Miniature gardens

domehome(9 CA)May 28, 2009

Well, I think I just found a type of gardening that isn't covered by a forum. Anybody here in Bonsai into miniature gardening? I've been working on a "hobbit" landscape. I'm just really getting a kick out of landscaping with bonsai trees and really small leaved plants. I have also been working on some "dish" gardens with mini succulents.


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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Definitely a unique angle! Do you have any pictures?

I have a container of little Jades and Portulacaria afras that I've been calling my
"Jade Forest"....but this isn't meant to be a permanent planting; it's just the
result of having a bunch of leaves at the same time, and wanting to do something
with them. So this is mostly a "nursery," until they've all sized-up some. I have
a bunch of regular Jade, one "Gollum" Jade, two "Hummel's Golden Sunset" Jades, and a
few small-leaf Jade varieties.

My materials:

Plus this tip cutting, which had already formed roots:

Here they are the day of "planting" little tombstones, I thought -

And here's a more updated shot (not a very good one, sorry):


    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 8:13PM
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It looks great. Thanks

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 11:04AM
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Check this out:

The photo gallery is especially nice. What I like is that all trees are pre-bonsai and very affordable to obtain. I have three books on saikei that were acquired recently, so there is information available.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 8:40PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I do this all the time mainly because I can't stand to have one kind of plant in a pot .lol. Second because I have a very small grow area and I love gigantic plants.
One project that has taken years and still not done is a dwarfed paradise tree grown in a waterlogged pot to contol size. Use the upper branches to support epiphytes making it look like a rainforest tree. recently stripped all the second growth out as well as creeping vines. Plan this time is three grow areas with "twig "orchids on the branch extremeties. Mostly my choice of epi's has been bad either too aggressive or too large.. Naturally it took years to get the tree ready and a lot of abuse I might add.. I"ve seen these type trees of normal size in tropical areas and since I can't go to the rainforest maybe I can create my own? lol All within a restricted size . .Sure takes a LOT of knowledge. there are so MANY choices. Anyway fun to try gary

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 6:22AM
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I keep both miniature gardens and bonsai. I just finished planting the last of the five miniature (dish) gardens I'm growing this year. In addition to my usual formal garden and wild garden, I'm growing a tropical garden, a mountain garden, and a Zen garden. The next time the rain lets up, I'll get pictures. How good to find others who do miniature gardens!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 1:01AM
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I've placed a number of leaves from my small leaf jade (Crassula, not a portulacaria afra), a few weeks back. They had been laying flat on the C&S medium I picked up from a garden centre. I did some poking around GW and saw the suggestion of a vermiculite, perlite and bark mix, that I'll have to mix up (once I get components). But after 2 weeks of almost nothing. Have put my leaves into the existing medium "tombstone" style, as greenman28 has pictured above. Yes, I have not wet them. But this morning, I did sit water in the saucer, to get a it of touch of moisture to the bottom half of the pots.

My pot is sitting in the full light of the upstairs front window (never gets direct sun) but after 2+ weeks only one of the 15+ leaves has shown signs of a root. Any ideas?

Also, anyone have suggestion on how a Canadian like me can get some mature cuttings of some small leafed jades (crassula), or portulacaria afra's? Can't ship soil across the border from the US (far too much cot and paper work for a handful of plants. And local garden centres don't seem to carry much else than the standard large leafed Crassula Ovata. I really want to raise some house plants from these varieties and have one each as bonsai as well.

For those of you in he GTA area, I have already tried Sheridan (some poor verigated p. afra's at one location), Terra, Plant World, Kim's Nature, HD, Rona, Lowes, Walmart, and a mixed bag of other mom & pop nurseries.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 1:09PM
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Have patience, but for crying out loud get them into full sun!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 1:38PM
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Ok, I'll move them to full sun.

As it's gettgin cooler and cooler in Ontario now, I've got to move my p. afra plants that are outside, indoors.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 11:55AM
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Hi there, I'm not into bonsai but I also have a liking for "miniature gardens". I have been trying to create somes.

This is a photo of my latest one. It's still getting established.

Thanks for looking.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 8:40PM
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larke - they are now in full sun, but as the days are getting noticeably shorter, I will need to transition them to some artificial lighting. I'm hoping to have that setup soon.

haxuan - I now get the conept of a mini garden. Thanks for posting a pic. I especialy like the furry/fuzzy plant just below the left lower smooth rock. Oh and the tallish slender plant just to the left of the ivy on the bottom right. haha, how's that for confusing directions.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 12:39PM
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Hi BJBond, I can understand the confusing directions in a "jungle". My planting is like a jungle, in fact, I tagged it "The Amazon". How's that for confusion?!

The "furry/fuzzy" plant you meant is a kind of moss. It will likely cling low to the ground once established. The "tallish slender plant" is kind of fern (or moss?, I'm not sure), and it will grow tall.

Thanks for looking at my photo.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 8:48PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello, everyone!

I'm glad to see that this Thread is still active...
It's especially nice to have you with us, Xuan! I always admire your plantings.

BJ, Jade leaves (or cuttings) without roots should not be located in direct sun.
The risk is that the leaves will become dehydrated before they send out roots.

Secondly, I don't know who is recommending "vermiculite," but I certainly do not.
Vermiculite retains moisture, turns to a clay-like mush, compacts, and compromises
the drainage properties of a mix. That's the last thing you want for Crassula ovata...
especially if you're growing in the cold North!

Alright, enough lecturing from me ;)
Here's an update on my Jade Forest. Since the original planting, three 'Hummel's Sunset' leaves
and two 'Crosby's Compact' leaves have dried up and died. I've added a 'Hummel's Sunset' leaf that
is still alive, and two variegated Jades. I've given one of the two 'Hobbits' away, as well.
Next step will be to remove the variegated Port. afras - since they don't really belong...


    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 11:37PM
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Hi Josh,

Beautiful "Jade jungle" you've got there! Oh, how I wish I could have a piece of those Hummel sunsets, they all look so "dark and handsome"!

I like to look at your photos too, Josh, and ... dreaming!


    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 11:50PM
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