Terrarium Love

Well, before everyone was after a miniature landscape for their mantlepiece, my mother showed me how to make a terrarium. When we took family road trips there was always an obligatory detour down a side road and into the bush to fossick for a few wee seedlings and a little bit of moss to complete one when we made it home.

Recently my sister got married, so a terrarium production line was set up to decorate the tables.

These terrariums won’t last forever, but with a little care will hold up for at least a couple of months, and when they do die off you can start afresh.

You’ll need:
Small round glass vases (easily found online, try Freedom or Briscoes)
Potting mix
Ferns and small seedlings

Choose glass containers large enough to house your selected plants and small enough to sit happily on the windowsill, bookshelf or wherever you want them to end up.

The ideal plants are found in swampy or cool bush areas, such as moss and ferns. When collecting your plants, wrap the roots in a damp paper towel inside a plastic bag to keep them alive. Alternatively, there’s a range of miniature house plants called ‘Wee Cuties’ that can be found at most garden centres.

To begin assembly, place a layer of potting mix – keep this layer thin to help inhibit the growth of your plants, allowing them to conform to their miniature surroundings. Top with a layer of moss.

Dig holes down through the moss for your plants and arrange according to shape, size, colour. Start with the smallest plants first – gently press the moss in and around each root system. Once all plants are in their final positions, clean and tidy the inside of the terrarium, discarding any dead areas.

Initially water only enough to moisten the soil, less is better. Should your terrarium wilt at all simply add a little water. Generally it can be left to its own devices, but occasionally spraying with a de-mister (about once a week) will stop it drying out. Place the finished terrarium in good light, but never in direct sunlight as its little eco-system will overheat!

These are super cute on the windowsill in your kitchen or bathroom. Or cluster a few together on a table, bookcase or mantle.


– Alice Lines, Undone Girl

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