A miniature world rediscovered

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When I was a wee young thing, my favourite toy was a miniature garden produced, I have since remembered, under the brand name Britain’s Floral Garden.  You bought lawns, fences, flowers, rockeries, trees, greenhouses, crazy pathing etc – either in a pack form or individually in separate packs and used them to form a garden either to their suggested form or your own.

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When recently recreating some hotel images with doll’s house furniture for a photoshoot, I suddenly remembered this tiny garden set that I used to have and wondered if – by any chance – it was still in production. The bad news is that it isn’t. Of course it isn’t.

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The good news is, that it still thrives on the web and I have started re-collecting it and having fun. It’s led me onto eBay – a platform I had studiously avoided (as being just too tempting) – and I have been chatting about the garden with various of the sellers who have all been very charming and most helpful.  It seems – like I have recently become – they are all keen collectors too in the most part.

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So what is this Floral Garden all about then? Britain’s launched a miniature garden series created in lead in 1931.  It was post-war, after a merger with Herald Miniatures and access to the talented Roy Welwyn-Smith and William Cleary, that a plastic version was launched in 1960.

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The promotional blurb called it a constructional toy to a generation of affluent “baby boomers” and I must have been bought my first set late 60’s. The floral garden series continued to be produced until 1977 in various guises and then sadly ceased.

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For me, fascinated always with life in the miniature – stamps, dolls houses etc – the joy of creating my own garden, clipping rose buds onto green shoots and planting into plastic earth was my idea of heaven.  I have to admit – just between us – sitting here, populating a rose bush with pink buds, it still is. Just don’t tell anyone.

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If you are intrigued and want to look out for Britain’s Floral Garden, take a peak at eBay but I give fair warning, it can be addictive. More can be gleaned from the excellent book devised for collectors, Britains Plastic Models 1960 – 1970 by Barney Brown – one of those self-same eBay contacts mentioned above.

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Contributor & Photographer: Sue Lowry

Follow A3Traveller on Twitter: @A3Traveller and Sue Lowry on Google +, YouTube, Linkedin, Flickr and Pinterest. I also operate another blog for my company, Magellan PR – http://www.magellanstraits.com. They can be followed on Twitter: @MagellanPR, on Google+, on YouTube, on Pinterest and on Facebook.

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