Nurture your creativity by adding a little whimsy to your garden! Being with plants, indoors or outdoors, allows time to play and use your imagination creating mini scenes that mimic life, or bring life to fantasy. Gardening connects the generations when planting a magical play space for young gardeners-to-be. Tuck in a few surprises in unexpected places in your landscape and soon you have a delightful walk around the yard.

Mini Garden Enthusiasts

Mini gardening is for everyone! Gardening is an expression of the artist, and mini gardens range from 3”-8’, planted in containers and in the ground. Gnomes, fairies, and critter accents add a whimsical touch, or you can choose no accents at all mimicking a real landscape. If you live in an apartment or townhouse, miniature gardening can be a wonderful outlet. Many use mini gardens as a gateway to larger garden projects, practicing on a smaller scale first. Respect and care for our Earth is encouraged when generations plant mini gardens together. We have heard many stories from life-long gardeners who got their start when their grandparents or parents showed them how to garden.

Mini Garden Ideas

The possibilities are endless, so here are a few ideas to get you started. A welcoming mini-garden by your front door or outdoor seating area creates a conversation starter and brings your personality into your outdoor living space. Add a miniature garden to a grouping of mums as part of your fall display. Tuck a hidden shade garden under a tree, shrub, or a perennial for guests to discover. A tiny garden in a small container makes a thoughtful gift.

Take inspiration from nature by including an old stump, tree branches, or rocks. A plant that mimics a tree will provide shelter for tiny garden visitors. Add some stepping stones for a path to the front door of a tiny cottage. Mini paths can also be roads for tiny race cars or even train tracks. Let your imagination get the best of you! Small mirrors, stones, crystals, or colored glass nuggets add sparkle. A small dish can collect water, or glass beads can create a water effect.

Miniature Garden Accents

Mini Garden Design

• Framing plants will be the backdrop for the accents. Examples include small evergreens, Basil, or Mexican Heather. They add balance to the mini garden design and do not hide the accents.
• Focal point plants highlight the central area and provide color with flowers and foliage. They should remain lower and mounded without hiding the garden structures. Accent pieces as a focal point include a miniature house, trellis, or gazebo.
• Groundcover plants like Creeping Thyme, Scotch Moss, and some Sedums connect and fill the surface. Create a pathway through the groundcover plants that leads to your focal point accent piece.
• Finish the scene with fairies, gnomes, critters, tables & chairs, watering cans, and so on. Fragrant plants can be used to excite the senses.

Mini Garden Care

Arrange the accents in the container and place the plants around them. Adjust as needed before planting. The level of the soil in the container needs to be the same level as the soil of the potted plants. Carefully water with a light mist, making sure the soil is moist to the bottom of the pot, or 3”-4” into the ground. This way, the plants will be healthier and watering can be less frequent. Fertilizing is usually not necessary. Prune as needed to keep the plants in scale, remembering to snip at a branch intersection so you don’t see stubs.

As always, we are available to answer your questions. Join us at Mini-ville in Naperville on Saturday, August 21, 11am-3pm, and on Sunday, August 22, 11am-3pm at Mini Hollow, The Growing Place Aurora. We can help you make your own mini-garden (cost of materials). There’s no entry fee or registration required.