Whimiscal Gardens

How to Over-Winter Gnomes

large gnome

Winter’s ill effects.

Not all gnomes are cold hardy, in fact some do not handle the outdoors well at all. Unfortunately they are not labeled and won’t tell you themselves. As of yet nobody has compiled a classification table for them, but we’re working on it.

So all a gardener can do for now is to use your best judgement.
Here are a few tips we’ve learned that may help:

1. If your gnome is a one of a kind or an unusual breed, and not from a family of metals, consider it to not be weather hardy unless you are told otherwise. These, the most unique of gnomes, are likely descendents from the family line of Plaster of Paris. The gentleman pictured above is a good example. These gnomes require the utmost care and should be afforded the best accommodations.

2. If your gnome originates in the orient, it may have the wherewithal to handle the harsh weather, but will likely not last more than one winter without showing the dire effects. These folk are usually happy to be hoarded into any enclosure, and left to their own devices until spring.

gnomes in the home

Happy in hiding.

3. Smaller gnomes often prefer to associate themselves with a land feature, and are unlikely to handle the weather well. This is not only true for winter, as many of these gnomes are very outdoor-sensitive. Unless you can offer them protection such as a covered porch, it is best to keep them inside all year.

4. Some gnomes can handle decades of being outdoors 24/7. It has been our experience that these types are usually from a family of Ceramics. They can be distinguished by accessories in bright acrylics, and often will have distinguishing marks in the form of initials on their bottom-most feature.

5. And finally, if your gnome is wearing anything other than a red hat, consider it suspicious. Red is the traditional color, any other implies a rebellious nature. These fellows are best placed year round in such a way that they cannot go anywhere unseen. Do not trust them too close to other gnomes, as they may try to convert them.

rebellious gnomes

Are they plotting?

In summary, you can tell a lot by just looking at a gnome. Most cannot handle winter weather, and are best brought indoors. Some cannot handle wet weather at all, and others well… just don’t turn your back on them.

Naming gnomes and some gnome links.
Gnomes on Pinterest.


Categories: Whimiscal Gardens


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February Friday Fairy Gardens pt. 4

Tiny Treasures – a guest post by Arlena Schott
Garden Wise Living TV
(with photo comments by GJ)

miniature gardens

a world of its own

When I think about Miniature Gardening I smile …those tiny little Chairs and Miniature Chandeliers are enough to bring the kid out in all of us

I will never refer to Miniature Gardening as a Trend.
A trend leads us to believe that there is an end, but in fact Miniature Gardening becomes
an obsession.

miniatures in the garden

how inviting!

Be Creative
The best part about Miniature and fairy gardening is being creative. There are so many wonderful Tiny Treasures, plants and miniature accessories.
Creativity is the biggest part. No rules, no scale just jump in with both hands and have fun.
Nature provides us with a vast resource of things to use in our miniature and fairy gardens.
Moss makes a perfect accent and can set the stage for a Fairy Wonderland.
Twigs and sticks can be stacked to create a timber look along with some well placed stones and a pebble path and you may create a Woodland Theme adorned with the woodland Accessories by Jeremie.

Sculpey Clay can be used as a fun way to make some miniature accessories. I made miniature pumpkins and tiny ghosts with Sculpey Clay for a Halloween themed miniature garden.

miniatures in the garden

'harvesting' miniature pumpkins

My husband Steve Schott made me a tiny Chicken Coop for one of my miniature gardens so I created a basket full of eggs to go with it.

The Ideas can become endless and inspiring, let the juices flow and most of all
Have Fun~

miniatures in the garden

mini chicken coop complete with eggs

Here are several different ways to enjoy Miniature and Fairy Gardening.

Indoor Table Top
Indoor table top miniature gardens may be planted using a container or a terrarium that is planted with small indoor plants and decorated with a miniature settee all ready for a tiny tea party.

Out Door Table Top
Out door table top miniature gardens are a fun way to use unique containers or shabby sheik ideas like planting in an old wheelbarrow or an old wash tub, even an antique tea cup becomes the perfect setting for our tiny treasures.
Planting an out door miniature table top or container garden gives us the options to select the plants that pertain to the light source we are placing the containers in.

miniatures in the garden

I just love this!

