Since I am giving up both Miniature Settings and a large outdoor garden at the same time, making a new outdoor miniature garden seems like the right thing to do.

It is still in progress but here are some before and after pictures to show the beginning of the process. I removed a hideous landscaping job that had a million stones, turf, and no soil. It took me weeks to rip it out by hand and add soil. I kept the soil pretty lean (lots of sand in it) because I didn’t want the miniature plants to grow too fast. Most of the plants I have put in so far have survived despite the constant winds and the salt air.

Most people just walk by and don’t notice it (most are on their way to a nearby bar). The ones who notice see a pretty garden but not a miniature garden. So I am beginning to add features that suggest it is a mini garden and not just one that hasn’t grown in yet (someone asked if all my plants had been washed away; that was depressing). I will be using as a guide the idea Janit Calvo has in her new Fairy Gardens e-book that fairy gardens don’t have to be cutesy if you play with the idea that this was a garden made “by” fairies and not necessarily one made “for” fairies. I have never been into “cute” so I find that distinction comforting and I think adding natural miniature accessories will help viewers get what I am trying to do.

I am also utilizing some penjing ideas. In penjing, a Chinese form of miniature landscaping, rocks are used to suggest mountains so instead of getting rid of the numerous rocks provided by the landscapers, I moved them around (not an easy task!) and stood most of them upright.

01
Original landscaping: boring!
02
Tearing out the grass and removing the stones.
03
Adding garden soil.
04
Rocks in place and planting has begun.

05

07
Added a beach glass feature and a stream. Both of these will be toned down later. Have a gourd house in place even though I think it is too obviously not natural. May rethink that.
A faux stream.
A faux stream.
09
It is always a good sign when the mini plants start to flower.