It’s a Small World After All.
Ok, so I stole that from Walt Disney. But it’s true this summer at Wannemaker’s, we’re all about small. The current fascination with fairy gardens, railroad gardens, miniature containers and terrariums has created a demand for dwarf plants of all kinds.
Perennials, annuals, evergreens and tropicals all come in small sizes. Sometimes the plant is just at a young size and will grow to a full size plant in time. Other plants are true dwarfs and grow very slowly to reach maturity at a much smaller size than their larger cousins.
Dwarf Hostas with names like Pandora’s Box, Cameo, Blue Mouse Ears, and Itsy Bitsy Spider, all have small leaves, a short height and mature into little, compact plants for the shade. Some other dwarf perennials are Heuchera ‘Fairy Dust’, and ‘Petite Pearl Fairy’, Eryngium ‘Blue Hobbit’, Dianthus ‘Firewitch’ and ‘Frosty fire”, and Aruncus aethusifolius. Well-behaved groundcovers like Lamium, Lamiastrum, Sedum, and Sempervivum, known as hens and chicks, make great additions to the miniature garden.
Dwarf evergreens like Dwarf Alberta Spruce ’Jeans Dilly’, dwarf Mugo Pine, and Gold Cone Juniper mimic their larger cousins, creating a replica of a much larger landscape in just a small space. If you want to create an indoor miniature garden or terrarium, the tropical plant growers are now growing their products in very small pots, perfect for a tabletop fairy garden or terrarium under a glass cloche.
Why this fascination with all things miniature? I am just guessing but it may have a bit to do with our all too recent economic downturn. Gardeners have always sought solace and refuge in their gardens. Creating a miniature world where you are the master of that universe may give some sense of control in a sometimes overwhelming world. As the economy improves will we see a decline in this trend? Possibly, but as gardening trends come and go (upside down tomato planter, anyone?) new people discover gardening every day and will certainly be as intrigued by this fun way to garden.
If you would like to learn how to create a fairy garden, just ask one of us in the nursery. We’d be happy to help. We also offer ready-made fairy gardens to take home and enjoy.
Please visit Barb in our greenhouse!
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