Terrarium Tuesday (yeah, I’m making that a thing just for this post) – my slightly dodgy how-to.
Recently I found myself wanting a little more green on my desk at work. I was browsing at a local Value Village and found a nice miniature glass bowl that inspired me to look into making a terrarium. After I picked that up, I went to a local florist who helped me pick some air plants (I don’t have direct light at my desk) and moss and I kinda winged it to make my first terrarium. Plus, I had that little dino guy just waiting to pop in there.
None of the ideas – moss, decorative rocks, fishbowl, dino – are my own original ideas, but had been sitting at the back of my brain after seeing terrariums pop up all over the place on the internet. A quick Pinterest search will find you up to your eyeballs in info on how to make terrariums, the best plants for them, etc. I certainly didn’t make mine using instructions nor everything a proper terrarium should probably have (the layers of sand and active charcoal…etc). There are incredible things you can do with planting/sculpting that makes everything basically like a tiny environment. I just wanted mine to look pretty – and enough friends asked how I did it that I thought I’d throw a quick blog up about it.
My Sunday evening:
I’d found three lovely, larger glass bowls/vases that were perfect (again at Value Village!) and stocked up on some more moss, plants and dinosaurs (totally necessary). I’d thought about more rocks, sand and maybe wood chips for decoration, but kept it simple. Maybe next time.
I also found a super cute little ceramic pagoda at a bonsai stall in the neighbourhood that I put in the smaller cylindrical terrarium I made, now on my bedside table.
To begin with, line the bottom of your glass bowl with stones – enough to give a level where the soil will be able to drain. I had a cheap bag of stones from Dollarama which was big enough for me to use for this purpose, as well as a few for decoration (along with the bigger stones I had).
Next, with a little soil on top of the rocks, place your plants. For my selection I went mostly with succulents, a few air plants (placed after moss), and one spiky cactus (which, ow – getting those into glass bowls needs some more heavy duty gloves than I have). I don’t have much of a rule for this except try and mix sizes/shapes to something that looks good, and I didn’t have more than 3 plants in my fishbowl sized terrariums. Every plant had an inch or so of soil between the others.
Then fill the spaces around the plants, and up over the roots, pack it down and make sure there’s enough – then tidy it up a little.
Once you have enough soil around the plants, it’s time to place your moss. If you have a “sheet” of it, you might have to tear it up a bit (or if you’re using 100% air plants, you’d just plant it down on the soil and put the air plants right on top!). I put in clumps of moss and then just spread it around with the handle of my little gardening spoon (yes, spoon).
After you’ve tidied the moss and pressed it down, then it’s time to put any other decorations in there you like – nice decorative stones, driftwood, ceramic/plastic figures, etc. Find little nooks to pop your air plants down into at this point, if you have them. They sit nicely in the moss.
Then if there’s soil/whatever that’s gotten anywhere on the glass, get in with a paper towel to give it a bit of a wipe, and then you’re all finished! Marvel at your creation and enjoy the little pod of green garden you’ve made for yourself.
Questions/comments/suggestions? I’m hoping to try making some smaller ones of these in mason jars soon, as I have a lot of soil and moss left!! If I can find a cheap place for succulents/air plants, then I’ll stock up and go to town making gifts.