When I am physically or mentally exhausted, I love to go into my special miniature world. When I’m there, the worries of this world melt away; there are no wars, no economic crisis, and no endless parade of political propaganda – just a peaceful garden where I am the king. In my miniature world, weeds (if they even sprout) are easily uprooted, plants receive the optimum water and sunlight conditions and I am able to spend time there consumed in the simple pleasure of marveling at the natural order of creation. I invite you to create your own miniature world, to enjoy as I do, its therapeutic qualities.
First, you’ll need a fairly good sized container. One of my favorites is hand-made out of materials easily found at your local home and garden store. I like hypertufa containers because they allow me to have a hand in the creation of my miniature world from the very beginning. I’ve found a great resource for the construction of hypertufa containers here, and I think if you have the time, you should give it a try. Of course, any container that is good for growing plants will do – I’d look for one that is broader than tall.
My miniature world is dominated by conifers. Miniature conifers can easily be grown and trimmed, if desired, into tiny trees fashioned after their giant cousins. Left untrimmed, their own natural forms reveal fascinating shapes that make my mini-world a unique and delightful place to visit. I also love to include companion plants such as sempervivum, saxifrage and moss into my little world.
I usually begin with an upright grower as a focal point in my mini-garden. Then I choose tiny conifers that grow less than an inch per year of various colors and textures. Some of my favorites are the miniature Hinoki Cypress such as Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana’, C.o. ‘Golden Sprite’ or, C.o. ‘Ellie B’. I also love the Hemlocks, Tsuga canadensis ‘Minuta’, T.c. ‘Abbott’s Pygmy’ and T.c. ‘Horsford’. Very hardy selections of Spruce include, Picea glauca ‘Echiniformis’, P.g. ‘Pixie Dust’ and P. orientalis ‘Tom Thumb’. Finally, I’ll fill in spaces with interesting little rocks or drift wood.
Visit the American Conifer Society for an explaination of dwarf and miniature conifers and use their tools to discover other miniature conifers for your special little place.
If you are like me, you’ll love visiting your miniature world everyday – just remember to come back and pay your bills.
Thanks to Iseli for the photos!