Tag Archive | gardening

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:

Terrarium time!

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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.

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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.

This is so much fun.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The digital dozen – your next dose of intermittent curious things for the ingenious time-waster.

Welcome to today’s wonderful procrasti-links fest! Yay!

  • These aerial photos are so wild. The planet looks so cool, and slightly dizzy-making, from above.
  • Okay, this is legitimately the best procrastination of today’s links. Patatap, a nifty tool that lets you use your computer’s keyboard to make cool noises and stuff! YESSS! Click to go through, as the embed won’t work here. It’s totally worth it, people.
  • Philadelphia has just launched this terrific anti-street harassment campaign, every city needs this! What a broad range of stuff they cover. This is just one example:
  • This is so dreamy/hypnotic – time lapse of fireflies swarming (with some post-production tinkering, but it looks so amazing!)
  • Can we please all go and take a ride on this Adventure Time train? Yes?

  • Street chalk art/paintings like this are so amazing – the manipulation that goes into creating it so it looks a certain way from a certain spot blows my mind. LOOK AT THIS. Oh man.
  • Magic for Dogs Part 2! I love their faces. (Did you see part 1?) They clarified this time that the dogs are given treats before & after, which I’d kind of assumed, because what person would let someone be an asshole to their dog?!
  • Various strategies for leaving a party. I wish I could just POOF outta there at times.
  • There were some fun internet April Foolings this year, especially the Google Maps pokemon challenge [vid]. I got a great chuckle out of this NPR gag, pranking folks who comment on articles without bothering to read the whole thing. Click through for the hilarious screen-grab of comments.
  • I know you’re in need of seeing Game of Thrones character faces inserted into Disney scenes, so let me help you out with that. My personal favourite..
  • Just look at these flipping amazing little gardens built on broken pots. Gosh.
  • This last one is for my friend Katy, who very rightly is always stating “There is no such thing as a British accent.” Because, clearly there isn’t – watch this video to hear why! Such variety in a tiny isle/group of islands.

Things I Love Thursday

Over on her blog, MeShell often does “Things I Love Thursday”. It seems like it’s a thing all over a bunch of blogs. I love the idea of it – I don’t know who started it, or why it’s a Thursday thing, but it’s nice to sit down and focus on talking about things that make you happy, things you love. All types of things! I am going to make a concerted effort to contribute to this each week.  So, let’s get on with my inaugural contribution.

I love ‘Throwback Thursdays’. There’s a lotta Thursday stuff going on around the internet, it seems. It’s fun to see what pops up in my Twitter/Instagram feed that people dig up from their past. I post something most Thursdays on Instagram – this week I was inspired by my gorgeous friend Jamie – she posted a shot of herself posing with the ‘Face of Boe’ at the Doctor Who exhibition in London, so I dug up a pic of me doing the same! Good times 🙂 Thanks to my friend David Smith for the photo, all the way back in 2008.

This little guy:

Jake the dog

 

In case you’ve missed the reference in the name of our dog above, I love love LOVE Adventure Time. I first watched it in a fevered state, stuck in bed sick with nothing but TV to keep me entertained. Pretty sure I made it through 2 or 3 seasons in a weekend (to be fair, each episode is only about 11 minutes long). That’s the best way to get sucked into awesome TV. I did the same thing with Invader Zim! My brain must be just fiiiiine. Apart from how wonderfully bizarre, surreal and straight up fun the show is, I also love the glut of creativity it inspires. More than enough that I can include a link a week in my Digital Dozen link roundups.

I love trying to get my container garden going again for the summer. I’ve failed a bit with the way I’ve planted things together, and i’m not sure what I did to my basil.. BUT! I’m going to expand the plants this weekend, add a couple of extras and see what I can find at the farmer’s market that might be a good addition. Plus, I have tomatoes and chilis growing, so I did something right.  Having the plants out there really makes it nice to hang out on my balcony, especially now we bothered to get a little table & chairs set!

Tomatoes and Chilis on their way.

Having a chance to chow down on local produce here in Ontario in the summer is something I love and appreciate. Strawberries and asparagus, especially! So damn good. We got strawberries from Whittamore’s at the start of the month, and they were candy-like. Incredible for breakfast with waffles. I wanna get out there again and pick my own!

 

And of course, it should go without saying that I big-L Love Adam. xo My best guy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunshine promises

Spring’s been a sort of a will it/won’t it sort of thing in Toronto these last few weeks. Winter clung on like a piece of gum to our collective shoe when all we wanted was to don shorts and skirts and sit on patios. Then it sort of skipped ahead to more summery weather, forgetting that spring should’ve been next. To top it all off it got bloody chilly again this past weekend, including a frost warning (!) which meant all my recently purchased plants, yet to be planted, needed to come live inside for a bit.

Seedlings cowering on the windowsill inside.

I knew that patience would be best, so I left it until it was definitely warm enough to be comfortable & not chilly out on the balcony. I spent this morning getting everything properly sorted, watered and basking in the sun. Red chilis, cherry tomatoes, basil, chives, lemon thyme & a few pretty flowers. One I don’t know, and the others are gerberas – my mum had a lot of gerberas in our garden when I was a kid and I have a fondness for them – plus, it’s really all that’ll cut it here seeing as the rest of the fare from my childhood generally won’t (hibiscus, frangipani, bottle brushes, birds of paradise.. nope).

Not a glamourous shot, but you get the idea.

As I was feeling pretty productive, I also decided to try and clean the bikes up after being stored on the balcony all winter long, and give their chains some grease in hopes that they’ll be rideable sooner rather than later once we top up their tires. I’m looking forward to the ease of transit that biking affords (although not dealing with shitty drivers – I wish there were more bike lanes in Toronto!).

Get ready for summer, bikes!

 

And for good measure, here’s what you see when you peer downtown from our balcony. Adam’s set to dangle off the side of the CN Tower today doing the Edge Walk, so I hope the weather stays nice for him!

Blue skies.