Friday, May 4, 2012

Another Gardening Project!

A few years ago, I had seen an article on making terrariums. .I was all excited about it. .until it came time to buy the plants to put in it. .All I could find to plant in my gallon sized pickle jar. .were 4 inch potted houseplants. .nothing that was really suitable for a small environment. I bought a couple, and put a little hunk of moss in there too. Nothing fancy. .One plant survives in the original terrarium. .and it hasn't grown out the top of the jar yet. February had me getting anxious to try the project again. .and I researched out some online places to buy SMALL plants. .seemingly made for a terrarium. I had my sister in law on board too, and that was going to be a little project for the two of us to do some morning. After my dad's accident and death, I just completely lost the motivation to pursue the project.
But. .on our antiquing excursion. .I found a large glass canister that I picked up for $10 at the flea market. .which would work perfectly for a terrarium! So. .I hopped BACK on board, and got some plants ordered last week. We used to purchase little plants suitable for our project. They have packages where they send you a mixture. .
but they were out. .
SO. .
I went off their guidelines and ordered some similar varieties. .
and surprisingly. .we weren't disappointed in my choices!
It was funny that we ended up with nearly the same jars. .Lisa got hers from Target with a sealed lid (they removed the seal so it wasn't airtight). She was annoyed that mine from the flea market was a little cheaper :-)
We put small stones or pea gravel into the bottom for drainage. And then we used a non-metal window screening cut to size, to keep the soil from washing down into the rock.
We used a coir brick as the soil. For those of you that aren't familiar with that. .it is a brick made out of coir. .the outer portion of the coconut shell. When water is added, the brick expands to 4-7 times it's original size, transforming into a light, airy planting medium. .especially good for terrarium environments. It holds moisture in well, and keeps odors down.
As we put in a layer of coir, we both ended up making a planting surface area that had hills and valleys in it to make it more interesting.
We used bromeliads (the tall spiky plants in the middle). The overstock ones were cheapest. .and we didn't really care what variety they were. Lisa's was a little more compact
And I could photograph down into her terrarium. We also each got a fern, baby tears, golden spikemoss, and a couple of vining begonia cuttings. 
Lisa put a small deer and a rabbit figurine into her terrarium to finish it off.

Mine? I scavenged rocks out of my little rock garden. .some crystals. .some petrified wood. .and some fossils. I also used a little green glass basket that was my husband's great aunts. .I thought it looked quaint in there, sort of half buried in the soil. I would have snapped a photo looking down into my container. .but all I could see was that crazy bromeliad!!
And the other side. .We misted the plants and soaked the soil. .I have left my lid cracked a teensy bit to keep the condensation off the jar walls. .and it is at home on my coffee table in the front room!!
We had a fun time. .and the whole project took less than an hour. .if we can keep them alive, we have already decided that we'll try it again sometime!!
Lots going on around here this week. .stay tuned. .I'm sure I will keep you posted!
Have a great day!


  1. How neat! I've picked up several large old jars in the past year with this very idea in mind....only I've never gotten around to actually planting them---that's a unique concept-LOL!!
    They look great-and with your green thumb, I doubt you'll have any problems "keeping them alive". Have a great weekend, Melanie!

  2. I love the terrariums! You make it look easy. I still want to make one and maybe it would be a good middle of summer too hot to be outside in the afternoon project. I wonder though about having plants shipped then. Hmmmm. They both look nice. My hubby would probably want a little gnome in mine--long story. I like the fossils and a touch of glass. I have some little fossils and Kimberlite rocks from geology in college that might look nice in one.

  3. Hmmmm. You are tweeking my interest in terrariums with your post. I'm a little afraid that I'd be the one to get all the ingredients and never get the project done - but I may surprise myself! Your finished terrariums look gorgeous.

  4. Oh, I love terrariums! They are awesome! You guys did great! I love seeing the layers on the bottom and then the plants all green on top. It is such a visual thing! Years ago, when my boys were small, we made a terrarium in a rectangular fish tank and we put some little plastic dinosaurs was totally prehistoric!

  5. Oh how cute! I haven't seen those in years. I should try that out and put one in my science lab.

  6. I used to have a huge pickle jar our local high school kitchen saved for me, but I don't know where I put it! Anyway, I LOVE these terrariums and can't wait to find a jar and make one myself. I loved your step-by-step instructions.

    I pinned this on Pinterest! Thanks for the idea!

    We're still watching for our Denver Daisies to come up. Thanks again for the seedheads!