Miniature Gardens From the Seattle 2014 Dollhouse Show

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    End View of "Jennett's Shabby Chic Retreat" by Janet M. Oliver

    End view of a shabby chic garden shed in 1:12 scale by Janet M. Oliver
    End view of "Jennett's Shabby Chic Retreat" exhibited by Janet M. Oliver at the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Miniature Show. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    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:

    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 Club

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  • 02 of 13

    Front View of Jennett's Shabby Chic Retreat

    Jennett's Shabby Chic Retreat miniature garden building in 1:12 Scale by Janet M. Oliver
    Front View of a garden retreat "Jennett's Shabby Chic Retreat" in 1:12 scale, exhibited by Janet M. Oliver at the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd
    Janet 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.

     

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  • 03 of 13

    Detail of Jennett's Shabby Chic Retreat

    View into the interior of a 1:12 scale garden retreat by Janet M. Oliver.
    Glimpse into the interior of Jennett's Shabby Chic Retreat by Janet M. Oliver, exhibited at the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    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!

     

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  • 04 of 13

    Front View Into "Garden Shed" by Dolly Wyttenberg

    Front view into "Garden Shed" by Dolly Wyttenbberg showing patio furniture and garden equipment.
    Front view into "Garden Shed" a patio/ garden scene in a Wardian case exhibited by Dolly Wyttenberg at the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    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.

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  • 05 of 13

    Back View Into "Garden Shed" By Dolly Wyttenberg

    Back view into "Garden Shed" a dollhouse garden patio set into a wardian case
    Back View of "Garden Shed" dollhouse scale vignette in a Wardian Case, exhibited by Dolly Wyttenberg at the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd
    The 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.

     

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  • 06 of 13

    Chillin On The Patio by Barbara Tynon

    View of a dollhouse patio scene by Barbara Tynon constructed inside an ornamental garden lantern.
    Dollhouse scale patio vignette in a garden lantern exhibited by Barbara Tynon at the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd
    Great 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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  • 07 of 13

    Interior View of "Chillin On the Patio" by Barbara Tynon

    Interior view of Barbara Tynon's dollhouse scale patio vignette in a garden lantern.
    Interior view of "Chillin on the Patio" vignette exhibited by Barbara Tynon at the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Miniature Show. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd
    With 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.

     

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  • 08 of 13

    Simple Fairy Garden in a Dish by Janit Calvo

    Dish garden with polyanthus and matching fairy by Janit Calvo of Two Green Thumbs
    Dish Garden with Fairy and Polyanthus exhibited by Janit Calvo of Two Green Thumbs at the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Miniature Show. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    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.

     

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  • 09 of 13

    Full View of Janit Calvo's Fairy Garden in a Dish

    Dish Garden with Polyanthus exhibited by Janit Calvo at the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show
    Dish Garden with Polyanthus exhibited by Janit Calvo of Two Green Thumbs at the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

     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!

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  • 10 of 13

    Tiny Park Setting In a Champagne Glass

    Tiny park garden vignette in a champagne glass by Janit Calvo of Two Green Thumbs
    Tiny park vignette in a Champagne glass exhibited by Janit Calvo of Two Green Thumbsat the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd
    Here'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.

     

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  • 11 of 13

    Tiny Beach Scene in a Candleholder

    Tiny beach terrarium with a small indoor tropical plant and a piece of driftwood set in pebbles.
    Simple beach scene miniature garden in a small glass vase, exhibited by Janit Calvo of Two Green Thumbs at the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd

    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.

     

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  • 12 of 13

    Miniature Patio Garden in a Terrarium Bowl

    Tiny patio garden in a glass terrarium ball by Janit Calvo of Two Green Thumbs
    Tiny patio in a glass terrarium by Janit Calvo of Two Green Thumbs, exhibited at the Spring 2014 Seattle Dollhouse Show. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd
    Interesting 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.

     

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  • 13 of 13

    "Vacation on a Budget" by Janit Calvo

    Miniature garden "vacation on a budget" by Janit Cslvo
    Vacation on a Budget exhibited by Janit Calvo of Two Green Thumbs. Photo © 2014 Lesley Shepherd
    This 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!