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Miniature gardens, trees, and landscapes in Florida...

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

...While I realize that miniature gardens, Bonsai (miniature trees), and miniature landscapes may not be of interest to some, I have seen a few of you who have shown and interest in them, and I was hoping to see if any others in our state are. If not, I hope to inspire some of you to try one or two of your own!

For the aging who don't garden in big ways anymore, children who always love miniature gardens (and developing one with Grandma or Grandpa and are a great teaching tool), or for those with limited space, they can be a lot of gardening fun.

The themes are unlimited and everchanging and developing as in a full scale garden! One cool aspect of a mini is that the whole little worlds can be moved around and/or saved in a freeze easily.
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Many of you have seen some of my other miniature gardens in pictures over the last few months I know.

I would like to start this thread with a brand new one just in development that I have started in a homemade hypertufa (cement, peatmoss and perlite) container that is only 16" x 20" and 6" deep. It has 3 planting areas with drainholes and one tiny pond built in. All the objects were created from found Items and such. The Sea Fly Fairies were made from cheap little clear plastic party Martini Olive picks for instance, that hang with their arms over the edge of the glass while they lounge in the vodka pool with an olive stuck on their tail! Ha!

I hope others find the developments in these miniature gardens fun and look in to see whats going on with them from time to time, and hopefully find them interesting enough to start creating one of their own to share! I love Sunkissed's (Sherri) Firepit miniature garden,... and I look forward to seeing pictures of it evolving too...


This one is kind of developing as an enchanted forest I think... It is planted with Bonefish Coleus acting as an old overgrown tree in the landscape, and a tiny Dwarf Firebush and Pittosporum grown from cuttings that will be trained as miniature trees (Bonsai) right in place over time...

I will be including my other diverse miniature gardens and Bonsai here too over time, and hope a few others with similar interests (or interested) join in!

Thank you,

David

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DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

These are a couple of close up shots from under the "tree canopy". Ha!

David

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Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Nice but I still prefer Elvis, Marilyn, and the dinosaurs!!!!!
I do like the coleus trees.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

I would definitely agree with you on both points Q.........., and especially on the Coleus.

I have been having a lot of fun experimenting with dwarfing the Inky Fingers Coleus into tiny trees since I've been here. This first and second picture is my pride and joy Coleus tree. It is now nearly 4 years old and holding so far. It looks like a tree in a park. The last picture is of some two year olds. the three pot is in training to look like a small group of trees. The leaves are also dwarfing. It has been a fun experiment, and I included a new trainee of these in this new mini garden I started this thread with. You can see the leaves are still larger.

I will be showing the new developments in the Dinosaur Bones Park and the Ancient Ruins (which are looking better) soon too. The Car Junkyard mini is being redeveloped now too as I have the time. That is my favorite still...

Just havin' gardening fun, and Thank you!

David

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Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Dave's is NOT ooperating this AM. i can't look at any pics.

I'd like to try a coleus tree. Have 1 with the tiny leaves and it could use a "haircut". Perhaps I'll play & see what I can get to happen.

And now, since it isn't raining, my walking partner tells me we ARE going this AM!!!!! I know it's good for me but this cloudy weather is making me lazy!!!!!

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

David, if I had your brains and talent, I'd give it a try, too - my head just doesn't work that way. All are ingenious!!!

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

I know what you are saying Q, I haven't been able to enlarge these pictures since posted yesterday. It seems the pictures aren't appearing when we click on them here in the Florida and select other forums too?
I sent a message to Admins with an error alert...
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As always, I appreciate your kind words Kay. Thank you very much...

I'm surprised you were able to enlarge and see the pics! You aren't having problems with photos enlarging here and on some other forums?

Anyway, have an incredible Panama Beach Day!

David

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Yes, I can enlarge pictures - hmmmm, wonder why others can't. It's raining here in PCB and I LOVE it!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Problem with updates to internet/java/etc is a lot of times they do not make sure the updates are compatible with older versions or all environments.

So if I use FireFox I can enlarge the pics but then I get the problem of the screen "jumping about" which is just as anoying as not being able to see pics.


DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Even as a small child one of my favorite pastimes was building little towns in the sand with little roads and bridges, parking lots and such for my collection of toy cars to drive on. Miniature cars were hands-down without any doubts, and clearly my toy of choice. Of course then "Erector sets" and "Lincoln Logs" were second though, because I could build little buildings for my towns!...

Anyway, I'm old and still doing it!

I know, I know,...........Silly isn't it?! The only difference is now that I'm older and combine it with living plants its even more fun!

Since I started this thread, I guess I should keep it moving... I know some of you have already seen some of the pictures I will share here, but I know some have not, so I think I'll share some of my older and beginning Miniature Gardens here in DeLand first, and then move through the evolvements of them...

Thank you.
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This was my first DeLand Miniature Garden built in a raised side of wooden box planter raised on legs to waist level. The actual area measured 3'x3'.

