Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tiny Terrariums, Mini Gardens and Victorian Wardian Cases

Terrariums and Victorian Wardian CasesI'm switching from crafts temporarily (storing up energy for the fall-winter holiday season) and for the next month or so will be publishing all sorts of helpful indoor gardening tips to ease from the pleasures of growing things outside to the joy of growing something inside.

I'm not sure what appeals to me so much about tiny things but it doesn't matter if we're talking about puppies or poppies small is cute.

Not only are terrariums and miniature gardens the solution to small spaces and apartment living but they can be a beautiful addition to your interior design.

You don't have to have a fancy antique Victorian Wardian case such as you see above, even a large vase, Mason jar or clear glass cookie jar works well. The key is to plan well.

1. Choose your container. I like the Anchor Hocking brand of glass containers they often sell at Walmart because they're decorative and inexpensive but think of any glass container or even a piece of lava rock on a shallow dish is a beautiful place for tiny succulents. Cottage Living shows how to grow little plants in clear Christmas balls and Angry Chicken has a link to a beautiful suspended terrarium.

Terrariums and Victorian Wardian Cases2. Layer well. Spread a thin layer of gravel in the bottom followed by another thin layer of charcoal bits and a thicker layer of potting soil.

3. Decide if you want a theme. How about a rain forest or miniature formal garden for example? Get some paper and plan the layout.

4. Plant your flowers. You can get plants that are actually miniaturized versions of larger plants--I have some miniature orchids that I've been successfully growing in terrariums for over a year now--which can be so cute in a tiny garden complete with tiny bricks and a tiny fountain but you can also plant regularly-sized plants and let them go. Experiment a little--those white flowers you see at the left are miniature gloxinia.

5. Watch the light. You won't have to worry too much about the water because in a closed terrarium most of the water is recycled but you will need to check on it occasionally. However, watch that you don't burn the plant if you have it sitting in strong sun because the glass will make it even hotter in there--too hot for some plants.

Sponsored by Sweet Retreat Kids--for fun kids decor. Fun spaces are memorable places.

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21 comments:

Alison said...

What beautiful indoor gardens! Is it Wednesday already? I need to wake up ;-) These gardens just might work for me - one of my cats chews up any green stuff that comes into the house, but these would be out of reach!

One Mom said...

I love these ideas but are you actually doing this while your house is turned upside down?

Lani ~ The Wooden Porch said...

I am so inspired! Where did you find that fancy antique Victorian Wardian? Because that's exactly what I want to use. It's so pretty!

How about the mini plants, where did you find those?

lifemoreabundant said...

Okay, I love this idea. I have tried indoor gardening - herbs primarily in order to be practical as well as pretty - but they failed because I have no direct sunlight into my house. The entire house is shaded, so I get filtered light through all of my windows except a brief period (maybe an hour or so) in the evening. Would this still work?

Scribbit said...

To answer your questions: yes, I think that should work lifemoreabundant. You would adapt plants accordingly but you could get miniature ivy and other houseplants that take more shade and they should do well--most houseplants are tropical plants anyway so they thrive from the added humidity a terrarium offers.

One Mom--no new projects for me :) I'm lucky to get myself dressed nowadays. But the ones I started back a while ago are doing well--the glass is covered with dust but they're still alive. The little samurai orchid has done well which is exciting, they're harder to grow.

As for suppliers, I'd recommend going online unless you live in a hub that would have that kind of thing. There are lots of suppliers, do some Googling and compare prices. As for the Wardian cases (which I LOVE) you can often find them on ebay though many of them are antique and can be pricey. Once again, Google is your friend.

Maddy said...

I brought an old one from England. Very handy to counteract the drafts over there. Over here it's more like a greenhouse, a really hot house for delicately broiled plants!
Cheers

Killlashandra said...

One of my cloverbuds did a terrarium for her county fair project and it turned out wonderfully. She just used a 2 liter bottle for it. I haven't gotten around to posting those pictures yet.

They really aren't that hard to make. :)

Shannon said...

I like these ideas. . . I need something fun to keep me busy now that my kids are in school all day.

JackieD said...

oooh, you're going to get me in trouble! I've been looking to buy something like this whole, but I never thought to start from scratch. I'm a little nervous about buying plants online though, any tips?

Munchkins and Music said...

If I had room I would totally do this! It is so pretty.

chelle said...

I love love love terrariums. I have two now and want to plant many many more!

Karin: said...

What a beautiful idea for a an indoor garden! I'm guessing if this can work as well in Alaska, then it might in Arizona.

Mina Jade said...

I like the tiny gardens! :-)

Mina Jade said...

And they could be even in a flat, nice idea.

Doll Clothes Gal said...

You're doing a great job there - I find it so difficult to cultivate indoor but you seem to have it down pat.

Lucy said...

Okay - I've been in a cave. Have not ever seen your blog before and I can tell I've missed out on a good one. Great posts. Love the music chimes. Thanks.

Lisa said...

Those are beautiful. I really love the succulents in the rock.

april said...

This is awesome!

I love the rock. Looks like a mini mountain.

Janet said...

That's an excellent idea. Maybe plants in a tank will be a good substitute for the fish in a tank the Queen wants.

Stacey@Look, Mom, Look! said...

What wonderful ideas! I tend to forget about gardening when the weather turns. This is a great idea to keep gardening through the year.

Nova @ Grow Herb Garden said...

I'm green with envy. Your mini plants are to die for. I also checked out your terrariums, I want to try those in my house.

Thanks for the idea.