Fun Family Activities | 14 April 2016Craft your Own Terrarium Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Nothing brightens the home or office quite like a touch of handcrafted greenery, particularly in spring. We love the justifiably popular terrarium, which allows nature to flourish in the smallest of spaces and even withstands the blackest of thumbs! In Crafted Garden, Louise Curley shows just how easy it is to make your own terrarium from glass containers found around the home. photography by Jason Ingram Creating a mini garden encased in glass first became popular in Victorian Britain thanks to Nathaniel Ward and his mini greenhouse – the Wardian case. This essential piece of equipment for plant hunters of the day allowed them successfully to bring plants home from across the globe. Recycle and Repurpose Have a rummage through your kitchen cupboards or take a trip to a flea market or vintage shop in search of the perfect container. Plain glass is what you are looking for in a container that will be large enough to take your plant/s and the growing mix of compost, biochar and pebbles. Large pickling jars, old-fashioned sweet jars and preserving jars are all excellent. You can even try glass cloches standing on a pretty base such as a cake stand or tray. Suitable Plants A true terrarium is sealed with a lid, and the moist humid environment created inside is perfect for mosses, tiny hostas, lichens and ferns. Once planted, watered and sealed, your terrarium will need little attention other than admiring looks. The moisture inside will be sufficient to keep the plants watered, and all you really need to do is to remove the lid every week or so for a few hours to provide a little ventilation. After six months, or perhaps a year, you may need to remove your plants and divide them if your terrarium is looking a little crowded. Take this opportunity to refresh the compost and biochar. Making a sealed terrarium What you will need: Large plain glass container with lid Small pebbles Biochar [horticultural charcoal] Potting compost Chopsticks, to manoeuvre plants into place Small plants Herb clippers that are small enough to use for pruning (for general maintenance) Sealed Terrarium Plants Look for plants that like damp, humid conditions and that can cope with low light levels. Asplenium marinum Blechnum penna-marina Mini hostas such as Hosta ‘Small Parts’ Selaginella kraussiana Selaginella uncinata Trichomanes Try mosses from the garden too Photography by Jason Ingram Preparing the container Put a 2.5cm/1in layer of small pebbles mixed with a small amount of biochar, in the base of the jar. On top of this, add 5–7cm/2–3in potting compost. Just moisten the compost; do not soak. Lightly press down the compost. Photography by Jason Ingram Planting up Using chopsticks, create a hole for each plant; insert and firm in around it. Then you can add moss from your garden or bits of twigs covered in pretty lichen, if you want. Place the lid on t he container. Do not worry if condensation forms. This shows the conditions are perfect for your plants. If condensation does not occur, remove the lid and give the plants a misting; then replace the lid. A hot, sunny windowsill will scorch the plants inside your terrarium. The cooler, shadier conditions of a north- or west-facing spot are more suitable. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: The Crafted Garden is the second book by exceptional new talent, Louise Curley, who shares her passion for natural garden craft with a wider audience. These fifty novel and attractive projects and techniques will give everyone a chance to feel clever about their creativity, as they transform twigs, sprigs, berries and stems into baubles, bunches, decorations and works of art. These are projects for indoors and out, arranged by the season, with galleries of projects to inspire, step by steps projects to copy and technique masterclasses to help readers develop their own skills. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.