Terrariums

There is something so wonderful about digging my hands deep into the soil, discovering the life that lives beneath the surface and becoming apart of the natural world around me.  It’s been much too cold lately to really get my hands in the soil, I have been pruning and cleaning the area around the plants and tending to the new growth.  I have been inspired lately by indoor plants and mini gardens, but when it comes to indoor plants I usually get overwhelmed when the plant gets too large and ends up looking tall and lanky instead of short and bubbly.  For a couple years now I have wanted to try my had at making a Terrarium and well, today was the day!

I have seen a number of great images online for various designs and layouts and took a few of these to heart when designing my own terrarium.  I had a glass apothecary jar that I was using to store my son’s soother in when he was only a few months old, but he hasn’t had any desire for a soother for at least 7 months now and that beautiful glass apothecary jar has only been collecting dust.  This morning I stepped outside to hunt down all of the supplies I needed for our little ecosystem – I got all of my instructions from Sprout Home, which not only gave me great inspiration, but also the perfect instructions and maintenance for our garden. I got the small drainage stones and a couple mosses form our garden, the sterilized soil (as not to add any insects or bacteria into the space), a moss and a small tropical plant from the garden centre and the last item, activated charcoal, I picked up at our local pet store.  There were some tutorials that said the charcoal wasn’t required but made for a more difficult maintenance in the end.   The charcoal absorbs the impurities and helps keeps the soil fresh and the plants from rotting.  When I spoke to a sales staff at the garden centre she informed me that I shouldn’t use any fertilizer as it encourages growth, which is what you don’t want in a mini garden.  She also informed me that I want to pinch off any parts of the plant to keep it on the smaller side.  Of course these tidbits made sense to me, but its always great to have a professional give you those tidbits!

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Now that I had all of my supplies in order, including a glass apothecary jar with a lid, several types of specialty mosses (two from our garden and one form the garden center), stones, soil, and activated charcoal I was ready to begun. I wanted to build a closed terrarium, as I love the look of a little condensation and moss, so once I close the lid, aside form watering it I will almost never need to open the lid again; it will become a beautiful self-sustaining ecosystem.

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The first layer I added was the loose moss  to absorb some of the extra water that runs through the drainage rocks.

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The activated charcoal/carbon was added after the pebbles.

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I sloped the soil so there could be a front and a back.

IMG_6543Here is the beautiful pink and green tropical plant I added to give the terrarium a little extra oomph.  I am going to find a little porcelain figurine to add to this little world, but couldn’t find one while I was out today.

IMG_6545Here you can see the finished product and the beautiful layers that make up this precious eco system.  Once all of the ingredients were gathered this little DIY project took less than 30 minutes to assemble.  I am really happy with the outcome and the only thing I would change would have been to use a taller apothecary jar, but I wanted to use the jar I had on hand.  I also love that even the blackest thumb can try their hand at gardening without too much investment and in the end is a very easy garden to care for!

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