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Create Your Very Own Miniature Garden Patio

What gardening trend is hotter than vertical garden, succulents, and edible landscapes? Miniature gardens! You may love them or have yet to be introduced to these tiny landscapes, but after today you are going to run out and grab Miniature Gardening Guru, Janit Calvo’s, book Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World so you can sink your teeth into the mini world.

How to make a patio for your miniature garden - Step by step instructions from Gardening in Miniature author Janit Calvo

Now hold onto your floppy hats people, today Janit has joined us to share a project to make a patio in your very own miniature garden. Oh yeah, this is your lucky day. So read up, enjoy, and you can go get the book after the tutorial.

~

Create Your Very Own Miniature Garden Patio

A tiny patio area in a miniature garden is the perfect place to put a wee bench or pot, but is also helps to deliver the message to the viewer that it is a true garden in miniature. Any well-done, realistic miniature of any-kind, compels us to look closer, and quickly enchants and delights because what is supposed to be full-size, is suddenly very small – and very real. It’s this “Hey, how can that be?!” moment that creates the surprise and generates the fun. (Otherwise known as the squealies in the world of miniature gardening.)

brickbowl2

A miniature garden patio combined with a tiny bench, or any in-scale-accessory, illustrates the scale of the garden instantly to the viewer because you know how big the patio and bench are supposed to be in full-size.

In this project, you will create a permanent miniature garden patio that will not wash away by using the Mini Patio Mix Kit, from Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center. It can be used with brick, tile, marble, stone, pottery, china, seashells or even pennies and it is especially made with the miniaturist in mind with in-scale miniature sand. (Details matter in miniature. ;o) This project only takes an hour or two and it’s an excellent way to use broken pottery from Grandma’s china set, or tile pieces from your latest home renovation project.

Materials to make a mini garden patio

Before your begin to build the patio, have your1 inch to 1 1/4 inches deeper than ground level, depending on the depth of your patio material. The bottom 1/2 inch of the cleared area will be filled with dry grout mix. When the patio is done, it should be even with the surrounding ground, so adjust the cleared depth accordingly. Create the S or U shape of your garden bed from your chosen design.
Mini Garden Patio Project Step 1

Find thin wood strips at your local wood-working shop, veneer strips at your local builder’s supply store, or cut-up a plastic pot or yogurt container. You can eventually remove this border after the patio cures, if you want, but wait a few weeks for the cement to cure and harden before doing so. The border allows you to keep the patio mix from getting messed up in the soil, while you work with your design.

Border Samples for Mini Garden

Materials

  • Dry miniature patio mix, about 1 pound
  • Sand, 1/2 pound
  • Patio material, here we used marble-tile pieces
  • Border edging, 1-foot length
  • Wood skewers, 3

Tools and Supplies

  • Gloves
  • Hand clippers
  • Scissors
  • Spray bottle with a mist setting

1. Whatever border edging you’ve chosen, cut a little off the end to follow the inside curve of the pot so it is a snug fit—whether it is straight, curved, or slanted. This will keep the dry grout mix from washing into the garden bed when it is sprayed with water. Hold the cut end of the border edging where you want it on the inside of the pot. Use a skewer to help hold it in place, while bending the border against the edge of the garden bed and across to the other side, butting up against the other side of the pot. Note where you want to make the second cut with your fingers, then cut the border edging a little longer than the mark.

Mini Garden Prep

2. Put the border edging back in the pot using the skewers to help keep it in place. Take it out to shave more off the end gradually, if needed. Again, you want a snug fit against both sides of the pot and against the garden bed. Place skewers in the corners to hold the border firm. Then place a third skewer to hold the middle bend, creating a firm and level garden edge. The top of the border edging should be level with the top of the pot. Fill in with soil to help get it to the right place. Your miniature garden is now ready for its patio. Don’t water now—the soil in the patio area must be dry before moving on to the next step.

3. Top off the patio area with more dry potting soil, leaving at least 1 inch from the top of the border edge. Level the surface all around the patio area by adding more soil if needed. Tamp lightly to make sure there are no air holes in the soil. Pour sand into the contained area, about 1/4 inch deep. This sand base will buffer the dry grouting mix from the soil and roots. Smooth out the sand until even throughout the patio area. Gently push some into the corners if needed. Pour a pile of dry grouting mix into the contained area. Smooth out mix until even throughout the area. Make this layer about 1/2-inch deep.

