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Decorating your miniature garden for the holidays

by Timber Press on December 5, 2013

in Craft

01-WEBJanit Calvo, author of Gardening in Miniature, was kind enough to share a post from her own blog with the hope that it will help many a miniature-garden-gardener decorate for the holidays. How difficult could it be to decorate a miniature garden? Read on. You may be surprised.

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One of the many enjoyable aspects of this super-creative hobby is decorating your miniature garden throughout the seasons. And, of course, one of the most fun, is for the Winter-Christmas-Holiday-Hanukkah-Kwanza-Solstice-Season. (Did I miss anyone?)

You might be skeptical, thinking that, “Come on, Janit, how hard is it to decorate a miniature Christmas tree?” Well, that could be the difference between a tree decorated by Martha Stewart compared to one by Charlie Brown. But, with a couple of hints and some insight, derived after experimenting each holiday season for the last 11 years, you can easily give your miniature garden the designer’s touch with the right ingredients.

The same miniature garden as above in daylight. This pot was planted about 7 1/2 years ago. That shrub on the left is a Mother Lode Juniper and on the right is our favorite Jean’s Dilly Dwarf Alberta Spruce. (Pronounced “John”) The bottom most branches have been pruned to show off the great trunk that has been developing slowly. The pot is a little over 15″ wide and about 12″ deep.

The same miniature garden as above in daylight. This pot was planted about 7 1/2 years ago. That shrub on the left is a Mother Lode Juniper and on the right is our favorite Jean’s Dilly Dwarf Alberta Spruce. (Pronounced “John”) The bottom most branches have been pruned to show off the great trunk that has been developing slowly. The pot is a little over 15″ wide and about 12″ deep.

Floral berry picks or holly berry picks poked into the tree work well as long as the tree stays in one place. They are easy to remove too!

Floral berry picks or holly berry picks poked into the tree work well and are easy to remove too!

You’ve probably seen miniature trees with a wide variety of individual ornaments placed carefully spaced throughout the tree’s boughs, interwoven with garland and ribbon. It is quite beautiful. But, the little balls, ribbon and garland are glued in place with a hot glue gun. That’s not really a great idea for your living miniature tree unless you don’t care if you kill it. In that case, get the hot glue, ignore the tree’s screams and throw it out after the holidays.

By now you’re thinking, “But Janit, they have mini ornaments at the craft store. What’s wrong with using those?” Well, it takes a TON of fiddling and fussing to get the strings around the branches of the tiny tree. It’s mainly because of the string itself gets in the way. After hanging the ornament on the tiny branch, the string sticks out even though you try to poke it inside or try to sneak it behind some foliage. Then, when you finally get the string hidden, you realize that the ornament fell out of place and you need to start all over again!

The wire bows are simply poked into the tree, held in place by the branches. If this were a gift, the wires can easily be wrapped around the branches. Do this before you place the ornaments.

The wire bows are simply poked into the tree, held in place by the branches. Do this before you place the ornaments.

If you want to use the garland and the ornaments together—well, I haven’t figured that out yet because if you put the garland on before the ornaments, you won’t have access to all the branches for stringing the wee decorations. But, if you put the garland on afterwards, you will disturb and/or hide the ornaments!

Ugh.

My time and patience is better used elsewhere and I bet yours is too.

Sigh, the trials and tribulations of a miniature gardener.

The easiest and the most straightforward way is to go with strings of lights and decorations. It takes the least amount of patience and it’s quick and easy. Weave them into the tree and try to mix up the direction of the strings so the tree doesn’t look like it’s in bondage.

Different textures help make the magic. The tiny presents are place in the boughs of the tree. This pot will stay where it is so we don’t have to tie or fasten them down. Note the different directions of the garland.

Different textures help make the magic. Note the different directions of the garland.

For the ornaments, we use the small berry picks that the florist uses. Find them at your local craft store or wherever they sell artificial garland. They are available in green or yellow to look like miniature fruit, but they aren’t found as readily as the “holly berries”. Poke them into the tree at various intervals followed by poking few miniature bows throughout the tree and you are off to the next holiday project.

~Janit Calvo

See our selection of decorations, lights and garland packs up in our store here. And there are more in our Etsy store here.

Like this? Then you’ll like our FREE monthly Mini Garden Gazette! Sign up here.

Stretch out your holiday dollar by decorating the front-side of the tree only – but make sure place the garden up against a wall or hide the backside somehow. Make sure the wires are hidden behind the tree so you can’t see them from the front-side. These lights were found at Michael’s Crafts and are meant for the artificial trees – they are not meant for outdoors so they shouldn’t get wet. Most of them have a place where you can plug in an adapter and have them run on electricity – this better for the environment too. Place them in a plastic bag and hide it behind the pot. Use some holly branches to disguise it, or make a fake gift box to house them in a clever way.

(l) Stretch out your holiday dollar by decorating the front-side of the tree only. Make sure the wires are hidden behind the tree so you can’t see them from the front-side.
(r) These lights were found at Michael’s Crafts and are meant for the artificial trees—they are not meant for outdoors so they shouldn’t get wet. Most of them have a place where you can plug in an adapter and have them run on electricity. Place them in a plastic bag and hide it behind the pot. Use some holly branches to disguise it, or make a fake gift box to house them in a clever way.

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Click the image below to see inside Janit’s book, Gardening in Miniature:

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

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Wall planter February 9, 2017 at 2:45 am

Good job!Decorating your miniature garden for the holidays.

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