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End View of "Jennett's Shabby Chic Retreat" by Janet M. Oliver
Miniature Garden Displays from the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show
The photos in this slide gallery are all miniature gardens from the 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show. Click on them for enlargements if you wish (click twice for full size). Some are living gardens in tiny containers, others are dollhouse scale garden settings. As you go through the 13 views that follow, think of ways you can use these ideas for fairy gardens, simple vignettes, or quick container gardens to brighten someone's day.
To view more photos from the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show, check out these galleries:
- Quarter Scale Houses From the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show
- Halloween Displays from the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show
- Roomboxes from the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show
- Mary Houses From the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show
Janet M. Oliver's " Jennett's Shabby Chic Retreat"
The lovely vignette featured in the photo on this page combines a sort of chintz and roses effect in a simple shed out building. The lighting adds to the ambiance making the entire scene appear cosy, but still linked to the outdoors. The weathered half door and the balcony railing give this scratch built miniature the aura of a complete building as well as a covered back porch. I really like this treatment which reminds me of many old garages and hen coops which have been converted to private garden retreats.
For more inspiration for porch type gardens, see the gallery of front porch settings from the Small Endeavours Miniature ClubContinue to 2 of 13 below.
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Front View of Jennett's Shabby Chic RetreatJanet M. Oliver has done a masterful job of subtle weathering on this simple porch / garden room. Take not of the carefully weathered shingles, as well as the lovely aged patina finish on the porch railings. The display isn't large, but she manages to fit in a comfortable, very feminine aged rose color scheme, highlighted with touches of blue that draw attention to both the hydrangeas and the tiny birds. The fireplace on the end is a great touch, allowing a more formal atmosphere to the room, while allowing for a great collection of mantlepiece miniatures. The trellis wall is a great backdrop which although open, stops your eye at the artwork.Continue to 3 of 13 below.
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Detail of Jennett's Shabby Chic Retreat
Here in a closer view you can see more of the lovely weather detail Janet has added to her garden retreat. From the edges of the wall posts and rafters to the ornate frames above the mantle, all the surfaces have a great patina.
I don't know how Janet achieved the effects in her miniature, but I like to use chalk paint and dark furniture wax or shoe polish, as well as a glass fiber contact cleaning brush to get these types of finishes quickly and to scale.
Another thing to note about the miniature is the careful attention to 'period' which conveys so much of the atmosphere. All the items appear to belong to a time in the past when added details were important. No hard modern edges here!Continue to 4 of 13 below.
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Front View Into "Garden Shed" by Dolly Wyttenberg
This is a lovely use of a small Wardian case as a garden related miniature display. The "birdhouse" pickets used to unify all the furnishings are a fun detail which can be finished in many ways to adjust a color scheme. The corner shelving on one end is a great balance to the reading bench and table on the other, with space between for a lot of items on a potting bench.Continue to 5 of 13 below.
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Back View Into "Garden Shed" By Dolly WyttenbergThe back view into Dolly Wyttenberg's "Garden Shed" gives a better view of some of the layout of the furnishings. There is still lots of great display space for use as this collection grows, and the view lines have been carefully thought out to allow peeks at various activities, while screening some details from particular angles to make them more interesting.Continue to 6 of 13 below.
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Chillin On The Patio by Barbara TynonGreat use of vertical space here in this small garden display by Barbara Tynon. Although the lantern has restricted 'floor' space she has used the walls and height to great advantage to suggest all the main elements of a protected patio garden. The circular tables play well off the lovely round hanging planters, and are echoed again in the detail of the arbour whose back is clearly visible to relate the shapes. The wine and table mat play off the color of the floor tiles for some interesting contrast with the exterior lantern finish.
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Interior View of "Chillin On the Patio" by Barbara TynonWith this interior shot you can see the great use of varied heights and greenery textures that have been combined in this small 1:12 scale display. Your eye can move easily around to examine everything. Some items are hidden from this view. There is a lovely piece of 'stained glass' on one exterior wall that acts as a 'privacy screen' for the seating area. It is wonderful to see so many different layers of space used for display in this way.Continue to 8 of 13 below.
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Simple Fairy Garden in a Dish by Janit Calvo
Janit Calvo gives miniaturist's lots of ways to create tiny living gardens, and this simple fairy garden in a dish is a masterful example of how easy the process can be. Look at how she has played off the color of the dish with the birdhouse, the details on the fairy's wings, and the centers of the polyanthus flowers. This is a dish garden, with two small plantings in pots, and a few accessories. Not a lot of garden experience necessary to keep this going (or swap out the plants). For more of Janit's work, check out the other Seattle Dollhouse Show Galleries or better yet, explore her excellent book Gardening in Miniature.
The photo on the next page shows the full view of the dish garden from the other side.Continue to 9 of 13 below.
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Full View of Janit Calvo's Fairy Garden in a Dish
Here's the full view of Janit Calvo's fairy garden in a dish. A nicely potted polyanthus, and a few cuttings of sedum in a tiny similar styled pot are set into a 'landscape' of pebbles, driftwood and reindeer moss. A cute vignette and easy to maintain. Who said miniature gardens were difficult!Continue to 10 of 13 below.
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Tiny Park Setting In a Champagne GlassHere's another extremely simple yet very clever miniature garden by Janit Calvo. A single miniature evergreen "planted' in a champagne glass with a scale miniature bench and dog is enough to suggest a park. The plant can stay until it is large enough to need a larger root space, but in the meantime, imagine how many compliments this tiny garden will get.Continue to 11 of 13 below.
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Tiny Beach Scene in a Candleholder
You can't get much simpler than this garden container. A holder for a pillar candle (or candy dish) on a footed base with an interesting arrangement of pebbles and a small cutting or tropical plant. The tiny bird bath creates a sense of scale, but you could leave this setting without dollhouse miniatures and it would still be charming.
The gravel helps to 'mulch' plants grown in small containers, keeping the soil evenly moist. In containers like this one without drainage you will need to choose and water your plants carefully. If you have trouble finding small scale gravel for a miniature garden scene, look for aquarium gravel, budgie grit, or model railroad ballast.Continue to 12 of 13 below.
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Miniature Patio Garden in a Terrarium BowlInteresting shapes for contrast and a suggestion of a patio are all it takes to turn a single succulent in a terrarium bowl into a miniature garden. Janit has added interest and contrast via the stones and wood, but it is the patio 'pavers' which draw the eye and give the garden effect to this small planted container.Continue to 13 of 13 below.
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"Vacation on a Budget" by Janit CalvoThis is a great way to have your begonia cuttings do double duty while they root and expand! Vacation on a budget has all the things that suggest a seaside resort. A nice Chippendale whorling squares bench, a life ring, gazing ball, driftwood, shells and a casually laid down beach hat all add to the effect of a luxury vacation, albeit one for the innovative "staycationer" with limited garden space. Imagination is the key here!