I moved south to get away from long cold winters, but ever further south I find the winters cold and dreary, though thankfully not as long. After a few days of gray, I need a bit of outdoor sunshine, so I mad a terrarium, complete with whimsical additions. They are charming and a great project to do with children. They will loved the planting aspect and making little clay or lego figures to set in the landscape.
You will need:
gravel, pepples or marbles
fishbowl or glass jar of any size and style
plants of your choice (African violets, ferns, ivy, coleuses, small palms, baby tears, moss or lichens)
small hand trowel
newsprint or brown paper
1. Protect your work surface. Cover your table or counter with paper. This will not only protect the surface, but make for easier clean up. While you are at it, protect your hands and put on your gloves.
2. Clean your jar or bowl in hot, sudsy water and air dry. I supported my local charity shop by making container purchases there, but you could just as easily raid your recylcle bin. Mason jars are also a cute touch.
3. Add a one inch layer of gravel for drainage. I used glass pebbles, but you could also use small rocks you've collected or even chips of broken crockery.
4. Add a 1/2 inch layer of horticultural charcoal. The charcoal pulls the impurities out of the soil and improves drainage.
5. Add a 3-4 inch layer of potting soil. Start fresh with a new bag of potting soil. Have fun with it. Make small hills for different viewpoints within your terrarium.
6. Planting time! Arrange your plants in the terrarium until you have a composition you like. Dig holes in the soil with the trowel (or fingers if your trowel is too large). Snip off any dead leaves on the plants and then carefully remove them from their pots. I bought a selection of miniature violets I couldn't resist!