Garden like it’s 1972!


Do you remember terrariums?  Wildly popular decades ago, they faded into obscurity as a garden and home decor trend and 40 years later, are making a comeback.  These mini-landscapes are constantly growing and changing, and are a great project for almost anyone.  They range from creative kid versions to the ultra-classy (think Martha Stewart-esque terrarium in a punch bowl) and everything in-between.  Open-air terrariums are particularly great for apartments since they freshen the air and don’t grow out of control like some houseplants — their glass homes keep them small as long as you trim any leaves that start escaping!


Could do with a small haircut, though this terrarium isn’t completely out of hand yet!
Photo courtesy of http://www.reillyssummerseatfarm.com

Here’s a picture of our latest terrarium here at the shop:


Van Putte terrarium, complete with turtle!

We used three different succulents, a few interesting rocks from our bulk piles out back (they’re “Round Ones,” if you’re curious) and when it was all put together, it became a perfect home for the turtle figurine you see in there.  Open-air terrariums are quite easy to make — just follow these steps:

1. Find a nice glass container — a large mason-type jar, a punch bowl, goldfish bowl, or even a interesting glass bowl from a local garden center or craft store, etc. — and line the bottom with an inch or two of rocks for drainage.

2. Follow the rocks with a layer of moss and then a layer of potting soil.  The moss is used to create a barrier between the soil and rocks so the soil doesn’t become compacted.  The moss will absorb water, keeping the moisture level more steady inside the terrarium.

3. Plant a nice variety of succulents or fern-type plants.  Bromeliads and mini-violets are also good options if you want some color in there, but make sure that when you water, you don’t water a violet’s leaves — they must be watered from the soil so they take a bit more patience and care than ferns or succulents.

4. Finish off with any decor you might want — colored pebbles, interesting rocks, fairy garden statuary, animal figurines, interesting pieces of stick or bark, shells, etc.  Tip: check out aquarium decor at the pet store for neat, tiny options for aquarium decor.

5. And finally, don’t forget to water the terrarium — when the soil begins to not feel moist when you put your finger in the soil, spritz some water in there.  Keeping a steady environment will help your plants flourish and keep a healthy terrarium for hopefully years to come!

Speaking of years to come, the truly dedicated terrarium-owner can draw inspiration from David Lattimer.  He’s ridden the trend from the ’70s to now, all with just ONE terrarium, that has only been watered ONCE!  Check out his story here:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html.


David Lattimer and his 53-year old terrarium. Photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk.

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