Mini Garden Patio Project Step 2Mini Garden Patio Project Step 3

4. Lay out the patio pieces or tiles so you can see the different shapes and sizes. Get your cobblestone pebbles or your pebble sheet ready, too. If you are putting a pathway in the middle, lay this in first, then work around it with the patio stones. Think of it as a jigsaw puzzle and start with the corners first. Place them, working from one side to the other, adjusting pieces for the best fit. Stone tops should be level with each other and the pot’s edge. When laying the stones, eliminate smaller spaces as you go. If a tile fits perfectly on 2 sides but leaves a large gap on the other side, try another piece. The gaps between the stones should be consistent across the patio for a realistic look.

Mini Garden Patio Project Step 4

As you lay the pieces in, put your hand flat on top to see if they are level with each other and the garden border. Keep checking; if a stone is too low, gently lift it up, add a little sand beneath it, lay it back down, and check again.

5. When you are finished laying in all the stones, gently tamp them down with a flat piece of wood, or one of the unused tile pieces. This will level the top of each stone to create a smooth surface.

Mini Garden Patio Project Step 5

6. Gently pour a small pile of the dry patio grouting mix onto the middle of your patio, over the stones. Be careful not to pour it into the garden by using your other hand as a barrier. Then with a flat hand, smooth the mixture into the spaces, corners, and edges of the patio between stones. Carefully tap the stones to get the mixture into the cracks. Then tap the pot itself to settle the stones and the mix. Check the surface again to ensure that all stones are level with each other.

Mini Garden Patio Project Step 6

Using caution—the edges of the tile, marble, or glass pieces may be sharp—sweep off the excess with your hand or a brush and return it to the bag for future use. Take care to not disturb the stones. If some mix gets into the garden bed, clean it out later when the patio has cured awhile, so as not to upset the work already done. You can remove the skewers gently if they are not holding the border in place any longer. If your border edging still needs to be held in place, cut the skewer in half and bury it just beneath the surface. Gently firm up the soil on the plant side of the border.

Mini Garden Patio Project Step 7Mini Garden Patio Project Step 8

7. Gently mist the patio from one side to the other. Wash the stones and wet down the dry mix as you work across the patio. Stop when the water starts to pool on the surface.

Mini Garden Patio Project Step 9

8. Let your patio cure slowly. The slower it cures, the stronger it will be. If you have made your patio in a moveable container, place the pot in the shade for a couple of days so the patio won’t dry out too quickly. If your patio is in a sunny garden bed, cover it with plastic (a plastic bag is fine) and keep the plastic in place with wood skewers or rocks, for at least one day. Mist the patio often throughout first day to slow the curing process, too. Wait to brush off sand or excess mix until after the patio has cured—otherwise, the texture will be ruined and it won’t look real.

Finished Miniature Patio Garden

9. If you must water plants in the garden bed while the patio is curing, do so gently and sparingly from the back side, being careful not to get any on the patio. Your patio will set up within a few hours, but curing takes longer. Treat the area gently, keeping it damp and out of the sun for at least 24 hours. After that, add accessories to complete the scene.

Mini Garden Patio Project Step 10

Once cured, your patio is ready for accessories. You will find these in the Two Green Thumbs Shop. In fact, they have  just about everything you could ever possibly imagine for a miniature garden.

Gardening in Miniature Patio

Now go grab a copy of Janit’s book, Gardening in Miniature!

Gardening in Miniature Janit Calvo

It has everything you need to pick up this new hobby, including scaled down garden designs, techniques for creating tiny hardscapes, miniature garden care and maintenance, tips on choosing containers, how to buy the right plants, and where to find life-like accessories. Inspiring step-by-step projects feature basic skills that can be recreated in any number of designs, like a tiny patio, a trellis, a pond, and a secret garden.

  1. Christy Spurlock
    Christy SpurlockJuly 11,13

    I follow Garden Therapy on facebook

  2. Pam Bird
    Pam BirdJuly 11,13

    Pinned. Excited to find this page.

