Magical miniature conifers

Speaking of fairies, have you ever thought about planting a garden specifically for them? I really hadn’t given it a thought before, but many people have. Fairy Gardens have become increasingly popular over the past few years. Since they are often filled with dwarf and miniature conifers, I certainly do understand the appeal!

I have given thought to a different type of miniature fantasy garden. You may recall my interest in creating a Railway Garden. After seeing the huge display in the Chicago Botanic Gardens are few years ago, I think I became overwhelmed with the amount of work a quality railway garden would entail. I may be more suited to inviting the fairies to come to my garden.

First contact
Kids love to discover new things in the garden. Why not create a garden specifically to attract the magical beings of an active imagination?

I’ve done a little research on the internet and have discovered quite a number of miniature accessories to include in a fairy garden. From little houses to fences, walkways, benches – just about anything you might think the fairies might enjoy in their own special garden. For me though, the most important factor would be the choice of miniature conifers to ornament their space.

From what I have seen, a fairy garden may be just about any size – from a small container garden to a larger trough or box to a small section of the landscape. The important thing is to include plants that the little people are drawn to. (And who wouldn’t be drawn to dwarf and miniature conifers?)

I’ve put together a list of little conifers that you are sure to find in small containers that are perfectly scaled to a fairy garden. Depending on their rate of growth in your climate, some may require a little pruning to encourage them to remain in the proper scale, but that is half the fun of a whimsical garden like this. (I’ll even include a couple non-conifers on this list.)

Abies balsamea ‘Piccolo’
Abies koreana ‘Cis’
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Gemstone’
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Gnome’
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Butter Ball’
Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Golden Pin Cushion’
Cotoneaster microphyllus ‘Cooperi’
Ilex crenata ‘Dwarf Pagoda’
Juniperus communis ‘Miniature’
Juniperus horizontalis ‘Blue Pygmy’
Juniperus horizontalis ‘Mother Lode’
Picea abies ‘Jessy’
Picea abies ‘Thumbelina’
Picea glauca ‘Elf’
Picea glauca ‘Hobbit’
Picea glauca ‘Jean’s Dilly’
Picea glauca ‘Pixie’
Picea glauca ‘Pixie Dust’
Pinus mugo ‘Michelle’
Pinus mugo ‘Short Needle’
Tsuga canadensis ‘Cole’s Prostrate’
Tsuga canadensis ‘Jervis’
Tsuga canadensis ‘Moon Frost’

Come to think of it, my entire garden may be a giant-sized fairy garden! That might explain the behavior of my young friend as described last time.

Conifer Lover

The plumber and the gardener

May was a most amazing month for us in the Pacific Northwest. It has been many years since we have had such a great month of May for gardening. My wife and I had a weekend plan that included visiting our local fine garden centers and coming home with exciting new plants to beautify our patio and garden. Sometimes our plans don’t come together just as we’d like, and instead I found myself hunting for some specific plumbing parts without access to my trusty old local plumbing store and all their years of experience and advice this particular holiday weekend.

I was spending far too many hours going from one home improvement or hardware store to another looking for my specific parts. While I was there though, I just had to cruise through the garden section of these large box stores. The great thing is that plants were everywhere! The home improvement centers, the hardware stores, the grocery store and even the gas station all had plants for sale taking advantage of the magnificent spring weather.

My last stop to find my elusive parts was within sight of one of my favorite fine garden centers. Fortunately I found my plumbing parts so I could get this project finished; only after I made my way over to the garden center to see what was new!

The sunny, May garden
The sunny, May garden

Venturing inside I was immediately hit with the vision of all those beautiful plants. My head began to spin just a little in my enthusiasm and I took pause in the shade to wipe the newly formed beads of sweat from my brow. As I was taking in the glory of all those plants, my mind began to play out the story I would tell my wife about how the pickup bed was full of plants and just two small plumbing parts when I arrived home. What snapped me out of my imaginary scenario was the sound of laughter.

One thing missing from all those other places that sold plants was the children. Here children were everywhere. Full of life and excitement as they assisted moms and dads in the selection of plants, their laughter and squeals of excitement filled the place. There is just nothing that compares to the sounds of children having fun, and this place was FUN. One girl was running around with a cell phone making a video of the plants all while giving her best News Channel commentary – it was quite cute.

I love to see plants sold everywhere, but for me, I want the comradery and purpose of my fellow gardeners at the garden center. It is that experience, where both the novices and old-timers buy from the knowledgeable garden center folks while surrounded by the sounds from the jungle of life, both young and old, that give me great joy – even when there are still plumbing repairs to be done.

Conifer Lover