When planting a miniature fairy garden, I desire a soothing feeling that happens when ground covers are used as lawns. The look of a lawn will unify the miniscape. Here are my top ground covers that work well for lawns or as I call them, "The 7 Wonders of the Miniature World."
Leptinella squalida, Fairy Fern
This ground cover is one of my favorites. The reason it is one of my favorites is its feathery and fern-like foliage that is soft green and fresh looking. In spring and during the summer, tiny yellow button-like flowers grow a few inches above the foliage. The Fairy Fern is quite tolerant of shade and it is not very particular about soil. Keep it well watered. When planted indoors the Fairy Fern will get a bit taller than when it is in full sun of the outdoors.
Leptinella squalida, Platt's Black, Brass Buttons
This plant is from the same family as the Fairy Fern, but a different color. The Platt's Black is a darker color and it has a more ‘mini fern’ look. This plant turns a lovely bronze hue in the fall.
Sedum mentha requienii, Miniature Stonecrop
Miniature Stonecrop is really a unique variety, because it is so low to the ground and it stays that low. This Sedum loves full sun and is tolerant to some drying out. However, if it dries out too much it can get a little yellow veining by the crown of the plant. Miniature Stonecrop is not to be mistaken for the Mint called, Mentha requienii.
Thymus serpyllum, Elfin Thyme.
Here is another top selling ground cover. Elfin Thyme stays low and has these very tiny leaves. It is fragrant and features small lavender flowers in midsummer. This plant needs full sun and well-drained soil.
Thymus pseudolanuginosus, Wooly Thyme
Wooly Thyme has the same requirements as Elfin, but it is more vigorous so it will have to be trimmed back more often if planted in a smaller container.
Sagina subulata, Irish and Scotch Moss
These evergreen mosses are real workhorses. They have tiny white flowers that begin to appear in late spring. They are excellent plants for filling in between the cracks of stepping-stones. Irish and Scotch Mossboth dislike drought, soggy wet soils, and in areas with hot humid summers, the plants will kind of have a meltdown. They will perk up again when it gets cooler. However, Irish and Scotch Moss are not the plants to choose for an indoor garden. They get way too leggy and therefore have a completely different look than the ground hugging (even over boulders) look of moss you see in outside gardens.
I hope that you found some tips you can use in your own garden.
Happy Miniature Gardening.
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