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.
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).
Emerald green glass boulder made from recycled glass (sold in landscape center)
Stones and pebbles
Small glass container (to hide mist pump)
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.
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?
Thank you Tina for your nice comment. I’ll take a look at your Pinterest page.
You sound like a crafty person and I look forward to seeing your creations~
Hi Shirley, I really enjoy watching you on Home & Family and decided to check out your website today for the first time. Your "Emerald Isle" garden has given me so much inspiration and I'm looking forward to creating one for my husband and me since we're unable to go to Ireland. Just this weekend I finished a fairy garden and I enjoyed it so much that I want to do more and now, thanks to you, you've given me more inspiration. I tried to attach a copy of my fairy garden to this email, but was unable to do so. If you'd like to see it, I will add it to my Pinterest page, under Garden Inspiration. My pinterest page is TMFlanigan. Thanks Shirley for being such a pleasure to watch and I'm looking forward to learning much more from you (learned all about coconuts from you today…amazing! Tina