  3. Christy Spurlock
    Christy SpurlockJuly 11,13

    I pinned the post on Pinterest. http://pinterest.com/pin/234679830555545263/

  4. Gwen
    GwenJuly 11,13

    That is so cute and so easy!

  5. MJ
    MJJuly 11,13

    Love to mini garden!

  6. Laura
    LauraJuly 11,13

    A miniature patio – what a great idea!

  7. Angela
    AngelaJuly 11,13

    I have shared my gardens with everyone who comes over. The fever is catching!

  8. Yvonne
    YvonneJuly 11,13

    So adorable – would love to try a miniature garden of my own.

  9. Reba
    RebaJuly 12,13

    oh!! such a refreshing and exciting way to garden, when i would not have time to handle my larger gardens in the heat, will be looking for your book, thank you for sharing

  10. Achyhart
    AchyhartJuly 12,13

    I love this idea and posted, tweeted, AND pined for all my friends! I am not able to make a large garden now BUT I can do little ones! YEA!!! Thank you for the chance to win my very own Mini garden!

  11. Cynthia Smith
    Cynthia SmithJuly 13,13

    This is just too cute!

  12. Cynthia Smith
    Cynthia SmithJuly 13,13

    I also pinned this

  13. Allison
    AllisonJuly 14,13

    Love this idea!!! These are absolutely adorable!! I always wanted one of those mini tree gardens that you see at farmers markets, but making your own is so much better!!

  14. Ruth
    RuthJuly 15,13

    I love the miniature gardens…I pinned it for future reference and shared the post on facebook :)

  15. Debbie Cossins
    Debbie CossinsJuly 15,13

    Just now starting to make miniature gardens. Doing a lot of research. Can’t wait to get the book for more ideas!

  16. Karen Funk
    Karen FunkJuly 15,13

    Wow, what a cute idea. I am thinking of all the lovely little gardens that I can make. BTW, are you having trouble with your website. I am having a terrible time navigating it

  17. Dawn pridham
    Dawn pridhamJuly 15,13

    How adorable is that! I want one so bad! Absolutely love anything miniature! Definitely on my to do list. Thanks for the inspiration :o)

  18. Suzanne Osborne
    Suzanne OsborneJuly 16,13

    Thank you for showing how to make the miniature gardens! They are very beautiful, I am so excited to make one..!

  19. Roz Hamblin
    Roz HamblinJuly 16,13

    I can’t wait to try this!

  20. Debbie
    DebbieJuly 16,13

    This is so cute! I’ll have to check out the book too.

  21. Debbie
    DebbieJuly 16,13

    I just shared the article.

  22. Tammy
    TammyJuly 17,13

    I’m so excited to find out how to make a patio. I was so frustrated always having my stones washing out if place!

  23. Pat
    PatJuly 17,13

    This is an apartment dweller’s dream. I love it!

  24. Tammy
    TammyJuly 17,13

    Thank you for sharing these directions! I have had fun this year creating miniature gardens for my yard.

  25. Nancy Fournier
    Nancy FournierJuly 17,13

    Cute! Now I want to start to make mini gardens!

  26. Shelly McCoy
    Shelly McCoyJuly 17,13

    I love gardening but living in an apartment makes that difficult! This such an awesome idea! I have to try it!!

  27. Debbie
    DebbieJuly 17,13

    So cute! I think I’ll make a miniature garden for my outdoor table.

  28. Mary Bailey
    Mary BaileyJuly 17,13

    What a great idea!

  29. Debra
    DebraJuly 17,13

    Started collecting items for a miniature garden. So glad I found this before I started.

  30. Gidget
    GidgetJuly 17,13

    this is an excellent “fresh” idea for Christmas and craft shows.. thanks! pinned it!

  31. elizabeth
    elizabethJuly 17,13

    I love this idea and it sounds like a fun project. I pinned to book and the idea on my pinterest and I plan on following on face book! Look forward to many mini projects!

  32. Tricia
    TriciaJuly 17,13

    The live plants look like Bonsai. Do you ever add to a planted Bonsai?

  33. Tricia
    TriciaJuly 17,13

    After reading a lot here, I think this could become addicting. There’s so much to read and I have to make a plan. What fun!