Raised Bed Miniature Gardens
A raised bed miniature garden can be a wonderful way to share the love of gardening with our children and grandchildren, being just eye level gives them a feeling of being lost in the garden with the Fairy’s .
Raised Bed Miniature gardening also allows many seniors to continue to enjoy the love of gardening in an easy to maintain raised garden.

Secret Miniature Garden Spots
I love to wander through a garden and discover hidden tiny landscapes complete with tiny treasures like Castles and Small Cottages surrounded by little vignettes that peek out at us as we wander through our gardens.

Full Landscape Miniature Gardens
Full size landscapes can be filled with miniature accessories and add such a whimsical feel to any landscape. Miniature Conifers, Miniature Hostas and many of your favorite perennials can be used to adorn a small village and provide lots of space for our fairy folk to live.
No mater how you choose to create your Miniature or Fairy Garden just remember, it is all about the having fun and being creative …allow your mind to wander to those tiny places and create Miniature and Fairy Gardens full of Tiny Treasures.

miniatures in the garden

chicken coop themed garden

Please join us over on Face Book at the Miniature and Fairy Garden Chat Group and follow along as Arlena travels across the country this season to speak at Independent Garden Centers on Miniature and Fairy Gardening

“I may be coming to an Independent Garden Center near you”
Green Blessings ~Arlena

NOTE from GJ- this post really inspired me to add more minis to my gardens this year- how fun!
In case you missed the other posts:
Part 1- GJ’s First Fairy Garden
Parts 2 and 3 -Patti Kuhlman’s posts on Fairy Gardens

Categories: Garden Projects, Gardening, Gardening People, Places & Things, Whimiscal Gardens



February Friday Fairy Gardens, pt. 3

This is the second guest post by Patti Kuhlman you can find part 1 here.

fairy and miniature gardens

is that a gnome I see?

Now, for the final and most fun part of building a fairy garden is decorating the garden with miniature “fairy” accessories, which are generally the size of “dollhouse” accent pieces. How to decorate is limited only by your own imagination!

The most important accessory of course, is a fairy.
Our fairies can be purchased in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.

The other of our accessories for your garden include but are not limited to; gazing balls, tiny vine furniture, Adirondack chairs, chimaneas, arbors, swings, birdbaths, bistro sets, patio pads, stepping stones, fire pits and much more.

fairy and miniature gardens

a bike built just for your fairy

Because fairies love to play, our accessories also include, tricycles, croquet sets, and checker board bistros.
For the “gardening” fairy, you can place tiny garden tools in the garden.
Finally, adding one of our bunny rabbits, cat’s, or gnomes to your garden will give it an additional whimsical touch.

Don’t forget as the seasons change, so can your fairy garden!

WholesaleFairyGardens.com has become a premier online supplier of fairy garden supplies and accessories to the wholesale industry.

As a former manufacturer’s representative in the garden industry, I recognized the growing popularity of fairy gardens. However suppliers were short in demand, so I decided to develop my own line of miniatures. Virtually all of our products are designed in house, with many being Made in the U.S.A.

fairy and miniature gardens

a garden fairy

If you are a retail consumer looking to purchase our product you can shop online at www.miniature-gardening.com , www.adopt-a-plant.com, www.oldeberlinvillage.com and www.fairygardenhavens.com.

If you are interested in becoming a wholesaler of our products feel free to call me at (614) 327-7185 or visit our website at www.wholesalefairygardens.com
We hope you enjoy building a fairy garden and decorating it with our products!
Patti Kuhlman

Note from GJ: After seeing how beautiful the (mostly American made!) products that Patti carries are, I asked her to write these two posts. I personally got my items from Old Berlin Village, and plants from Mickey’s Minis- though I am sure all these retailers are great.

Next week Arlena G. Schott will post about at the various ways to look at Fairy and Miniature Gardens.

