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  • Miniature Evergreen Container Gardens

    The style of container garden, known as trough gardening or English trough gardening began in the mid 1800s. It was popular at the time to collect specimen plants from around the world and the container they decided to best show off their miniature plant collections, was the watering troughs used for their livestock.




    Mark Malaguerra, manager of our Lindbergh store, has a passion for conifers and rare evergreens. In his garden he has many unique, rare, and amazing plants. He enjoys creating trough gardens and containers filled with dwarf conifers and evergreens. 

    Mark says the reason he loves trough gardening is he can have "pots that have something in them year-round without having to change them out. Conifers have great textures and colors." He went on to say that he loves his containers that are filled with annual flowers, but what he loves the most are his pots of mini evergreens.



    Mark planted a container to show how easy it can be, and here are his steps:



    Step 1: Stop by our garden center and choose your favorite plants from our selection of miniature evergreens and conifers.

    Step 2: Choose your plants. Miniature conifers or evergreens work best because they grow slow - some growing as slow as an inch a year - they will be happy in a container for years to come. Mixing groundcovers and small succulent plants in with the evergreens is fun to do. The plants Mark chose for this container garden are dwarf Cryptomeria, 'Golden Sprite' Hinoki Cypress, Hemlock 'Abbot's Pygmy', and Leptinella 'Platt's Black'.

    Step 3: Choose your container. You can create a mini evergreen garden in any container you choose - but shallower containers work best.

    Step 4: Place a coffee filter over the hole at the bottom of the pot to keep the new soil in place. Mix Soil Perfecter in with Pike Potting soil.  Mark's quick tip:  use a large plastic tub for mixing it makes mixing the two very easy.The soil perfecter will help ensure better drainage. It's important that the plants never sit in water, or stay too wet. Add soil to your container 2/3 of the way full.

    Step 5:  Place your plants in the container, and fill in with soil around them.

    Step 6. To create more of a miniature landscape look. Add rock, placed in a way that appears as natural rock might.

    Step 7: Fill in the top of the soil with small rocks, pebbles or moss.  Here Mark used the Soil Perfecter to top off his garden. Water in your container garden thoroughly. Then place it in your garden. This garden will prefer morning sun and afternoon shade. 


    Photos of trough gardens in Mark's garden. On the left is a Japanese White

    Pine, a Korean fir, and a Carex. On the right is Adcock's Dwarf Pine

    and a creeping sedum.

    Try another type of miniature gardening -  indoors -  with Terrariums. Read our blog  Gardening in Glass.

    See more articles about: Container Gardening, Gardening for Beginners, DIY Ideas, Trees & Shrubs, Inspiration