  34. Ann
    AnnJuly 17,13

    Posted on Facebook

  35. Ann
    AnnJuly 17,13

    Tweeted this!

  36. Ann
    AnnJuly 17,13

    Pinned it! This is such a neat idea! LOVE it!

  37. Theresa D
    Theresa DJuly 18,13

    I love this!
    Pinned: http://pinterest.com/pin/287245282456581720/
    Tweeted: https://twitter.com/tweezlereads/status/357822582323556352
    and posted on my FB page.

  38. Denise
    DeniseJuly 18,13

    I love fairy gardens. I want to try this soon.

  39. Christine
    ChristineJuly 18,13

    This will be my weekend project – can’t wait! Thanks so much for sharing this!!

  40. Sue
    SueJuly 18,13

    So glad I found your page! My granddaughter and I are enjoying fairy gardens and hope to have a few of our own before long. Looking forward to many good ideas here!

  41. Sue
    SueJuly 18,13

    Just pinned this idea – http://pinterest.com/pin/162200024052586112/

  42. Jennifer
    JenniferJuly 18,13

    I’m really into the fairy gardens and loving this new hobby.

  43. Laura / The Shed by Pet Scribbles
    Laura / The Shed by Pet ScribblesJuly 18,13

    I’m so glad you reviewed this book, as it has been on my list. Now I definitely want to buy it! I love the mini garden you made – so adorable! Thanks for the inspiration!

  44. Laura / The Shed by Pet Scribbles
    Laura / The Shed by Pet ScribblesJuly 18,13

    I pinned this onto Pinterest. Here’s the pin: http://pinterest.com/pin/117515871500054966/

  45. Laura / The Shed by Pet Scribbles
    Laura / The Shed by Pet ScribblesJuly 18,13

    And I just shared it on my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/petscribbles/posts/10151462957003414

    Can you tell I want to win? LOL

  46. lesley
    lesleyJuly 18,13

    i pinned it: http://pinterest.com/pin/103301385175823677/

  47. lesley
    lesleyJuly 18,13

    omg……this is just the cutest thing! i am absolutely in love!

  48. Donna
    DonnaJuly 18,13

    I just stumbled upon this site and I’m so excited that I did! I can’t wait to make one (or more) ;) of these. Thanks

  49. Donna
    DonnaJuly 18,13

    I pinned this to my Pinterest Board!

  50. Donna
    DonnaJuly 18,13

    I liked you on Facebook!

  51. Liz
    LizJuly 18,13

    What fun, we just had a tutorial on fairy gardens at our garden club meeting. Thank you

  52. Kathy
    KathyJuly 18,13

    I liked you on Facebook and pined it to my pinterest boards. I love these can’t wait to make my own. Thank You

  53. Heidi
    HeidiJuly 18,13

    cute and adorable project. hope to make some soon for gifts.

  54. Melissa
    MelissaJuly 18,13

    Would love this!

  55. Dianne Redman
    Dianne RedmanJuly 19,13

    Love your book, my daughter bought it for me. (Had ordered one for myself so had to cancel it) Have started to try miniature gardening this spring, but now have a lot more information and will be making some changes.

  56. Nadine
    NadineJuly 19,13

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. I would love to win!

  57. Nancy Simmons
    Nancy SimmonsJuly 20,13

    I ordered Janit’s book and several accessories. My 10 year old granddaughter and I had a wonderful time building our fairy gardens. She’s looking forward to next summer’s visit. She wants to add another garden. I’m already researching what I want to order now from Janit’s site.

  58. kegera
    kegeraJuly 20,13

    you have been pinned!!! absolutely adore these!!!

  59. Linda
    LindaJuly 20,13

    Liked you on face book.

  60. Linda
    LindaJuly 20,13

    You have been pinned to my fairy garden pins

  61. Linda
    LindaJuly 20,13

    Now I want to have another fairy garden!

  62. JUDY PENNINTON
    JUDY PENNINTONJuly 21,13

    I LOVED IT! PINNED IT!

  63. JUDY PENNINTON
    JUDY PENNINTONJuly 21,13

    I LOVED IT! I SHARED ON FACEBOOK!

