Things to do in Carrollton when you’re dead

Oh, my miniature garden enthusiast friends are going to laugh at me. Laugh. Laugh and snort and giggle and hiccup and possibly go incontinent. I don’t mind any of this, except for the incontinence, and that I’ll tolerate if they clean up their messes. It’s just that I know that I am Right, and I am Correct, and I Know Of What I Speak. Giving them all the particulars on an essential miniature garden accessory resource makes it all worth my effort.

I’ve joked for a while that I’m sufficiently far enough along in some of my horticultural researches that any book answering some of my current questions will be one that I write myself. (And no, I am not wanting to write a book, at least not for the next five years or so. That’ll be about the time necessary for the fallout from E-books and the collapse of Borders to trickle into the publishing water table and stop producing giant mutant cockroaches.) It’s much the same situation with particular accessories desired for garden arrangements. After a while, you want to give up looking for that perfect slate walkway tile and just make your own.

Miniature garden arrangements are a bit more problematic, mostly because they need to be sufficiently durable to handle being left outside or in a bright window. The obvious source for a lot of miniature garden accessories is a dollhouse furniture retailer, but a lot of those items aren’t intended to be exposed to wind, rain, frosts, and high levels of ultraviolet. More retailers specializing in accessories and ornaments specifically for miniature gardens, such as Two Green Thumbs, are available, but they also may not scratch the creative itch. If your imagination is fixed on something really odd, then it’s usually something you’ll have to make yourself.

This is why I’m sending you all in the direction of Squadron.com, a stalwart resource for model builders for decades. This isn’t just because it’s a great source for parts from existing models that can be converted to new uses. Back in the days before CGI, hobby shops were a necessary source of parts for miniatures for movie and television productions, and that’s the same case for hobbyists as well as professionals. No, it’s because Squadron also carries a lot of items for scratchbuilding items, and many of these are perfect for miniature gardening. Look into Milliput superfine epoxy putty for making your own sculptures, for instance.

The other reason why I bring this up is because Squadron’s annual modelbuilding event, EagleQuest XXI (PDF), runs this coming June 21 through the 23rd, and one of the perks of membership in EagleQuest is a 40 percent discount on purchases from Squadron’s main warehouse. Seeing as how this is the only time of the year where average customers are allowed into said warehouse, there’s no telling what you might find, and unorthodox gardeners might find it worth their time to visit. And I don’t know about you, but I’m sorely tempted to enter a diorama entry involving a classic model from the Seventies with live Norfolk Island pines and other Cretaceous flora.

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