How to Start a Miniature Garden

Container Gardening
Miniature Garden

Little gardens are trendy, pint-size gardens you can have in your home. They may seem like the newest trend, but they are very suitable for people challenged by age, physical limitations or health since they are easier to setup and maintain than traditional gardens.

Small space gardening is very trendy these days. You can see more and more balcony, rooftop and patio gardens all around the world. Many people carefully choose specialized containers for their little gardens and they are often made of recycled materials.

Miniature gardens are not simply small gardens. The emphasis is often on design and visual impression. As a general rule, the design of a pint-size garden should be a bit taller than the pot is wide. It's also important to maintain the right scale. Everything in the miniature garden should be proportional.

The Advantages of Miniature Gardens

Hint-size gardens, rock and trough gardens, railway gardens or even some Zen gardens - they are all beautiful, interesting, and often easier to maintain than traditional gardens. They are ideal for those who have physical limitations and can't be mobile enough to practice traditional gardening.

Miniature gardens are ideal for people who don't have means or time to maintain a traditional garden. They are also a good choice for the elderly. These mini gardens are very popular in nursing homes and retirement communities.

A great thing about miniature gardens is that they are completely movable. It's easy to move them from your kitchen to the indoor porch of a dining room. In warm weather, you may place them on the outdoor patio or garden.

Starting Your Mini Garden

Mini gardens can be started in all types of small containers. Some of the popular choices include terra cotta pots, troughs and deep dishes, glazed and plastic containers as well as many improvised containers, such as small wheelbarrows and wagons, tin tubs, birdbaths, gourds, and more. You may also use wooden clementine crates you can get in grocery stores and various types of decorative bowls and baskets. The only thing to keep in mind are drainage holes. If your chosen vessel doesn't contain them, you should add them yourself. Many people like to start these miniature gardens in 14 to 15 inch diameter containers but other sizes are good, too.

The next thing you need to keep in mind when starting your miniature garden is how to organize it. Everything about these gardens is small-scaled, including the area required for storing tools and materials. A mini garden's potting shed can be your kitchen island or a porch. You should keep all the important materials needed for your garden there and use this area to take care of your garden. Fore example, this is the area where you'll work with potting soil, pebbles and greenery needed for the garden. A great thing about miniature gardens is that they don't require bending or digging. There are no bags of mulch to carry around and no heavy hoses.

Accessorizing Your Miniature Garden

Accessories and design are very important for miniature gardens. It means you should always keep in mind the accessories you wish to use. You may always buy expensive accessories for the garden, or you can choose a more affordable option of make your own accessories from recycled materials.

For example, you can make miniature tables and benches from two pieces of bark. Or you may thread a red cotton string through a dried avocado shell taken from the compost pile to make a miniature tree swing. Another good idea is to fill a small bowl of water to make a pond or take a datura seed pod and make it into a miniature lamp. Similarly, a votive candle can become a fire pit and a champagne cork can become a chair. You may also use small figures to create various scenes.

Photo credit: Elaine

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