20 frequently asked questions about miniature gardening
With miniature garden designs on the increase in popularity as a preferred hobby these days, we are getting more and more of your questions flooding in for our advice on how to achieve ultimate perfection. Miniature gardening is a fine art and one which we as individuals continue to become more skilled and experienced in as times goes on. Sometimes the key in obtaining that perfect balance when creating a miniature fairy garden container or hanging basket, is to learn from previous mistakes and keep practicing. You will find that as you venture forward into new projects, you acquire your own tastes and preferences. But that doesn’t mean to say that there aren’t some fantastic pointers that we can advise you in to help you in the right direction!
We have come up with a list of some of our most frequently asked questions by you readers and customers, and have turned it into a useful guide for you to use as reference whenever you are struggling. Here’s our top 20 tips in response to your most common concerns:
- I am new to miniature gardening, What is a miniature fairy garden exactly?
Miniature Fairy gardens are adaptations of real life gardens, with an added whimsical feel. Pieces of miniature fairy garden furniture, houses, characters and fairy garden tools can be implemented into the design to create a welcoming ambiance and an inviting appeal.
- How do I start my miniature fairy garden?
Start your garden by deciding where you want to situate it. Do you want an indoor or outdoor display? Choose your plant pot, the theme of your garden and your character, then slowly build your design from there.
- What kind of accessories will work best in my miniature fairy garden?
We have a fabulous range of fairy garden accessories for all kinds of themes. Fairy princess gardens, woodland gardens, country cottage gardens, traditional English gardens, British town gardens and magical gardens. The list goes on, Check out the following link to our entire selection here:
- What Scale does a miniature fairy garden use?
Luckily, all of our miniature fairy garden accessories are of similar size and can all be combined together to create a landscape that looks in beautiful proportions to our figures and characters. For more information on the size of our miniature feature collections, check out the full product descriptions to get an idea in comparison to your planter or container.
- When should I water my plants?
Watering your plants all depends on the selections that you have chosen for your miniature container. Alpines should be watered fairly regularly but only once the soil has successfully absorbed all of the water from its previous watering. Pushing your finger 1” into the soil allows you to gauge the moisture of the soil which should be slightly damp and not saturated.
- What is the best soil mixture to use for my miniature fairy garden?
We find that the best mixture for your miniature gardening is to use equal measures of John Innes number two with horticultural grade grit.
- Does my miniature garden planter need drainage holes?
All miniature garden containers and plant pots (including hanging fairy gardens) need a drainage system with holes. To help water to drain out of the pot and especially if you have a deep planter, you can add broken up crockery or sheets of broken up polystyrene to the base of the pot.
- How long will my miniature fairy garden last?
This all depend on you! How good are you at nurturing your miniature garden? By planting wisely and tending to your project whenever needed, a miniature garden can last for years in a pot or indefinitely in the ground. Alpine plants will re-flower each year however if one year you notice your display going brown and lifeless, the chances are its root-bound and will need transplanting.
- Will my miniature fairy garden last during the winter?
Depending on the types of plants you have chosen for your garden, your miniature project may or may not need to be brought inside for the winter, Alpines are particularly hardy and are always recommended for use inside miniature gardens. Our accessories are weather proof and will last without the effects of aging during the winter.
- How can I secure my accessories down?
Lots of our miniature garden accessories have a convenient stake structure to use in soil, gravel, moss and grass. Some of the larger features can be nestled into dense foliage or secured either side by other elements such as clumps of pebbles, crushed glass or larger stones.
- Why have my plants inside my miniature garden died?
Plants don’t just die. There is often a cause, a trigger or an important factor as to why the plants inside your garden are suffering. Check the location and the positioning of your miniature garden container to ensure that the plants are in an ideal situation for growth.
- When do I prune my miniature garden?
Alpines need very little care but every once in a while will need dead-heading especially at the end of the summer when many of them have flowered.
- How much sunlight will my alpines need?
Alpines are a great addition for miniature gardens because they often enjoy lots of sunlight compared to bedding flowers that will need digging out once they have blossomed and can be temperamental during hot periods of weather. Check the recommendations on each of our Alpines selections for “full-sun”, “partial sun” or “part shade” guidelines when purchasing for best results.
- What sort of container is suitable for my miniature garden?
The fantastic thing about miniature fairy gardens is that any container with a drainage hole can be used. Try terracotta planters, alpine containers, troughs, barrels and our hanging plant pots for inspiration.
- How do I keep slugs away from my flowers?
Whether using Alpines, succulents or other plant species for your miniature garden project, slugs love a good ole munch on anything. By using micro gravel and those gravels just a size up from micro size at the base of your flowers or throughout the whole design, slugs will be deterred from crawling amongst your garden due to the sharp texture of the stone. Crushed glass pieces at the base of your plants also works a treat. The great about alpines, though, that they are not very tasty for slugs and snails, so you shouldn’t need to concerned.
- How fast will the plants in my fairy garden grow?
Again this all depends on the species you have chosen. Some alpine plants are fast growing and others are slow so it is always best to combine those that grow at the same pace to prevent some species suffocating others.
- What is the difference between indoor and outdoor containers?
Nothing apart from the types of plant within your miniature garden needs to change when it comes to the different between outdoor or indoor displays, Alpines are great for outdoors whereas succulents are a fantastic option for indoor creations.
- Where can I grow a miniature garden?
Pretty much anywhere you like and in anything that you like provided the container has holes for a good drainage system! The opportunities are endless!
- What other alternative themes can I use instead of a fairy miniature garden?
Gnome gardens and miniature gardens with animals are a great option. Others like to create a beautiful down-sized landscape – a little like what you would see in full scale yet without the addition of any mythical characters.
- What are the best Alpine recommendations to use in my miniature garden?
Semps are a great choice because of their diminutive size, Try Sempervivum Red Ace, Sempervivum Joseph and Sempervivum Blood tip as a starting point.