“Good things come in small packages,” as my grandma Budgen used to say—and with this thought I launch into the realm of diminutive gardening.
There is something comforting about micro-horticulture. Perhaps as a counterpoint to a trend during the past century in North American agriculture I am seeing a growing interest in small-scale gardens. This could be attributed to the density of urban life, but I also sense a desire among a new generation of gardeners to be realistic about what can be grown effectively in limited space without compromising the health of our biosphere.
Traditionally, “living big” has been the dangled-carrot to many of us horses; the perceived ideal that was being drilled into our collective psyche by mainstream media, advertising and peer pressure. When it comes to size, cars, farms, subdivisions, stores, houses, you-name-it, have all reached levels of absurdity that my grandmother could never have imagined. Unfortunately the message is still out there…but many are bucking the trend with some very clever ideas.
Studies indicate that in urban centers across the country people are getting into little plants. Not just bonsai; but small potted specimens both inside the house and outdoors. Popular players in the vegetable kingdom are bromeliads, mosses, succulents, cacti, and herbs. In the animal kingdom one might draw a parallel with the increase in popularity of small-breed dogs like Chihuahuas and Pugs…or not. Other miniature subjects are terrariums, wall-pockets, and dwarf (determinate) tomatoes.
Each of us at BHN has our own mini-specialty. Some collect miniature orchids, some work with bonsai, some grow potted berries. I like the idea of a tiny, simple water garden in the form of a small shallow pot topped with duckweed by my front door. A collection of sedums or sempervivums? Repurposed footwear as planting media? Whatever they are, we’d like to hear about, and see pictures of your little ones.