After a visit to a Hobby Store and finding this irresistable little Train Set 'Shanty Camp' set of 4 buildings (including the outhouse!) on super sale for only 5 bucks, I had to have them! I then went Moss collecting over at Mom and Dads and with some old aged fallen cypress wood, driftwood, and a bag of course sand to cover the potting soil for pathways I had my first Miniature Landscape. The Ming Fern showing in the background creates the effect of tiny Pine Trees, and Mexican Heather creates a tiny Rhododendron/Azalea look. The Blue Eyed Grass could be a stand of Sugarcane!

It has the feel of a Shanty camp in the foothills somewhere. I can almost smell the woodfire in the crisp air..., and the seashell mound is representative of an ancient Native American Indian mound on the 'property'...

HaHaHa!

David

(The dinosaurs already started making their appearance here then)

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Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

David, you are never too old to play! Your live vignettes are just precious and so beautiful!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Hmmmmmmmmmm.................I have an old bowl I drilled holes in & have some small succulants growing. I guess I need to start looking for "things" to add.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

You can buy all kinds of neat little items in the toy section at the Dollar stores!

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

You are so right Kay!

This funky little table and chair set was made from a set of six plain little novelty stacking chairs game in a bag from the 'Dollar Tree', and the table is plastic pizza box supporter, old backgammon chip with beads slid up the legs and hit with a drop of gel Superglue; also from the dollar tree. Another drop of Superglue holds the bead 'terracotta pot' on the table holding the plant which is a tree Lichen simply pressed in with a toothpick.

The Dwarf Jade or Elephant Food plant grown from a cutting and shaped like a small tree creates the thought of a tiny orange tree when little plastic orange beads are hung on it, and really creates a miniature garden feel when a table and chair set are added. The Melamine bowl it is growing in came from the Dollar Tree too, and was painted dark brown, and is only 6" across.

A whole miniature garden that cost less then 3 dollars in a 6" bowl. This could be a fun centerpiece on a table while having coffee with a friend, a gift for a friend, or fun in a window or anywhere...

pic 5. New clutter in the enchanted cottage garden! The cottage itself is made of hypertufa (cement blend) and all the other clutter is plastic and other durable materials, sealed and can take the weather...

Happy Gardening!





This message was edited Jul 4, 2013 8:50 PM

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Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Guess I need to look more closely next time I'm in the $$ Store.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

These little "Banshee's" ( a female Spirit and Woman of the Fairy mounds in Irish Mythology ) were made out of those same Martini picks. I got a bag of 100 on a clearance at 'World Market'. Their greenery clothes and hair are made from exterior caulk...

Moss, Inky Fingers Coleus, and the stalks of Ming Fern create the tree in the first picture. Tillandsia ionantha from Guatamala is a tiny Bromiliad that makes a great Miniature garden plant. You can just see the tips in the second pic. The third picture shows them in the early beginnings of a miniature garden, used as bedding plants between the walkways, which are an old concrete decorative block buried.

The fourth picture shows the same area 3 months later with some left over tiles and a few more plants and doodads. Miniature Gardens don't need to be rushed and it is more fun to just add slowly as you have the time and a new item, plant or thought pops in your head... The Tillansias are still in the same location 2 years later in the same garden. The have produced many babies and I always look forward to Winter when they turn Hot Fuscia and put up little brightly colored flower stalks...

Have a beautiful Saturday!

This message was edited Jul 6, 2013 7:01 AM

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Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Oh I missed seeing this thread. I've seen some of these photos before and nice to know how some things were made and where you found the items. My friend and I have been working on mini gardens, and her grand daughter is making her own, a really fun project with the kiddos.

I'll post mine later, for now I need to get out in the garden and get to work before it heats up. Wonderful creative stuff, David.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Its good hearing from you Sunkissed.

I am going to bounce from the past to the present like some movies in this thread. It is likely you and some others will be seeing older pictures popping up from even two years ago. I think it might be good for any newcomers to see the older and simpler beginnings should they be inspired to start one! A tiny bowl only ten inches across can be fun!

This one dollar, "Dollar Tree" bowl was designed as a hanging basket bowl. I took the cheap cords off and just used the bowl which is only 10" across. It is possible hung at the right level,... that miniature gardens could be fun as a hanging basket too. I haven't done that yet. I might!
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All things well rooted and from cuttings this little bowl includes:

Rosemary, Dwarf Jade (Elephant Food plant), Allysum (great for creating a miniature blooming bush), Sea Urchin Sedum, and one of my all time favorites, Chocolate Hearts Coleus, which with faithful pruning can be kept small or makes incredible hanging baskets...

The addition of various other miniature items creates the look!..........even just 1.



This message was edited Jul 7, 2013 6:55 AM

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Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

These minis look so peaceful. I have a squared off bowl that I think will work. Lots of tiny sedums. Perhaps a sprig of Devils Backbone.
I may have to get stuff out & five this a try.

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

That's great, love the little person in the pool. I've got to check out the dollar stores. I'm glad you listed the plants, my friend was just asking me last night what plants she should get for her new one.

David where do you keep these gardens? I had to move mine under the protection of the front porch since the rain was destroying the succulents. It greets everyone that comes to my front door and they all comment about it.

Here is my one and only mini garden (in my old fire pit), not as spectacular and most things are store bought, although I did hand make some items, all the shells, rocks are finds from my camping trips.

