Call them fairy gardens or more broadly, miniature gardens, but everyone agrees it's a trend on the rise.  It combines the joy of gardening with the magic of miniatures and it's not just for kids!

Author and Seattle miniature-garden-maker Janit Calvo agrees and has written the charming and useful new book Gardening in Miniature: Create your own Tiny Living World" (from the authoritative gardening publisher Timber Press) to help spread the word.  

Gardening in Miniature is a complete guide, including scaled-down garden designs, techniques for creating tiny hardscapes, miniature garden care and maintenance, tips on choosing containers, how to buy the right plants, and where to find life-like accessories. Inspiring step-by-step projects feature basic skills that can be recreated in any number of designs, like a tiny patio, a trellis, a pond, and a secret garden.

Full-color photos throughout and detailed charts that categorize trees, shrubs, and miniature bedding plants by sun and shade and outdoor and indoor light levels are great aides to adventurers in this fun gardening specialty.

For loads of visual inspiration, check out this Pinterest board for miniature gardens - love it!

The top photo, by the author, is the miniature garden that started this passion for her back in 2000.  She reports that that scene is just 10.5 inches wide but fooled one of the top horticulturalists at the nursery she was working at, who thought it was a full-sized garden.

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