Saturday, 30 March 2013

Miniature matters horticultural...

"The gardens of England are becoming veritable jungles, such exotics are grossly unsuitable. If the Garden of Eden was planned for England, God would have seen to it." Mr Talmann

As a boy my parents bought me a miniature garden made by Britains. I quite enjoyed the planting of borders,the greenhouse & rockpool. Gradually over time the elements of it got incorporated into toy soldier battles which became my main interest and eventually the garden toys got lost and separated . Only an odd bit remains.
The picture above is from a website selling Britains garden things today and it is quite an expensive hobby it would appear by my brief glance.It was great to look but I am not starting another nostalgia project...

However ,like others, I have been thinking modelling some gardens for my Duchy of Tradgardland.I have already created them in my mind,in some posts supported by images from the net and in my notes regarding the Duchy Now I would like to make one to place 28mm figures in - a place of intrigue,assignation,industry,discourse,commerce,wit, erudition and theological speculation- not to mention duels and skirmishes.But where to begin?
 I feel I have enough sources and imagination to plan what I am looking for- formal in nature,topiary abounding and enough places for discrete conversations to take place.However I am unsure where to begin in 28mm.
Statues are easy- 28mm or larger figures painted bronze.
Topiary I am wondering about simple 3d shapes (wood perhaps) flocked or even simply painted a dark green.I am not looking to make a diorama that is left up looking exquisite but rather a tool kit of diverse parts which can be stored and reassembled in a variety of ways to produce different gardens.
Gentlemen ideas if you please and also suggestions for suitable figures,pet hounds and furnishings.I look forward to hearing from you... 


  1. They look very fine - I hope to see much running about and swordplay around the verges.

  2. Where to begin? Assuming events in Tradgardland are late 17th and early 18th century, then straight canals and plenty of topiary and parterres would suit, and these remained in fashion longer on the continent and in Catholic countries, whereas in England they were swept away to make way for a more natural look. Might I suggest lead statues rather than bronze and these were usually painted in natural colours (which seems odd to our modern eye). Topiary could be carved from that really dense blue foam or even balsa, coated in blue and then dipped in fine sand and painted which provides a pleasing leafy effect. Parterres (2 of them and a grove of orange trees)out of pipecleaners, 2 high, or oven scrubbers cut into strips? Check out Westbury Court gardens for the classic late 17th century Dutch look and good source material can be found in Tim Mowl's Gentlemen and Players and also the hilarious Arcadian Friends (author escapes me). I am very enthused email me for more discussion....

  3. Folly, sir. Gardens? 'Tis an absolute Folly!

    I don't know just how appropriate it would be for our period, but I would certainly feature a small Greek marble temple and statues of the gods.

    Murdock just posted some photos of a Foundry set of Greek Gods . . . which I would paint as marble statues:

    I would also suggest a look through a number of "craft stores" . . . the carved foam idea could bear fruit too.

    -- Jeff

  4. Wizard idea - 'configurable' garden areas. Greek temple follies, obelisks, trees in planter pots hedges, parterres .... what about a grotto ?

    Look forward to seeing what you create ...

    -- Allan