Friday, July 23, 2010

Garden Inspiration

Even for a garden in miniature
 But for me, it's not only in the traditional sense but also because I have a love of miniatures. In the cold non-gardening months of winter, I can still be found in the garden, only it's gardens that are 1:12 inch in scale...I am a miniaturist gardener. In the course of building dollhouses and roomboxes I discovered I could combine my love of miniatures and gardening into miniature gardens.
The following will show how I take what I have seen in real gardens and transform the inspiration into a miniature garden.

 This garden is two feet square and combines inspiration from several gardens I have been to in England... primarily Broughton Castle in Oxford and
Sissinghurst Castle in Kent.

Perhaps one of my most favorite, the gardens at Broughton Castle in Oxford have been used in many movies and unlike mine, they even have a mote. The walled garden and the doorway of my garden were what first inspired me to attempt a garden this took a year to make...3000 hand-laid bricks and thousands of flowers, each individually handmade. Each of the little roses cascading over the walls has at least 32 petals...if I kept track of my hours, I probably wouldn't do this...
somethings are best not known.

Though the detailing is totally different, the inspiration for the shape and position of the doorway is obvious...even the yellow plant on the left in the doorway.

However instead of building a moat and sheep for the view through the doorway, I thought it more practical and more interesting to have the beautiful perspective offered by the pergola at West Dean Gardens in England.

The inspiration for the espaliered pear on the back wall of my garden came from the one I saw at Wisley which is the garden of the Royal Horticultural Society of England. Mine is obviously not as well established but it does have more fruit than the one at Wisley.

I fell in love with this little rebar window within a walled garden at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent and used the idea for a window in mine to add more interest. You might note the little bird's nest on the sill of the window, to the left.

The scene through the window was taken from this picture of a pathway at Merriments Gardens in England.

 The pathways at Sissinghurst have had a profound affect on me, in addition to my own homes pathways been fashioned after them, I used the same idea on my miniature pathway.

Nearly ten years after first spotting this charming use of an old sink set on bricks at Sissinghurst Castle I used the idea to create a little focal point for my garden.

Beautiful gardens don't maintain themselves, nor do miniature ones, it's takes hard work and that usually means pulling weeds, well maybe not so much in a miniature garden...I happened across this wheelbarrow at Sissinghurst Castle, not something you'd expect to see and thought it a delightful touch of reality in my own.

It was love at first sight when I spotted this scullery or pantry at the B&B I was staying at in Peasemarsh in the south of England. I knew the minute I saw it I had to make a replica in miniature and took lots of pictures for reference. I have always loved a good pantry.

And for the scene through the window I selected this beautiful area at Merriments in England...there's a inch gap between the window pane and the picture with lights overhead to create that feeling of outdoors.

This coming winter I will be back in the basement working on another I always say, if you can't find me, I'm in the garden....even in the winter.


  1. Cathy, These are amazing photographs and provide inspiration and motivation to go beyond the ordinary! Your gardens are amazing. Who does the photography and what kind of a camera do you use?

  2. Thanks for the comment Linda, all the garden photography is mine. My miniatures are professionally shot by Jon Van Gorder of Van Gorder Photography of Fairfield. As for my camera, it's actually an ancient (in digital terms) Olympus that I've had for at least ten years or more.