Tuesday, February 5

Tuesday How-to...

I was inspired by Martie's terrariums at Space Design that were recently posted about on Designer's Library. They remind me of the constant gatherer's amazing creations (especially Ms. Virginia Deer - hint hint - Valentine's Day anyone?). So I decided to find myself a guide on how to make these buddies real cheap. I found a helpful how-to on Inhabitat and an e-how video. I wanted to try and create a little east coast garden since all I've seen since moving to San Diego are succulants and palm trees. I got an aspargus fern, maidenhair fern, and some spotted foliage. My container turned out to be too small or my plants too big so I'll have to spread them out between containers. I have so much pebbles, soil, and moss left over though I can probably spend the rest of the week making different terrariums.

All of the terrarium how-to pages I read said to make sure the plants were compatible - no cacti with something that needs a lot of water or light sun plants with full sun plants.

1. Get all your containers nice and clean. I used a tall vase I already had in the house and I bought a small fish tank from the petstore for $5.

2. Add an inch of pebbles (pet store might have these but I found mine at the garden center) and a shallow layer of charcoal (from the pet store in the aquarium section with the filter stuff - do not use BBQ charcoal!). The charcoal keeps the stank out.

3. Add a layer of spagnum moss (garden center had this) and enough soil to cover the roots of your plants. I think I got a little over zealous with the pebbles and the moss so I would recommend not using too much. I had to use a lot of soil to get my plants' roots covered and that took up quite a bit of room. Apparently my layers are supposed to settle in a couple weeks.

4. Shake off any dirt that might be on your plants' roots before planting it in your container. That way you aren't using up more room than you need. If your container is big enough, make a space with your fingers or if your container is too small you can use chopsticks. Make sure your plants roots are nicely covered.

5. After all your plants are in there you can decorate with rocks or shells (or Buddha). I'm going to find some little animals to live in there. Maybe some deer and a rabbit.

6. Give your new terrarium some water but not too much. I used the cup that came with my iron since it has a nice spout and I can get just the right amount of water in there. Don't water these plants as much as you normally would since they are built to keep moisture in.

And that's it. I'm going to give this another go sometime soon. It was fun making it and picking out the plants. My next terrarium will definitely have some carniverous guys and maybe an orchid or african violet.


  1. remind me to lend you all my old blueprints, theres one that shows how to make adorable little tabletop landscapes. i think you'll love them.

  2. I've always wanted to make my own small herb garden for the kitchen...this could definately lead in the right direction. Beautiful idea!