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Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

So, SO PRETTY!

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Yes Kay,

It is lots of fun,.......Fantastic Firepit Fantasy Fun!

Every area has interest...and I especially like the use of those 'Tigers Jaws' succulents for a fantasy Palm tree type look. I may have to use that idea!

Thanks for sharing Sunkissed....

This message was edited Jul 7, 2013 2:46 PM

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

This little miniature garden in one of my hypertufa bowls has just had a tiny redo. The plants were already established, but it was time to add non-washaway permanent pathways for the next phase. The addition of our native Deer Moss, gives a Sagebrush or Tumbleweed effect to the ghost town like shanty town. You'll recognize these little buildings from the Alpine looking shanty camp from over a year ago. They needed a new home when the Paleo park moved in and took over...(-:}

Sitting on the Coquina rock with a bowl that has a similar look, creates a rocky mini midwest effect. Up close and with just the bowl itself to see, it could be a shanty shack ghost town in our Central Florida Pine Flats....

It just fun and surprises visitors to the garden...

Enjoy!

David

P.S.

Can you even locate it in the last picture? .........Well, it is mini!

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Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

WOW - I love them, David!

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

I see it and I see that big long nice wood branch also...makes me laugh because I bring stuff like that back from our trips. I like the ghost town.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

I missed answering about where I keep the mini gardens Sunkissed, and the answer is,... outside.

I do add a lot of Pine bark fines in a 50/50 ratio and coarse paver sand to the mix when I know I'm going to be using succulents outside for extra drainage. I blend my own mixes but even if I were going to use Miracle Gro potting mix or such for instance, I would still add 50 percent pine bark fines to the mix and some extra perlite or course sand when using succulents. The beauty is that everything else seems to like it to for me.

Sand mix concrete, or portland cement (I like to blend this with some coarse sand too) can be used in dry form to create pathways in miniature gardens that won't wash away.

Simply take a spoon and spoon-out some pathway dirt in a gully;...then spoon in the dry cement mix of choice for a natural look as I did in the "Ghost town" mini. Strips of cheap plastic Venetian blind can be bent and used as forms for a more straight edged and formal look on the sides if desired, and can be held in place with toothpicks before the dry mix is put in the pathway.

While the mix is dry, one can add little tiles, flat stones, beads or whatever to embed easily in the dry mix. With a delicate dusting with a small paint brush duster to settle the desired form... one can then finish with the next phase which is to simply spritz the pathways down with a spritzing bottle until the dry mix is saturated. Over night you will have non-washaway pathways in your minis that won's wash away, look attractive and the plants int the beds can be trained without growing into the pathways.

I have not had any problems with the small amount of lime in this process effecting even seasoned older plantings. I have been using this technique for 3 years with great results. I hope this information that I have shared may inspire a future mini gardener. Its so much more fun when things stay tidy, as we all spend enough time pruning our real gardens!

Happy Mini Gardening,

David

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Lots of us have little things passed on to us by beloved friends, family, or just cool things we've collected over the years sitting on a shelf and only noticed again when its time to dust. Sometimes they are in a cabinet that doesn't need dusting but rarely seen.

These "Occupied Japan" and inexpensive for the era figurines are just that sort of thing,...
...and while a few years back were collectable and worth something the market has diminished.

My Aunt Maye and uncle Paul who both made it into their early 90's had these in their collection of stuff and they found there way to me.

I thought I would bring the old 'Colonial family' out into the Sun again and have them observing 'Ancient Ruins' in amazement. Look at the expressions some craftsperson from the era painted on those faces and it does create that feel...Ha!

At least they are being remembered and bringing back memories of two great folk.

Aunt Maye and Uncle Paul would approve I am sure.

Uncle Paul was a great gadgeter and thinker. He built his first Satellite dish from scratch, and was so proud to be able to bring in Chinese broadcasting even though it was grainy and none of us knew the language in the late 70's, and this was even before satellite dishes were in vogue way back then. Ha! He was a funny little man.

Aunt Maye who clearly was the collector of these figurines, was an absolutely gracious Southern Lady who hailed from Florence South Carolina, and whom was the tidiest and most loving unpretentious sort,... and I am sure her patience was slightly tested by, and likely thought Uncle Paul could be a little scattered with his inventions and tinkerings (which were many) on occasion I'm sure! Ha! What a duo till the end...

Yes I have rambled on, yet had to tell the story of the figurines...

Its fun to use the things we have and looking around our homes can be all we need when creating a living miniature garden centerpiece......or many!

Enjoy, and create one of your own!

David


This message was edited Jul 9, 2013 5:50 PM

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Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

David, we don't think you 'amble'! We find your talent enviable and appreciate you sharing it with all of us.

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Okay that last Ancient Ruins mini garden is just too cool! Thanks for the detailed info on how to make the cement and your potting mix. I hope to make another mini garden out back, somewhere...when cooler.

It is nice how you have saved family collectibles and made such creative pieces in your garden with them. I do have things like that around my garden that once belonged to our sweet loved ones that have passed on....makes me think of them when I see them.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)



Happy Gardening!

David

This message was edited Jul 11, 2013 7:34 AM

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