Posts in "Miniature and Fairy Gardens"

Miniature Garden: Emerald Isle, Mossy, Misty Irish Landscape


My latest miniature garden is titled, "Emerald Isle," inspired by the misty, mossy, verdant landscape of Ireland.

I created this tabletop-sized landscape for the "Home and Family" show, Hallmark channel's popular daytime home and garden talk show.

The Hallmark channel is all about the holidays, and with Saint Patrick's Day around the corner, I was in the mood to do some interpretive gardening!


Shirley Bovshow demonstrates how to plant moss, with Cristina Ferrare and Mark Steines on Home & Family show.


Selecting Plants For My Miniature Garden

I've never been to Ireland but I've seen lots of photos of the rolling, pastoral hills covered in a thick, persistent fog.

These dense, wet clouds and vapor trickle over Ireland, perpetuating colonies of diverse moss fields.

I turned to Moss Acres, a nursery that specializes in growing moss for the landscape architects, designers, contractors and gardeners for my plants.


Did you know that there are over 12,000 recognized species of moss, a plant in the Bryophyta family?

Moss Acres not only supplied the moss for my TV segment, they also sent me a couple of "Mist Makers" to create the foggy effect in my container garden!



I chose only four varieties of moss to showcase in my Emerald Isle miniature garden.


Moss Varieties



Sheet Moss (Hypnum imponens)– a flat, creeping moss gaining popularity as a lawn replacement plant.



Cushion Moss (Leucobryum)- a light-green, plump and cushy moss.



Rock Cap Moss- (Dicranum) a dense, medium green moss that grows on top of rocks with little or no soil.



Reindeer Moss-(cladonia) a lichen plant that reindeers eat to keep warm.


Mosses are peculiar plants.

Mosses have no roots or flowers and stay relatively small throughout their life.

Mosses are true survivors of the plant world.

Once established in a shady spot with regular water, mosses will respond to freezing temperatures or drought in the same way.

Mosses go to sleep in order to survive extreme temperatures and conditions.

They are brought out of their dormancy by watering and then growth begins again.



Other Materials Needed To Make This Garden

Container or pot saucer (I used pot saucer on the show and in the example above).


Gravel (use a small layer for drainage when planting in saucer).

Potting soil




Emerald green glass boulder made from recycled glass (sold  in landscape center)

Stones and pebbles

Small glass container (to hide mist pump)


mist maker pump for miniature gardens and moss plants

Mister Maker machine (small)

Fairy or St. Patrick’s figurines for holiday theme

Spray bottle with distilled water to water the moss



1. Set your glass boulder in middle of planter as a focal point.



2. Make a hole to bury your glass container where mist pump will be placed, leaving 1/2 an inch lip over the soil level.

3. Insert Mister Maker pump into glass container and add water, cover with plastic to keep soil out.

4. Plant mosses, using different types to create a natural effect.

5. Add small stones and cover with sheet moss to create raised, undulating hills.

6. Plant small fern or other plants


Detail with St. Patrick's Day or fairy garden decor.

Switch on mister and enjoy the show!




Watch the video of my garden segment on Home & Family Show.


Miniature Garden: Emerald Isle Photo Gallery


Tabletop miniature garden of the Irish landscape.



I bought a glass lampstand at Pier One Imports and used it as a lighthouse for my miniature garden.




Close up of "bucket of gold at the end of the rainbow."



I designed the rainbow using bent floral wire and sheer rainbow ribbon which I used a gluegun to attach it with.



The Irish landscape in miniature form includes lots of stone and moss plants to look authentic!



Assorted mosses, stone and Oxalis, a clover plant.


Alternative design:


Here's an Emerald Isle Miniature Garden I designed in a ceramic container!


Want to see some more miniature and fairy gardens I've designed?


Miniature Rose Garden With Repurposed Glass Bottle Arbor

Liquor-bottle-arbor-for-roses-mini-garden-for valentines shirley-bovshow

I designed a miniature rose garden featuring repurposed glass bottles which I made into an arbor just in time for Valentines Day!

Don't ask me where I get my wild ideas, I just get them.

I have a collection of gorgeous liquor or "spirit" bottles that I picked up in an alley behind a bar in Sherman Oaks, California a couple of years ago.

It's been my intention to use these beautifully shaped bottles in my garden designs, and I finally used a couple of them.

If you watch my gardening segments on the Home & Family show on the Hallmark channel, you might be visiting my blog, EdenMakers, to read more information or to see more photos of the miniature rose garden I presented on the show.

You've come to the right place!





Take a look at my "Glass Bottle Arbor and Rose Mini Garden" from start to finish with a little video thrown in!


