Nature Under Glass
Terrarium Inspiration and How-To
After looking at nothing but grey skies for the past couple weeks here in Toronto, spring cannot get here fast enough. I’m ready to spend more time outdoors and start planting my tiny patio garden. Not that I’m an expert gardener by any means, there’s just something about the smell of soil and watching things grow that I can’t resist. That’s why I think this is the ideal time to do a little indoor gardening and I have the perfect project in mind: terrariums.
The terrarium is like the much cooler, more elegant cousin of the indoor houseplant. With only a few simple materials you can make a tiny microcosm that will bring a little nature into your home. Before I get to the how-to here are a few examples of what’s possible.
Traditional TerrariumsPaula Hayes pop deluxe
The traditional terrarium uses soil and the typical greenery you might find in an outdoor garden. You can create the perfect English countryside or a tropical paradise, whatever gets your green thumb twitching. I’m digging the mid-century mod vibe of the terrarium above by pop deluxe.
Succulents and Air Plant TerrariumsPhoto by Sea & Asters Air plants by Tortoise Loves Donkey
I’m also partial to the other worldliness of succulent and air plant terrariums. There are a number of Etsy shops that sell terrarium kits with all the succulents and supplies you will need to plant your own. Sea & Asters have a beautiful collection of plants and kits, as do Tortoise Loves Donkey.
How to Make Your Own TerrariumOrna Design
Now for the how-to. With only a little bit of patience, a few supplies and a keen design sense you can have your very own terrarium in a single afternoon.
- Find a container that you love, preferably one made out of glass so you can easily see your creation. There’s no need to limit yourself to garden stores, antique or home decor stores may have some unique options.
- Now it’s time to pick your plants. Look for a variety of leaf shapes and colours to achieve an interesting design. Mosses, Swedish Ivy, Ferns and Herbs are all excellent plants to start with.
- Place a one inch layer of small stones at the bottom of your container. These will help with drainage.
- Add your soil, the amount of soil you will use will vary depending on the size and shape of your container, but you’ll want to have at least a few inches to leave room for roots to grow.
- Add your plants and arrange however you wish. You might prefer crowded and organic, or sparse and modern, go with what you like and have fun with this step.
- Water but don’t over-water. A spray mister might be the best way to regulate moisture levels.
- Give it some sun. Place your terrarium in moderate to direct sunlight.
If you are more interested in planting a succulent terrarium the approach is very similar but requires slightly different materials and plants. Martha Stewart has a great tutorial that you can find here.