Shrubs for the Miniature Garden

As I have suggested in an earlier section, the shrubs admitted to our miniature gardens may be rather taller than the herbaceous perennials without destroying the effect of scale. Even so, the choice is not a wide one, for many little shrubs, though sufficiently dwarf in stature, occupy too much lateral space. Where the small pan garden is concerned, it is better to avoid shrubs altogether, but the species included here are not too large for the average sink or trough, unless otherwise stated.

A number of shrubs, though suitable in size, require an acid soil and shady position for their well-being, and cannot be grown in association with the sun- and lime-loving alpines. A separate container must therefore be devoted to plants of this kind, and filled with a lime-free compost in which peat or leaf-mould predominates. The individual requirements of each genus will be found under the sub-headings.


The following three species are the most suitable for the miniature garden:

C. fastigiata makes an erect bush of square-sectioned branches covered with small scaly leaves, from the axils of which the white, bell-shaped flowers are produced. April and May. 6 in.

C. lycopodioides is a prostrate species with cord-like stems and the usual white bell-flowers of the race. It is said to be the easiest to manage. April. 2 in.

C. selaginoides is one of the most attractive, with minute mossy foliage and white flowers. May. 3 in.


The dwarf brooms are useful plants for the rock garden, as they enjoy the same light soil and sunny exposure that suits the majority of alpines, and seem indifferent to lime. The two following species are small enough for a sink.

G. delphinensis forms a dense mat of curiously winged branches, bearing at their tips clusters of golden yellow flowers. June. 2 in.

G. Villarsii (syn. G. pulchella) is more compact than the last, with a tangled mass of grey-green twiggy branches and similar yellow flowers. June. 3 in.


The well-known sun roses, which are hybrids of H. vulgare (or nummularium) have a small relation suitable for growing in sinks, though in the course of time it may have to be kept within bounds by removing the outer branches together with their roots. It is easily grown in any light soil and full sun.

H. alpestre forms a prostrate mat of branches set with small hairy green leaves, and covers itself in summer with bright yellow flowers. June and July. 2 in.

23. May 2017 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Bonsai, Miniature Gardens, Roof Gardens & Balcony Gardening, Sink Gardens, Small Gardens | Tags: , | Comments Off on Shrubs for the Miniature Garden


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