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Teeny tiny gardens & their teeny tiny gardeners

Last week we were in Hamburg, Germany. It was a quick trip. The highlight of the trip was the visit to the Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg. It is the world’s largest model train exhibition. But trust me, the model trains are the least of the presentation.

There are more than two floors and about a dozen rooms of model train environments. The scenarios encompassed everything from a model of Hamburg, to Las Vegas, the Scandinavian coast, the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, the alps and more. Settings included cities, mountains, rural areas, underground facilities, waterways and more. Not only trains moved, but cars, cranes, planes, boats, trucks, hot air balloons, helicopters, cable cars and more.

Concert during the day. Kool & the Gang was playing when we were there. That’s NOT a giant in the upper right. Lines were short for these port-a-potties, lower left.

And that’s in the daylight. Every once in a while, the overhead lights dim and the cities & towns light up. Las Vegas is impressive. Lights fill the soccer stadium & outdoor concert (and camera flashes in the crowd), they became fire in a warehouse building. The cars even had head lights, working turn signals & emergency vehicle revolving lights. Lights even worked on the pornographer’s camera, subtly tucked into the roof of one building.

The concert at night.


Then, there’s the people and situations. There are about 200,000 people inhabiting the exhibit. They are attending concerts, camping, working, TV crews construction, police, firemen, skinny dipping, mining, playing soccer, couples making out, a murder scene, visiting the zoo (it had dinosaurs!), and yes, gardening.

Below are some of the gardening scenarios. I think they were set up to represent gardening in different countries, in most of the gardens, there were flags from around the world. In some gardens, you can almost recognize the plants!

If you ever find yourself in Hamburg, this is a must see. Oh, they do have real gardens too, which I’ll post about in the future. But it’s February, and in the low 30s, and there wasn’t much too much life-size green to photograph.

In upcoming posts, I’ll show off some other larger miniature gardens, if that makes any sense.

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

13 comments on “Teeny tiny gardens & their teeny tiny gardeners

  1. Those are just amazing! Winter must really be long in Hamburg.

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  2. I really enjoyed looking at the pictures. That’s the kind of place I could stay in all day looking at all the detail. I wonder why they picked Kool and the Gang for the concert? Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Mr. McGregor's Daughter,If long winters result in such great displays like this, I'm all for them. In other countries.Catherine,I could spend days in there. I took just under 200 photos. Kool & the Gang was a surprise to us too. You'da thunk they'd have chosen some German heavy metal band, like Scorpions.

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  4. Were it not for the too regular spacings on the plants, I would have thought it was tilt shift photography.

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  5. Anonymous

    Great photos. It must have been a delight to see in person. I’m envious.

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  6. You go to Hamburg for the week-end ??waooooo… (it’s a long travel i mean, only for staying 2 or 3 days).Maybe you could come home for a dinner ?I love your tiny hamburger gardens.It is so cute.

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  7. It’s cold there, so I guess someone had a big project over the winter… I don’t know if it’s more hilarious, or more disturbing! Thanks for the report.

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  8. Very interesting! Great pictures! Thanks for sharing!

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  9. love the miniature gardens…weeding must be a breeze :)irena

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  10. Craig,No fancy tilt shift photos, just my trying to get SOMETHING in focus in a shot that should be shot in all close-up. The plants aren’t all regularly spaced in your garden?Grace,It was cool. I’m no into model trains all that much but this was quite the spectacle.Delphine,It was a fast trip. I accompanied my wife on a layover. I’m still jet lagged a week later, but she’s back to work fine already.Karen,It’s more than a winter project. They have teams developing these sets. Next up for them, a full airport with busy runways.Tatyana,It’s not as interesting as a Kaluga fish, but it was something. Thanks for stopping by.O.I.M.,Yeah, they only have a little weeding problem.

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  11. There is something eerie and a bit strange about these little gardens. Lost worlds or something. Do you think this is something you either ‘get’ or ‘don’t get’? I never understood the fascination with doll houses either.

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  12. Layanee,It was a little eerie. I felt as though I was intruding on them! I’ve always been fascinated with miniatures, but not enough to take it up as a hobby though. Much easier to appreciate the efforts of others.

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  13. hmmm…maybe I should start miniature gardening instead of large scale gardening…quicker, no sweat, and easy to maintain!

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