Lilliputian Gardens

Forsythia, Japanese quince, flowering crabapple, or any of the early spring shrubs can be forced into delightful little flowering bushes. Be sure to cut twigs full of buds. These can be pre-forced, to be ready for an immediate effect. Or, to produce their blossoms right on the premises, they may be put in tiny receptacles filled with water and sunk in the earth.

Kenilworth ivy and baby tears both have properly diminu­tive leaves for vines covering a garden wall, a pergola or a front porch. Smilax seed germinates quickly, but will take two or three months to make suitable vines. It will grow rather slowly for a while, and will always be a tiny-leaved affair which can be pruned back drastically to keep it in bounds.

Miniature ferns from woods or wildflower nursery may sometimes be quite in scale for woodland corners.

Seedling evergreens, raised from seed if you like, or bought in the year-old stage from nurseries, will provide well-shaped little evergreens. At times you may be able to find these in the woods. Evergreen tip cuttings will give the same effect, and in moist soil or small containers filled with water, they will last a long time.

Baby azalea plants often bloom when only three or four inches high. These you can sometimes get from nurseries. In such places you can also often find other tiny broad-leaved ever­greens in the seedling stage. Boxwood, Ilex crenata and several others would be highly suitable.

Certain little plants from seed, while they are still infants, often have an astonishing resemblance to mature plants. Baby roses of the miniature varieties, for instance, look exactly like real rosebushes right from the start. In two or three months, while they are but two or three inches high, they are likely to start blossoming. They are extremely easy to grow from seed.

Iris plants, which are surprisingly dependable from seed, are also exact replicas of mature iris from the time they poke through the soil.

Coleus is colorful and decorative within a couple of months from seed. It will outgrow its miniature locale in a few months, but is so easy that it is worthwhile for its temporary gaiety.

Everblooming begonias are a simple matter to raise from seed. For some months they remain tiny, looking exactly like adult plants in miniature. Sometimes they begin to bloom in this infantile stage.

Geraniums, too, come easily from seed, and in their most diminutive period are well-formed little plants. They will stay small enough for several months.

If plants like these are going to be raised from seed for the tray garden, it is advisable to anticipate this by planting seeds a couple of months in advance.