Friday, February 6, 2015

Artist Vaughn Bell's Hanging Terrariums

Photo credit: Vaughn Bell From: dnainfo.com
We love terrariums as they bring a bit of the outdoors indoors.  A miniature landscape to explore in your imagination, a small bottle of the sights and smells of the woodlands.  Artist Vaughn Bell capitalizes on these characteristics with an immersion experience: a hanging terrarium you can pop your head into for a look around.  This is one of many art installations at the DePaul Art Museum in Chicago that focus on soil.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Terrarium Bauble Tips from Living Mi-Wey

Photo by Linda Davidson/The Washington Post

Michele Weymouth of Living Mi-Wey in Virginia shares a step-by-step guide for creating a succulent terrarium with the Washington Post. I love her signature terrarium bauble: something gold nestled among her terrarium plants.  Other great terrarium decoration ideas include small mirrors, figurines, glass marbles, or beach glass.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Make Your Own Terrarium Kit to Gift

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons user Xenophon
Terrarium kits make attractive gifts and terrarium kits crop up in many catalogs and shopping websites around the holidays.  Some businesses make a tidy profit packaging a few easy-to-find supplies into a heavily marked-up terrarium kit.  If you'd like to gift a terrarium kit this holiday season, consider putting together one yourself with a few simple materials.

Make A Terrarium Kit 
Glass Container
Use your imagination! Use wine bottles, vases, tiny bottles, bowls, containers with lids- anything! Consider looking at a second-hand store rather than expensive vases or storage containers called terrariums.

Soil Mixture
Mix two parts potting mix with one part sand to ensure proper drainage.

Pebbles
Pebbles, small rocks or small pieces of glass can all be used for the rock layer in your terrarium.

Activated Charcoal
You can buy activated charcoal at any aquarium supply location.

Spaghnum Moss
The spaghnum moss serves as a filter between your soil layers and charcoal, and is optional.

Plants
See 19 terrarium plants suited to life under glass.

Tools
Bamboo skewers to maneuver plants and soil.

Decorative Items
Be sure your trinkets or statuettes will fit in the terrarium vessel.

Monday, November 10, 2014

How to Water an Air Plant Terrarium

Tillandsia aeranthos in collectie Eric J. Gouda
Air plants or tillandsia make an ethereal addition to an ornament terrarium or hanging terrarium, and are among the most common terrarium plants.  But how to water these spiky beauties?  Traditional air plant care indicates a periodic soak in water to allow for watering.  However, it may be difficult to remove an air plant from an ornament terrarium with a small opening.

Shari Petrucci from the Western Mass Masters Gardeners Association shares a suggestion at Mass Appeal:
"If your air-plants are in a small terrarium and you are unable to remove them for watering, we recommend misting them through the opening once weekly. This method can also be used for our hanging globe terrariums, wall pockets, and apothecary terrariums. Pay close attention that your plants are getting adequate moisture, but are not sitting in water within any terrarium."
Remember that using distilled water in terrariums can reduce the amount of mineral deposits that develop on the glass.  Be sure to visit Air Plants 101 at Mass Appeal to learn more about air plant care.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

8 Tips for Growing Succulents in Terrariums

Green succulents are more likely to survive indoors.
Succulents are one of the most popular terrarium plants, because they are easy to find and have a variety of shapes and sizes.  Succulents are frequently recognized as desert plants that prefer sandy soil, heat, and sun.  Terrariums often create humid, damp, warm environments.  How can you be sure that your succulent terrarium will thrive?  One tip is to stick to open-top or dish terrariums when planting succulents.  Dish terrariums, planted in glass dishes rather than bottles, allow soil to dry out in between watering.  Lee Mei Li shares eight tips additional tips for terrarium succulents in The Star Online.  I share tip #3 but be sure to visit the article for the rest of the ideas!
"3. Not all succulents are the same. Some may thrive indoors while others do better outdoors. Start with the greener ones as they are likely to survive better indoors."