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A Happy Harvest

The wind is howling. The jack o’ lanterns are glowing. And in some parts of the country, the snow is falling! Yep, we have officially reached the time of year when the seasons start to move quickly and blend together. The long, hot days of summer have been replaced by the quickening pace of back-to-school, fall harvest, and holiday time. Up north, the ground is blanketed with fluffy white snow. Down south, the sun is blazing. And in the Midwest, farmers are still working hard to pull in the harvest before the long, cold days of winter set in.

Where are you on this seasonal spectrum? Are you choosing winter plants and planning your winter container garden, or are you deciding which plants for fall and winter need to be moved inside? Will your miniature garden receive warmth and sunlight throughout the winter months, or will the winter plants enter a period of dormancy? When it comes to preparing your fairy gardens and miniatures for fall and winter, there is so much to consider.

This year, before I jump into the excitement of pairing a miniature ice-skating rink with winter flowering plants and matching winter container plants to sparkling lights, presents, and sleds, I think I will linger a little longer in that harvest frame of mind. Since I was a child, I have always loved autumn. The sense of abundance, the smell of the soil, and the crunch of leaves are stuck in my memory like stickers in a scrapbook. Nothing makes me happier than watching a combine move slowly down a cornfield or stopping by an apple orchard for some fresh cider.

So, before I add holiday lights to my winter plants, I will be adding some fall fun to my miniature garden. A happy harvest-themed garden is a delightful sight indeed, especially during these challenging times. In the Midwest, crops are harvested from September to November, so this is truly the perfect time to add a little farm or veggie patch theming to the fall and winter container garden.

One need not make big changes to the fairy garden to add a little harvest season flair. A miniature tractor can be tucked beneath the branches of fall and winter plants. Use its tires to press some tracks into the soil. Other tools, like wheelbarrows or shovels, can lean up against a miniature barn or picnic table. If I am “planting” a veggie patch or pumpkin patch in my garden, I will set up some vegetables and gourds in straight rows. A miniature white picket fence and DIY garden sign complete the picture. I have also seen some ingenious tiny chicken coops, complete with baskets of miniature eggs and some “chicken feed,” made from tiny seeds or crumbs, scattered on the ground.

If you prefer orchards over farms or veggie patches, teeny baskets and barrels can be filled with miniature apples to create bushels of fun for the miniature apple-farmer. Lean a ladder against a miniature tree and put more apples in a wheelbarrow, on a picnic table, and even hidden amongst the leaves of a groundcover plant. When the time is right, have your fairies pick the veggies and add them to small boxes to create a farm stand. A miniature garden farmer’s market is seasonally appropriate throughout the late fall and even into the winter, especially if you add a row of faux Christmas trees alongside your other winter plants.

How are you celebrating the harvest season in your miniature garden? I cannot wait to soak up even more ideas and inspiration as we make our way into November.

Happy Gardening!

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