually found a home at our sales office in Massachusetts. Try doing that with your grandmother’s prized Hydrangeas!

The following are step-by-step pictures of the making of the two gardens. These projects are not taken directly from Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World by Janit Calvo, but rather, are inspired by it. We’ve included some of Laken’s comments about the process but otherwise let the pictures speak for themselves. Perhaps they will inspire you just as Gardening in Miniature inspired us.

We collected various plants: slow-growing, dwarf, and ground covers. The brick sheet and patio mix we obtained from Janit’s site, Two Green Thumbs. The Pot we used is 16 inches in diameter.


Collecting accessories may be the best part. You can find plenty at Two Green Thumbs, but also check out hobby and dollhouse accessory sites.


Add potting soil.


Making sure your patio mix is completely even is key to ensuring an even brick surface.


We discovered that working with square bricks in a circular container can make it difficult to minimize the amount of visible cement.


Planting ground cover will allow greenery to spread and lightly overflow the patio area, covering visible cement areas.


To complete this backyard paradise, we finished the wood furniture with a medium wood stain.



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Collecting a variety of plants with contrast in color, height, and texture, will make for a more realistic and interesting miniature landscape.


The container here was handmade and is 24 inches by 14 inches.


When preparing your dry river bed, be sure to measure the width of the bridge that will go over it and place your plastic liners accordingly.


Be sure to wait until your patio mix is dry before beginning to plant your miniature trees and shrubs. If the patio mix is still wet, it makes it harder to clean out the soil that inevitably makes its way onto the drying surface.


Completed dry river bed.


Because we knew that this composition would mainly be viewed from the font, we placed the larger plants towards the back, leaving plenty foreground space for the scene with accessories and patio furniture.


Tiling the patio loosely around the plants allows room to place bits of ground cover and small succulents in all the empty spaces to ensure a lush, overall feel.


We found it fun to add the small succulents and bits of moss into the cracks and holes of the patio.


Clean out your pond of any soil before adding water to make for a pristine looking body of water.





Click image for a look inside this book:


Get ready to journey into the huge world of growing small!

1 Janit Calvo January 27, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Cute! The projects in the Gardening in Miniature book show you a better way to building a miniature garden successfully and you don’t have to wait for nor fiddle with the hardscaping or riverbed while you plant.

The best way to build a miniature garden is to build it like you would a full-sized garden. Plant the trees first, then the understory plants followed by the hardscaping or riverbed. It’s a garden after all. That way, you’re not upsetting your patio or riverbed when you put the plants in – AND you can enjoy the garden right away. You don’t have to wait for the Mini Patio Mix to set for a couple of days either. You can start and finish in one afternoon – it’s so fun and satisfying, you’ll want to make another one! :o)

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