Terrariums – Tabletop Gardening!

Terrariums – Tabletop Gardening All Year Round!

During a visit to the 2010 Philadelphia Flower Show,  I found that my very favorite garden shop, Terrain, had a shop among the boutique booths and was thrilled!  It took just minutes to select a terrarium featuring tiny plants nestled in moss and covered with a glass cloche with a bird finial!  The first sign of spring in my home!

I started thinking about how popular terrariums are right now and then remembered my mother in the 1970’s tending a terrarium planted in a giant water cooler bottle – using a long handled grabber of some sort to get the plants into place!  What’s old is always new again!

Creating Your Own Terrarium

If you’d like to try to create your own terrarium, it’s relatively simple!  Here’s what you’ll need:

1.  A Container

Containers can be open to the air or covered, like mine is, with a glass cloche.  Here are some examples ranging from something found in your kitchen cabinets or purchased at a specialty site:

2.  Now layer the following:

  • Small pebbles or gravel for drainage (about 1”)
  • Activated charcoal that acts as an air filter in a closed terrarium.  You can pick this up at a pet shop that sells supplies for aquariums! (about ½ “)
  • Spaghnum moss – to prevent the soil from settling down into the pebbles/charcoal (from a florist or craft store)
  • Potting soil (about 2 – 3”) Overall, the drainage and soil layers should comprise ¼ of the container.
  • Plants that are the right size for your container*
  • Another layer of spaghnum moss
  • Add small decorative elements – my terrarium came with tiny pinecones tucked into the moss!

3.  Caring for Your Terrarium

  • Covered Terrariums – If you’re terrarium is covered, you’ll only need to water it occasionally, but you will have to remove the cover once or twice a week if too much condensation builds up.  Keep in mind that some condensation is expected and necessary!
  • Open Terrariums – Open terrariums will need watering more regularly.  Pull off any dead or yellowed leaves and prune when necessary.

Voila!    That’s it – just be careful to keep your creation out of direct sunlight!

P.S. If you’re as intrigued by the terrarium trend as I am, you will definitely enjoy  The New Terrarium:  Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature by Tovah Martin!

*Here are some terrific plants for terrariums!  If you can’t find these locally, a few shopping links are included:

Other Ideas:

  • Miniature African Violets
  • Creeping Charlie
  • Ardesia
  • Wandering Jew
  • Creeping Fig

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3 responses to “Terrariums – Tabletop Gardening!”

  1. […] How to Create a Terrarium | Busy Bee LifestyleTerrariums – Tabletop Gardening All Year Round! During a visit to the 2010 Philadelphia Flower Show,  I found that my very favorite garden shop, Terrain, had … Terrariums – Tabletop Gardening All Year Round! […]

  2. […] your own terrariums and there are simple-to-follow directions on Busy Bee’s website.  (Tabletop Gardening!) But if purchasing one is easier for you, head to Twig!  Based out of Brooklyn, this shop offers a […]

  3. Amy Stafford says:

    I am in love with your blog. I landed here after looking at images for Terrariums. I live in Cincinnati and the cold weather has hit and my outdoor gardening is done so I plan on doing some terrarium gardening.

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