Brian has been saying for weeks that he wants to create a glass terrarium for our dining room. I think he got the itch after watching a segment on "Sunday Morning" that featured renowned glass and terrarium artist, Paula Hayes. Her awesome terrariums are on display in multiple art museums throughout the world, and are made of very large custom, hand-blown glass vessels that are tens of thousands of dollars.
Ours? Just $20. Word to your hubby.
Most of the materials were purchased through a kit at Oakland Nursery in Columbus, Ohio... just this morning. So it doesn't take long to get everything in order and get down to making your very own living decoration.
The terrarium kit came with most of what you see here, except for the three plants. It was nice of them to label all of the ingredients. You know, in case you don't know your "rocks" from your "soil."
Next, we simply added each element in the proper order to ensure self-watering and proper filtration inside the terrarium. Thankfully, the kit came with detailed (but very easy) instructions, so we felt confident in diving right in. First step - adding the rocks! And any rocks will do - even pretty tumbled ones from the craft store. We used the ones in the kit.
Well that was Staples' button easy. Next, we piled in a very thin layer of charcoal (filters the water) and then about four inches of soil. You do need to ensure the soil is clean and as organic as possible. You don't want a dirty little moldy world to develop inside there.
Now it's showtime! Make it rain all green up in here. Just one plant was actually cultivated for terrarium use, so it was tiny and fit in nice and snug right off the bat. The other two plants we had to break up, and used about 1/4 of each one. We dug little holes with a spoon, and made sure to pat down the soil between each plant to give them a secure footing in their new home.
After the plants were in, you can see above that we added a bit of dried moss that came with the kit. There were both dark green and lime pieces, which added some nice color to the foliage. Then we mixed in a bit of left-over rock and bark for added dimension and color.
Finally, we added a small amount of water with a baster to get the whole environment 'turned on,' and then put the lid on the jar. Now it's up to all the natural stuff to essentially take care of itself. We just have to watch the level of condensation, and when it seems minimal, add a bit more water. Shouldn't be that frequent.
As Mac would say (er, scream) - ALL DONE! Except we still had about half of our plants left, so we filled in a sad, wiry plant that was nearly dead upstairs, and it seems to have sprung back to life. Feels so good getting some greenery in the house in January!
Not bad for a quick Sunday project. It took us maybe 30 minutes during Mac's nap from start to finish - no big deal in my book. But creating, uploading and posting this entry? Well that took about five hours, in between chasing around that little spitfire 20-month-old. That's one CRAZY deal!