I went to a seminar by Janit Calvo, owner since 2001 of the miniature garden center; www.twogreenthumbs.com. She creates containers that make a 6 inch tree appear like a 60 foot giant. She adds plants with extremely slow growth rates, some less than an inch per year. She uses a variety of shapes and sizes to mimic a real life size garden. She adds hardscape, like stone or brick patios, birdbaths and benches to give it a feel of reality. They are so cute! And these gardens are designed to last for years. For groundcovers she uses almost any small-leafed plant chosen for good behavior (keep your roots to yourself!) and easy maintenance. The trees are what fascinated me. I can’t quite figure out how these miniature conifers grow so slowly. Plants usually want to grow and go, unless they are in a harsh environment, but these stay compact. I wonder what their life expectancy is? Plants like Canada Hemlock ‘Minuta’ or ‘Abbott’s Pygmy’ or Hinoki Cypress ‘Nana’ or ‘Gemstone’, Mugo Pine ‘Mitsch Mini’ or ‘Teeny’ to give a few examples. She has a complete list on her website.