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Taking The Mystery Out Of Scale In A Miniature Garden

By Expert Author: Linda-Ann Hinde

There before me, in all of its glory, was the first miniature garden I had ever seen. I was enchanted. Cottages, less than two feet high, were charming with their shingled or thatched roofs, paned glass windows, and stucco siding with accents of stone. As my gaze continued to look over the garden, I could hear the relaxing sound of a waterfall that cascaded into a river. Everything was miniature, even the trees and shrubs. Fairies were busy enjoying the garden as they stood by the bridge or sat on a patio bench. It was time for me to discover what fairy gardens or miniature gardening was all about. I needed to solve the mystery of creating my own garden.

If you are new to miniature gardening, as I was, you may have questions about the size of all the items. I soon learned that not everything miniature is the same scale. Scales can be confusing, but once the general concepts are understood it is a lot easier to purchase accessories and plants for the mini gardens. Starting with the most common scale of 1:12 for landscaped gardens or large containers, let’s figure it out. With this scale, 1-inch in miniature equals 1 foot in life size. Therefore, the 19-inch high Underfoot Cottage would be 12 times 19, which comes to 228 inches or 19-feet high in real life. A one-inch scale for miniature garden supplies is the most popular; because it is easy to remember that 1-inch equals 1 foot. The 1” scale is usually the largest size for minis. As my Dad would say, “Clear as mud?”

Let’s work on our current scale of knowledge. If I were to plan a garden with a 1:12 scale, what size bench should I purchase? Start with the door of your cottage, to determine the scale. Most real life doors are 7.5 feet high. If the door of your fairy cottage is 7.5 inches high, then the scale is 1:12. Focusing on the size of Cottage doors is a great starting point to determine the scale. Now, time to calculate the correct bench size.

Off to the greenhouse to measure a life size garden bench. It was 48-inches wide x 36-inches high or 4-feet x 3-feet. Drum rolls…what size should the mini bench be? The correct answer is 4-inches wide x 3-inches high. Since there are a variety of life sizes for garden benches, it is possible to have a variety of sizes for the mini bench. Just remember to check the scale. The Butterfly Bench works well with the 1:12 scale.

On the other hand, the Tiny Bistro Set has chairs that are 1-inch long x 2-inches x high 1-inch deep. Using the 1:12 scale would make the bistro chairs 1-foot long x 2-feet high x 1-foot deep, in real life. They would be much too small for the cottage with the 7.5-inch high door. Therefore, using a 3.5-inch high chair, for example the Peace Dove Chair, would fit the scale much better.

Miniature garden accessories are available in a variety of scales, but the 1:12 scale is the largest and most widely used size. The correct scale supports the feeling that this fairy garden is real. Watch for future posts for more information on scale. Hope the mystery of incorporating the 1:12 scale in your miniature garden has been solved.

Miniature Gardening offers a variety of accessories, fairies, plants, garden tools & furniture to create enchanting miniature landscapes for containers or your yard. We carry the largest online selection of plants for miniature and fairy gardens and of unique handcrafted miniature hardscape paths and patios. Visit our website: http://miniature-gardening.com

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