Miniature gardening is not just for kids!  “You’re never too old to be young,” said Snow White, so nurture your creativity by adding a little whimsy to your garden.

Involve children in your project to bring the generations together, or make your garden a magical play space for younger gardeners-to-be by tucking in a few surprises in unexpected places such as under an upright Hosta fluctuans ‘Sagae’. Miniature gardening can be a gardening outlet no matter where you live – you don’t even need a yard, just a wide, low container to get started. For children, mini-gardening can encourage respect and care for our Earth as well as starting them on a life-long hobby that is as good for our health as it is for our souls.

Express your creativity in miniature:

  • Create a welcoming miniature garden by your front door or outdoor seating area to add personality.  Or, tuck a hidden garden under a tree or an upright hosta for guests (either humans or fairies) to discover. 
  • Miniature gardens in containers make thoughtful gifts.
  • Provide shelter for tiny garden visitors.  A plant that mimics a tree can provide shelter as well as tiny cottages, campers, trailers, gourds, or even pumpkin houses.  Take inspiration from nature by including an old stump, tree branch, or rock.
  • Create a mini-path for fairies to find the way, or perhaps turn those paths into roads for tiny race cars or perhaps even train tracks.  Maybe we have the gnome for you?
  • Include a bit of sparkle by using small mirrors, stones, crystals, or colored glass nuggets.
  • Add water by including a small dish to collect water or perhaps a spot for tea.  Invite tiny visitors to spend some time in your garden with a tiny tea set and a chamomile plant. 
  • Take good care of your garden, infusing your garden with an ample dose of fun, happiness, and perhaps some soft music.
  • Don’t forget scent.  Add some Creeping Thyme, Corsican Mint, Lily of the Valley, or other fragrant plants to excite the senses.

The Basics

The same design principles used in your total landscape apply to miniature gardening.

  • Framing Plants will be the backdrop for the accents. Framing plants:  Juniperus communis Gold Cone, Juniperus hor Mother Lode Juniper, Chamaecyparis pisifer ‘Golden Mop,’ Angelonia Archangel Raspberry, Basil Spicy Globe, Pilea artillery
  • Focal point plants will accent the central area and provide color.  They should remain lower and mounded without hiding the accents.  Some great focal point pictures include: Polka Dot Plant, Cuphea Mexican Heather, Cuphea white, Basil Lesbos
  • Groundcover Plants connect and fill the surfaces. Some ideas for plants are: Weihenstenphaner Gold Sedum, Golden Oregano, Blue Spruce Sedum, Sedum Himalayan Skies, Pilea ‘Aqua Marine’

Mini Garden Fest

Naperville // Saturday, June 10, 2023

Aurora // Sunday, June 11, 2023

Calling a fairies, gnomes, and magical creatures! Imagine a world of whimsy and delight where fairies and gnomes roam out of sight. Our gardens are home to a Magical Mini Fest for children of all ages. Free activities for kids include a scavenger hunt, painting wishing stones and making gazing balls for their mini gardens. Container Design staff will be available to help with your own miniature garden designs (Cost is for materials only). Free entry. No registration required. Some activities have a fee.