Bring the Garden Inside:
How to Build A Terrarium

October 12, 2012 Evergreen Enterprises 0 Comments

If you love the natural atmosphere of the garden but don’t have the location (or the weather) to enjoy one, then build one indoors with a terrarium! The modern terrarium traces its roots back to England in the early 1800s, when it was discovered that plants tended to grow better in their own clean, contained ecosystem, much like a greenhouse. Since then people have created terrariums as a means to enjoy a chance to cultivate plant life indoors year-round.

Along with a recent surge in popularity, terrariums are some of the newer garden items to appear in our recent catalogs. In our latest Evergreen Garden summer supplement catalog, we’ve introduced a selection of new tabletop terrariums (some of which are shown above) that have natural stone-look bases with dome-shaped open glass tops, suitable for a porch or parlor. We’ve offered terrariums in our Cape Craftsmen line for over a year now, all with metal frames and glass panels. The selections include two tabletop designs in verdigris or bright red finishes as well as a larger model with a shelved stand, also in verdigris (shown at left). The glass cloches that we offer in the Cape Craftsmen catalog can also be used to build a terrarium.

Terrariums can be used simply to house small potted plants, as shown in the photo below. However, the true garden enthusiast will want to embrace the terrarium's full possibilities as a chance to create a completely contained botanical ecosystem.

Once you’ve acquired the terrarium itself, here’s how to build and care for it, in six simple steps.

1. First, create a base foundation layer using sand or pebbles to allow for good drainage. For a closed terrarium, it’s best to add an additional layer of crushed charcoal to a closed terrarium. The charcoal will filter the air and keep it fresh, just like in an aquarium filter (you can purchase it at any pet shop with aquarium supplies).

2. Next, add a layer of moss and then a layer of nutrient-rich potting soil.

3. Then add your selected plants. We suggest ferns, moss, baby’s tears, cacti, and succulents such as jade, aloe, earth stars, and sedum. You may even want to add seeds to grow into new plants.

4. Finally, add additional decorations, such as our mini garden accessories, to give your terrarium character and personal flair.

5. Place terrarium in indirect sunlight. Natural light is needed, but direct sunlight will be too strong.

6. Open terrariums need watering 1-2 times a week. Closed terrariums rarely need watering. Inside a closed terrarium, a natural water cycle will occur through condensation and precipitation.

With the right terrarium and the right preparation, you’ll be able to enjoy the green, growing garden inside for weeks to come!

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