Video, "Shirley Bovshow's Mini Rose Garden on Home and Family Show"



Miniature roses in 4 or 5"-inch container
Sweet Alyssum in multi pack size
potting soil
Urn or container 5-gallon size is ideal
Fill your container up to 1-inch shy of the rim with well draining potting soil
 Remove all labels from bottle and wash inside and out before using in your container garden.
22-gauge florist wire to wrap around bottle
2- bottles (nicely shaped)
2-wine corks
1-Covered wire stem (to make top of arbor)
Sharp scissors
1-heart-shaped cookie cutter
1-package of red "sparkle glass"
Package of small white pebbles
pantyhose discards



1. Select two identical bottles, wash inside and out, remove labels.
2. Starting at the bottom of the bottle, wrap 22-gauge florist wire around the base and extend to neck of bottle.
    Twist wire to other side of bottle neck and extend downward to bottom of bottle.
    Cut wire and tighten ends together.
3. Wrap floral wire horizontally around the bottle to create a "trellis" grid for the roses to be attached to.
    Wrap at least 3 horizontal wires.
4. Drill a small hole on top of wine corks with end of scissors or small nail.
    (This will make inserting the wire for the "arbor top" easier).
5. Twist a couple of covered wire stems together and shape into a small arch.
6. Insert the two bottles into the potting soil, burying approximately, 1/2 – 1"-inch of the bottom of the bottle.
    Make sure the two are at the same level and directly across each other.
7. Insert the wine corks into the bottles and join the two bottles by inserting bent covered wire into each of the corks.
    This is the top of your arbor.
pink-mini-rose-growing-on-mini-arbor-perfect for Valentines edenmakers
8. Plant your roses on each side of the bottle and attach stems to the grid using small pieces of pre-bent wire.
9. Plant sweet alyssum along edges of your container.
10.Cover the soil with old pantyhose or landscaping material so that the topping won't sink into the soil after watering.
     Top with white pebbles.
Miniature rose garden floor covered with white pebbles
11. Insert the heart-shaped cookie cutter into the pebbles and top with red sparkle glass.
12. Cover the bare soil near the plants with sphagnum moss
close-up-bottle-rose-mini garden
13. Hang a small crystal pendant from arbor.
14. Place a small bench in your garden.
Water lightly and place indoors near sunny window or outside in covered patio in bright spot.
After roses fade, plant them in your yard in a sunny location that get six hours of full sun each day.
Liquor-bottle-arbor-for-roses-mini-garden-for valentines shirley-bovshow
1. Water your miniature rose garden when the soil feels dry to the touch.
2. Remove old flowers once they are spent to keep the garden looking fresh
3. As rose plants grows, you can re-pot each rose in it's own container or plant outdoors in the garden as weather permits.


Contrary to popular practice, you don't have to throw away your supermarket miniature rose when it stops blooming.
These roses are just as strong as their full sized counterparts.
Many miniature roses will grow up to 2-3'-feet tall when planted in the ground and are ideal for small spaced gardens.
Plant your miniature rose outdoors in the spring after all threat of frost is over in a location that receives at least 6 hours of full sun.
Water, fertilize as often as you would your full size roses.

More Miniature and Fairy Gardens by Shirley Bovshow

I've created a number of miniature and fairy gardens throughout the years.

Here are some links to other blog posts as well as videos of my projects.



Fairy Gardening: Miniature Garden Ideas

Miniature Rose Garden: Container Idea

Butterdish Terrarium by Shirley Bovshow


Videos on Miniature and Fairy Gardening with Shirley Bovshow


"How to Make Your First Fairy Garden and Miniature Garden"


"Make a Mini Garden With Sun Parasol Garden Crimson Mandevilla"

Do you have any questions about miniature or fairy gardens that I can answer?

Subscribe to EdenMakers and learn how to create Paradise at home with Shirley!


Fairy Gardening: Miniature Garden Ideas

Miniature-Garden-Village-Shirley-Bovshow with two buildings- one is candy store and next door is the dentist

Fairy gardening, as well as miniature gardening has opened up a new world of creativity for me as a landscape designer!

Although I've  created miniature container gardens for many years, I've never had so many people request them as they do now.

Fairy and miniature gardens are a huge TREND!

What a wonderful way to dive into the wonderful world of plants, especially small plants.



Shirley Bovshow presents "Fairy Gardening" on the Home & Family Show!

I shared some of my fairy garden designs on the Home & Family show, (Hallmark channel) today  I'm posting photos for a closer view.


Miniature and Fairy Gardens

My mini gardens are full landscapes scaled down to a container!