  64. Susan Jonsson
    Susan JonssonJuly 21,13

    I am planning a mini garden get together with my niece…She would adore having some tiny furniture to put in her little garden….Thanks for the chance to win!

  65. Beth Spell
    Beth SpellJuly 21,13

    I love minature gardens–so much fun to do with the grandkids.

  66. Barb
    BarbJuly 22,13

    Love this! I can see this being a wonderfully therapeutic new hobby! Can’t wait to try it!

  67. Barb
    BarbJuly 22,13

    Pinned this!

  68. Barb
    BarbJuly 22,13

    Liked this on Facebook. I have so many ideas brewing already!

  69. Barbara
    BarbaraJuly 23,13

    These are so great. Each one can tell each own story. These would make great gifts for many different occasions!! Thanks for the instructions!!

  70. agirlandajeep
    agirlandajeepJuly 23,13

    This has been pinned to my DIY board on pinterest. Loving fairy gardening. Thanks for the DIY.

  71. agirlandajeep
    agirlandajeepJuly 23,13

    shared on facebook.

  72. agirlandajeep
    agirlandajeepJuly 23,13

    Tweeted and followed you on Twitter!

  73. DogsMom
    DogsMomJuly 23,13

    I love fairy gardens and one is never enough

  74. DogsMom
    DogsMomJuly 23,13

    Shared on Fb

  75. DogsMom
    DogsMomJuly 23,13

    Pinned on my Pinterest Fairy Garden board

  76. DogsMom
    DogsMomJuly 23,13

    Tweting and fingers crossed!

  77. Emilia
    EmiliaJuly 23,13

    Adorable would love to win

  78. Polly Lower
    Polly LowerJuly 24,13

    I just love miniature gardens! My granddaughter who is 4 believes that we have fairies living in our little garden! Would love to add some miniature items to it! What a great idea!

  79. Renee
    ReneeJuly 25,13

    I love it!

  80. Donna Godfrey
    Donna GodfreyJuly 25,13

    I love this project and sure will be trying this! Thanks

  81. Donna Godfrey
    Donna GodfreyJuly 25,13

    I pinned this project on my Fairy Board

  82. Donna Godfrey
    Donna GodfreyJuly 25,13

    I shared this on FB.

  83. Phyllis Cousins
    Phyllis CousinsJuly 25,13

    How cute is this?! Would be SOOO happy to win, and be able to start a fairy garden of my own.

  84. Phyllis Cousins
    Phyllis CousinsJuly 25,13

    Shared on Facebook!

  85. Susan Brooks
    Susan BrooksJuly 25,13

    I pinned your project!

  86. Kim
    KimJuly 25,13

    Pinned and followed on Pinterest! <3

  87. Susan Brooks
    Susan BrooksJuly 25,13

    I now like you on fb

  88. Iris
    IrisJuly 25,13

    for sure I need Gardening in Miniature…!! thanks for the chance… :))

  89. Susan Brooks
    Susan BrooksJuly 25,13

    Shared on fb, thanks for the great article.

  90. Stephanie
    StephanieJuly 25,13

    Super cute–I am going to have to try this with my little girls!

  91. Stephanie
    StephanieJuly 25,13

    I shared the post on my Facebook page–so cute!

  92. Becky W.
    Becky W.July 25,13

    LOVE this!! Thanks for the instructions :)

  93. Becky W.
    Becky W.July 25,13

    Pinned it!!

  94. Becky W.
    Becky W.July 25,13

    Shared on FB :)

  95. kelly beamer
    kelly beamerJuly 25,13

    Pinned and shared any where I could!!! Love these ideas, can’t wait to get started!!!!

  96. Crystal
    CrystalJuly 25,13

    LOVE this, shared on facebook!!

  97. Telleha Cichantek
    Telleha CichantekJuly 25,13

    We live in a rental and cannot plant a garden, this is an excellent idea!!

  98. Judy
    JudyJuly 25,13

    Pinned, followed, like, shared! These instructions are great – I would love to try it.

  99. Amy Penny
    Amy PennyJuly 25,13

    Wow… love this idea… So adorable!!!

  100. janine
    janineJuly 25,13

    Love This!

  101. janine
    janineJuly 25,13

    Just Shared On My Facebook Page!

