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Sunday, 28 December 2014

Miniature Foxglove Plants - The First of Many....



This was a kit from The Miniature Garden in the UK, bought at least two plus years ago in Birmingham. It took me this long to get up the courage to make these plants, and it has taken me three whole days!

Each blossom head consists of 40 tiny tubular flowers in 3 sizes, laboriously glued into a tiny tube around a pointed tweezer; then each flower head was dipped in paint for the sepal (my own addition); and then the "lip" of the blossoms had to be teased out with tweezers. Then there are 50 leaves on each plant, in 4 sizes. Except for the smallest leaves, they had to be hand cut. The tiniest blossom  "tube" was formed from a rolled, 1/8" (3 mm?) heart shape, while the largest was 1/4" or approx. 6 mm in size....

And I have to make at least 5 more for the foxglove patch in the Apothecary Garden to look good! However, I will have to punch my own blossoms for these, and I think I will make my teeny components just a little bit larger. The effect is very good, but the amount of work involved is crazy.

The Miniature Garden's kits use scrapbooking card for the leaves, personally I prefer paper that has been hand painted to add some colour variation. And I think the leaves are a little too large, really, except for the very top ones.

Along with 5 more foxglove plants, I also have to make at least 2 more velvet-leaf mullein plants; that kit (Verbascum in the UK) also  made 2 plants, but there was enough material for me to make one more. The mullein plants also require hand-cut leaves; I will check the provided card against what my local Michael's has in the scrapbooking section, before I paint my own paper.

The instructions for at least 3 more medicinal plants are available on the internet, two of them in French, and very complicated; belladonna, deadly nightshade, and St. John's Wort. However, they are essential. An idea has come to me how to make the garden, so I will sketch that out and run the specifics by my carpenter-in-chief; after all, it was his idea to add an herb garden!

In my stash is a white metal dolphin wall fountain; painted like verdigris copper, this would be a wonderful addition, next to the garden gate. I also like the idea of a turf seat under a rose arbour, and 4 to 6 raised beds with wattle edgings, for the smaller plants, with gravelled walkways in between. The large plants will go against the walls, and I hope to add two or three espaliered fruit trees along those walls as well.

 
This wall was photographed in Arnhem, The Netherlands while I was on mini tour there; it is in the old part of the city, and struck me then as the perfect outside wall for my Apothecary Garden; I just love the diamond-shaped windows with their metal fretwork! Behind this lovely old wall was a bricked terrace area, with potted plants around the edges, like something out of a gardening magazine....

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