The best part of fairy and miniature gardens is that you can tell a "story" by mixing in props with your plants.

A mini garden can look like a "real" landscape with walkways, arches, statues, houses and stone walls.

The most memorable mini gardens are "themed" with interesting characters and settings that making them conversation starters.


Ceramic-cookie-jar-house-for-miniature-landscape by Shirley Bovshow


I mixed accessories bought at a specialty store, such as Wholesale Fairy Gardens, and materials that I have at home.

Think outside the box for accessories- use your kid's toys, a ceramic cookie jar, anything that won't be damaged by water.



Shirley's Miniature and Fairy Gardens Before and After

Many of my miniature gardens feature materials destined for the trash that I upcycle into planters and accessories.


Before: Broken Clay Garden Finial

This Broken-finial- is recycled- as a garden-planter-edenmakersblog

I never cry over broken garden accessories, including this adorable finial that split in two!

From it, I was able to create two new planters for miniature gardens.


AFTER: Miniature Garden with Succulent Cuttings

Broken-finial-made into miniature-garden-featuring succulent-cuttings by Shirley Bovshow  www.edenmakersblog

The top part of the finial is now a petite planter for succulent cuttings.

Everything about this garden is free, including the shell that props up the planter on one side!

Do you see it?


AFTER: Miniature Garden: "Fairy Sitting on Swing"

Broken-finial-upcycled as miniature-garden-planter-for fairy sitting on a -swing

The large section of the broken finial is now a whimsical miniature garden planter with staked ceramic fairy swing and fairy from Wholesale Fairy Gardens.

The swing support is made from parts of a plastic plant hanger that were clipped at the top and adorned with a sign that reads, "Believe."

Do you "BELIEVE?"


After: Close up of Miniature Fairy Garden with Swing

fairy-sitting-on-swing- in a miniature-garden-by Shirley Bovshow-edenmakersblog

Hanging a swing from a planter that offers nothing to hang from took some ingenuity.

I was able to create a "tepee" support system by cutting off parts of a plastic plant hanger and crossing them at the top.


Before- Wood Crate Turned Miniature Garden Planter

wood-crate-was up-cycled- as a planter- by shirley bovshow-edenmakersblog

We received glassware as a  Christmas gift that was boxed in this rustic wood shipping crate.

I knew the moment I laid eyes on the wood crate that it was destined to be a wood planter!


Before- Broken Hanging Candle Lantern

broken-garden hanging candle lantern recycled as a miniature garden glass house by shirley

Wait till you see what I did with this broken hanging lantern!


After- Rustic Painted Wood Planter and "Glass House" for Miniature Garden

beach themed miniature-garden with upcycled painted wood crate made into a planter by shirley bovshow www.edenmakersblogjpg

This is one of the mini gardens I presented on the "Home and Family" show.


The theme of this garden is "Motherhood." 

"A cautious mother-bird keeps watch over her eggs as a cat, sitting on a chair, waits for an opportunity."


I'm not expecting this wood planter to last forever, water will slowly cause it to decompose.

I drilled holes at the bottom of the crate for drainage and then painted the wood in two colors, brown with sage green trim.

Perfection was not necessary.


There's another recycled material in this miniature garden.

Notice the "glass house" where the little bird is sitting with her eggs?

That used to be a hanging candle lantern.

It's filled with moss, ceramic eggs, a bird figure, and a succulent plant that spills from inside!


I Use Plant Cuttings To Save Money!

All the plants in this miniature garden are cuttings from containers.

I spent no money to make this.

I had all the materials at home!

The mini pond and chair were given to me.

You can do the same.

Start looking around!


Before- $4 Dollar Plastic Cement-Mixing Trough 

plastic-cement-mixing-trough-upcycled and painted into a garden-planter-edenmakersblog


I would never use an ugly plastic container like this one, "as is!"

Plastic is challenging to paint, so I used a primer called "Bin" as a base coat so that the paint adheres to the plastic. 

I also drilled holes for drainage and then painted with acrylic paints in brown and sage green.

The large opening makes this an ideal "tabletop" size to create a larger miniature garden like the "Good Neighbor" themed garden I made with it.


Miniature Garden Houses- Two Sources

Ceramic-cookie-jar-house-for-miniature-landscape by Shirley Bovshow


I had a pretty cookie jar that I bought at a garage sale for $1 dollar that matched the size of an "official" miniature garden house.

Putting them together was a natural.


The cookie jar read, "The Old Sweet Shop" so I made a sign for the other house that read "Ye Old Dentist."

The name of this miniature garden is "Good Neighbors!"

Take a look at the details including miniature hardscape and layout.


