Terrariums!

Posted on February 21, 2013. Filed under: Plants |

Welcome to Lavish Living, my new blog about interesting ways to enrich your life without breaking the bank.  I hope you get some good ideas!  Let’s get started.  I have been playing with terrariums lately.  Living in Wisconsin can be pretty dismal in winter.  The snow piles up and turns to unmoveable ice.  The sky is often the same gray color as everything else, soaking in to color my mood blah.  Terrariums are a great way to introduce a little green into the world!  There is something so inspiring about a little world under glass.  Take a look at my fern world.

terrarium - ferns                                               terrarium - ferns, inside

This apothecary jar is from T.J. Maxx for $12.99.  I used some broken pottery in a layer in the bottom, then a layer of horticultural charcoal, then potting soil with a little of that charcoal mixed in.  The 2 ferns are from the garden center for $2.49 each and the moss is out of my garden.

Moss out of your garden, you say?  Yes, back in November before the snow flew I did take a big old garden knife and slice underneath a hunk of moss growing right next to my driveway to pick it up like a rug.  Then I put it in a plastic lettuce container that was going into recycling.  This worked well because I put the lid on and kept it moist.  I have found that moss will die if it dries out and this will happen quickly in a heated home.  Keeping it in the plastic container really did keep it happy.  So when I had this terrarium started it was easy to pull off a hunk and put it down in there.  Now just a word here about moss.  It is slow growing and kind of fragile in the wild.  Don’t ever take any from a public place like a garden, park, or national forest.  If you don’t have any on your own or a friend’s property order it online.  A lot of vendors grow it for sale.

The rocks were a special gift from a person who knows I love rocks.  She brought them back for me from a trip to Bhutan.  They are so special I was glad to have this place to put them where they would shine.

The lid stays on and collects moisture which rains down on the plants.  The whole thing is a little ecosystem of its own.  I will keep an eye on it to make sure it is not too wet, but the glass lid does not seal so some air and moisture escapes which is good, I think.  The charcoal keeps the possibility of mold down which is generally destructive in a forced environment like this, killing the plants.  I do open it occasionally, though, to breathe in the O2-rich air.  It’s a little bit of spring right here in the dead of winter!

All in all I think I have about $20 into this terrarium.  I’ve see similarly-sized terrariums for sale in stores and online for $60-100 so I think I did well, but it is more than I want to spend for other terrariums.  Next I will show you how to make terrariums for a song!

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