Here’s my first Fairy Garden.

Categories: Whimiscal Gardens



February Friday Fairy Gardens pt. 2

Today’s post is from a more experienced Fairy Garden maker- Patti Kuhlman. Patti primarily offers wholesale fairy garden items, but graciously agreed to write for us.

fairy garden chimena

fairy garden fire pit

What is a Fairy Garden?
It is a small whimsical place where fairies reside.
It is said that a fairy garden will bring laughter, joy and magic to your home.

fairy chair

even fairies need to rest

How to build a Fairy Garden

There are four primary steps to building a fairy garden:
(1) Select a container
(2) fill the container with soil
(3) Select plants for the garden
(4) decorate the garden with tiny “Fairy” accessories.

fairy house

USA made fairy house

Fairy gardens are made in a wide variety of low profile containers approximately 3” to 7” tall.
The overall size, shape and color of the container will depend upon individual preference.
You should select a container that will nicely highlight your décor and selected location.

The next step is to fill the container with soil. I generally fill the container nearly to the top, leaving a 1” space at the top, with a potting soil containing nutrients.
Because that soil generally not a dark black color, I then place black top soil over the nutrient soil to give the garden a nice black finished look.
If you want to add a touch of sparkle to the garden, you can lightly sprinkle the top soil with a very fine grade of glitter in any color of your preference. I generally use just a touch of silver glitter.

After the soil is in the garden, the next step is to add the plants you have selected.
The type of plants you select will be dependent on whether your garden will be an indoor or outdoor garden and the geographic area where you live. All plants, regardless of whether they are used in an indoor or outdoor container garden, should be small in scale.
A good source for purchasing such plants is Micky’s Minis at www.mickyminis.org / 1-800-753-6464.

a  fairy garden

a fairy garden

Personally I tend to use miniature succulents in the garden I create because they do not require a lot of attention, but if you have a “green thumb”, there are many miniature plants you can choose from.
However, an important consideration in selecting your plants is to purchase varieties that require the same amount of sun and water.
Plants that have tiny leaves and plants that have a tree-like shape fit particularly well in fairy gardens.

And remember-Fairies love to hide, so place several plants in your garden, particularly in the corners!

More info on Fairy Gardens every Friday in February- Thanks Patti! ~GJ
Fairy Gardens part 1

Categories: Whimiscal Gardens


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February Friday Fairy Gardens

how to make a fairy garden

plants and power tools, gotta love it

As a child I vividly remember watching one evening as the fairies danced and played on top of the tall grasses in the fields near our house.

I have no idea where the memory comes from- a dream perhaps, or a book- but the memory remains.

how to build a fairy garden

seeds for planting and for decorating

So when I heard about ‘Fairy Gardens’ recently I was immediately intrigued.
The folklore goes that if a Fairy takes up residence in your garden, your plants will benefit.
So- how do you attract a Fairy or two?

Simple- give them a place to live.

So this is my first Fairy House.
Over the remaining Fridays this month you’ll learn more about Fairy Gardens from a few guest authors.

fairy gourd house

a nice thatched roof and windows for a little light

Oh- but hold the phone!
This is First Friday- which means a give-away.

building a fairy gourd

oh I see she's been collecting marbles

How abut a few plants-or perhaps some furniture?
Better yet- a surprise!

fairy gourd garden

ooops- she's missed a few

Just leave a comment here. If it’s your first time, I’ll just need to approve it before it shows up.
I’ll let the online randomizer choose two names on Monday- and they will each receive a package to help them get going on a Fairy Garden of their own.

Fairies in the garden? Oh yeah, I’ve seen them.

Making Gourd Bowls and Planters
Wake Up! with guest Jayne Locas

NOTE 2/6/12Thank you all for your comments and for stopping by the blog! Through the use of Random.org’s online randomizer, the first 2 names to come up were Trish and Tom.
Remember every First Friday there will be a chance to win something gardening related!

Categories: Garden Projects, Gardening People, Places & Things, Keeping up with the Joneses, Odds & Ends, Whimiscal Gardens



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