  102. Heather Speaks
    Heather SpeaksJuly 25,13

    this project would be great for my daughter…she has a dollhouse and now she can make a garden for it.

  103. Heather Speaks
    Heather SpeaksJuly 25,13

    shared on Facebook

  104. Heather Speaks
    Heather SpeaksJuly 25,13

    tweeted!

  105. Heather Speaks
    Heather SpeaksJuly 25,13

    pinned on Pinterest

  106. Patricia Cremens
    Patricia CremensJuly 25,13

    Too adorable for words. Pure fantasyland!

  107. Nicky Belanger Wilde
    Nicky Belanger WildeJuly 25,13

    I love the mini gardens!

  108. chris
    chrisJuly 26,13

    I shared it on face book will share it on my blog side wall too! I love it!!

  109. Carla
    CarlaJuly 26,13

    I love the garden. I am trying to convince my sister to join me in this hobby.

  110. Debbie May
    Debbie MayJuly 26,13

    Hi there,
    I am absolutely in love with miniature gardening. I took a class and before the week was out I had created two amazing fairy gardens for my grand-babies and I to enjoy. Thank you for your inspiration!

  111. chris
    chrisJuly 26,13

    so sorry it won’t post on my blog for some reason..

  112. Joni
    JoniJuly 26,13

    This is the best idea! I have learned so many things from your site already, love it!

  113. Joanna Ediger
    Joanna EdigerJuly 26,13

    Love Miniture gardening #gardeninginminiture

  114. Joanna Ediger
    Joanna EdigerJuly 26,13

    POsted on FB, pinned, and tweeted it. Looking forward to getting your newsletter

  115. Connie Seattle Mom Blogger
    Connie Seattle Mom BloggerJuly 26,13

    So cute! I love the easy step-by-step photos. Thanks for the fun garden project idea!

  116. Dianne Redman
    Dianne RedmanJuly 26,13

    Love your book. Have a couple of mini gardens but only have paths through them at this time. Also have a mini hosta garden after reading about them on your writings.

  117. Faye
    FayeJuly 26,13

    I’ve already purchased 3 copies of this book–2 for gifts and one for me.
    Wonderful book with lots of how-to. Would love to win one of the prizes!

  118. Carol Simmons
    Carol SimmonsJuly 26,13

    Love the book Janit! I’ve read and reread parts. Still working on the garden in my head. I want to do a garden so bad – just no time to actually get my pieces together. I want uninterrupted ME time before I begin.

    Carol

  119. bonnie melohn
    bonnie melohnJuly 26,13

    I would love to do a garden like this, and I hope to do one of these soon. I did one in a red wagon that we use to ride in when we were kids, and I want to redo it so it doesn’t look so busy. Thanks for showing these ideas out there!

  120. nelda Johnson
    nelda JohnsonJuly 26,13

    Great instructions! Thanks for the chance to win.

  121. linda
    lindaJuly 26,13

    Gotta get your book!

  122. Perla
    PerlaJuly 27,13

    I love this project! Looks easy and the results are beautiful!

  123. Nicole
    NicoleJuly 27,13

    I love this garden! So cute and looks easy to do! Might be the perfect addition for our new home! :)

  124. Nicole
    NicoleJuly 27,13

    I just shared on my BFF FB page! She just started making fairy gardens over the fall and I know she will find this one spectacular!

  125. Katherine
    KatherineJuly 27,13

    So cute! Please enter me!

  126. andrew grover
    andrew groverJuly 27,13

    adorable!

  127. andrew grover
    andrew groverJuly 27,13

    Also, glad to be able to enter and share this contest. Thank you!

  128. chie falcon
    chie falconAugust 2,13

    I love the idea

  129. cyber monday deals
    cyber monday dealsAugust 17,13

    We stumbled over here by a different website and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward
    to exploring your web page yet again.

  130. v
    vDecember 24,13

    Everyone loves what yyou guyss tend to be up too.
    This ind of clever work and exposure! Keep up the superb works guys I’ve you guys to my blogroll.

  131. Andy
    AndyApril 29,14

    What a cute garden! I shared it with our followers on Sedum Garden :) http://www.sedumgarden.net

  132. large dog bed
    large dog bedJune 28,14

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to return the prefer?.I am attempting to
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