After- Large, Wide Planter for a Miniature Garden "Village!"

Miniature garden planter was a plastic cement mixing trough that was painted and converted into a planter for a miniature english village garden by Shirley Bovshow

The paint is rustic but effective!


Infuse a little humor into your mini gardens.

"Good Neighbors" theme is funny when one house is a candy store and the other is the dentist office!


Fairy Garden Sphere- Where Fairies Live!


This is the fairy garden orb I made on the Home and Family Show.

A moss-clad, grapevine orb is an ideal "fairy hideout!"

Cascading wire vine softens the edges of the planter and artistic stepping stones lead to the hideout.


Succulent Roof, Edible Miniature Garden

Edible Miniature Fairy Garden with-Succulent Roof by shirley Bovshow

Many of the plants in this garden are edible including the Swiss chard, chives, oregano and pansies!

The succulent on the roof are cuttings from my garden.


Fairy-kneeling-in-fairy-garden overlooking sedum lawn, stone path and succulent roof house. Shirley Bovshow

Fairy garden close up.

Fairy oversees the garden perched on a stone wall above the golden sedum lawn, stone walkway and succulent roof house!


Miniature garden tools and wheel barrel adorn a succulent-fairy-garden by shirley bovshow

The wheel barrel and small garden tools lets the onlooker know that this fairy is a gardener!


I hope you enjoyed some of my fairy and miniature garden  design designs.

If you want to see  step by step video instructions for making a fairy garden, watch my video from the "Way to Grow" series on Youtube.

"Make Your First Fairy Garden and Miniature Garden"




Can I answer any questions for you?


Miniature Rose Garden: Container Idea



What do you do with those cute miniature roses that you buy at the supermarket as a "last minute gift?"

Glam it up and use it as a "climbing rose" trained over an arbor in a miniature rose garden!



Miniature roses are ideal miniature garden plants because they are compact, bloom when small sized and can be used in a variety of ways!

















Take miniature roses out of their pots and make them the star of a container "miniature rose garden!"


When you add a miniature arbor, the rose becomes a"climbing rose" and some carefully selected herbs can stand in for trees, shrubs and even grass!

It's an easy project- I put it together on NBC's "iVillage Live" show in less than 5 minutes.


It's a great idea for using a common and affordable plant to make a unique and special gift that looks expensive!


Materials Needed

  • 1 lightweight container


  • Potting soil


  • 4- inch miniature rose plant


  • 1 miniature metal or wood arbor (check your nursery or crafts store)


  • 1 each- miniature metal bench, mini wheel barrel, mini garden tools, mini picket fence, mini birdbath and a few pieces of flagstone shards


  • Decorative moss




Note: Miniature garden decor weathers best if made of metal, resin and or treated wood.

Miniature gardening or "Fairy Gardening" is on the list of growing gardening trends these days.

You can find miniature decor, tools and accessories at the following sites.


Fairy Garden Decor and Accessory Sources

Wholesale Fairy Gardens, Patti Kuhlman's store

Fairy Gardening Emily Sorenson, nursery owners site

Two Green Thumbs Janit Calvo, mini garden designers site



Steps For Creating a Miniature Rose Garden


Fill a container with potting soil



Insert the arbor and plant the mini rose against it.




Tie the rose to the arbor sturdy ties and trim away extra stems so that it has a slim profile.



For your patio floor:



Add a few small pieces of flagstone on top of a piece of landscape fabric or weed cloth to keep the stones from sinking into the soil.




Place your garden bench




Add your wheel barrel and mini tools




Place the picket fence around back of the pot and add your birdbath!




Add some decorative moss and you are done!


Plants for Miniature Gardens:

  • Use Irish moss, baby tears , sedum, or any low growing ground cover to simulate a lawn.


  • If you have a larger planter, add small-leaf herbs such as oregano or thyme and prune them as "shrubs" in the landscape.


  • Topiary rosemary or compact Myrtus can be pruned and used as miniature "trees" in the miniature garden.


  • Herbs are great for the miniature garden because they are regularly trimmed for use in cooking and are natural plants to keep compact.


  • Floors: Use fine gravel, decomposed granite,fine redwood mulch, sand, small flagstone pieces, tumbled glass



Mini herb garden with Rosemary topiary as "trees," oregano and chives as "shrubs!"


Need some more inspiration?

Watch this miniature garden featuring the Sun Parasol "Garden Crimson" Mandevilla– a new variety that blooms while small, in a four-inch container!


*See more garden projects, before and after landscape photos and the latest in garden design with regular visits to Shirley Bovshow's EdenMakers Blog!