I have a new obsession.
Well, it's not very new, for years I've been creating miniature collections of plants as displacement activity when I ought to be heaving nettles and other thugs out of the borders. But I wanted to find some new plants to include in my tiny gardens and that's where the obsession grew from. Naively I thought that a quick hunt round the internet would produce lots of other people with a similar interest, and that I would soon be armed with loads of new ideas.
That's when I discovered that, as usual, I am out of step with the rest of the world. Apparently, people who make miniature gardens aren't primarily interested in the green contents of their containers. Instead they spend a great deal of time finding tiny garden benches and the miniature equivalent of fishing gnomes to go in them. I get the impression that any old plant will do as long as you can clip it small enough. Whereas the only non-plant elements I am prepared to add are interesting bits of rock or the odd piece of sea-glass.
So I've been researching tiny plants - sometimes frustratingly, when I can't find out how tall things will ultimately grow. I can foresee years of battling to grow oddities from seed, or losing treasured plants over winter - my gardens are expected, so far at least, to fend for themselves all year round, and I already know that gentians and lewisias don't do well. I may have to relax my rules slightly for the latter, and build little rocky grottoes to protect them from the wet!
I love this blue glazed bowl, and just adore the way the tiny blue starry flowers (Pratia pedunculata) have spread all over. In fact, I'm busy transplanting bits of it to other containers, I don't mind if it takes over completely.
If anyone else is particularly interested in this gardening cul-de-sac, I have a board on Pinterest where I'm collecting my ideas - I'd welcome suggestions for plants that can be kept tiny or, if you know of books that cover this form of gardening.