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Toddlers and Terrariums

2013 April 29
by Becky

For years I’ve been meaning to try out these mini, indoor gardens because they are so darn adorable. They also seem pretty easy to maintain, which is good because I have a tendency to kill indoor plants.

So I was thrilled on my recent trip to the a local antique shop, Quintessential, I scored two lovely glass containers for a great deal. One open, one with a lid. Figured I’d try both.

(You can find cute containers at Target, Home Goods, etc if you want to buy them new).

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So one windy, cloudy morning Ethan and I headed to Bowood Farms nursery in the Central West End…a place my aunt Cathy (the terrarium queen) has recommended to me numerous times. She wasn’t wrong—it is a fabulous place. We had lunch at the gorgeous Cafe Osage, just inside the front door of the nursery, not realizing it was a bit of a fancy joint…no other toddlers to be seen. But Ethan put his perfect table manners to good use and we dove in to some delicious food. A few neighboring tables even commented on his big appetite and restaurant etiquette. I was SO PROUD.

But back to terrariums…

After lunch, the nursery staff helped me get all the supplies I needed:

  • charcoal
  • cactus potting mix
  • moss (I chose the preserved stuff, not live)
  • small plants (the staff helped me pick)

The staff entertained Ethan while I shopped—BONUS! 

One thing we didn’t buy was gravel, of which we have plenty in our yard so Ethan helped scoop some in a colindar and we rinsed it really well.

It was a lot of stuff for a couple little jars of plants!

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Everything went relatively quickly once our supplies were all in one place. The order was:

  1. Gravel
  2. Charcoal
  3. Moss
  4. Cactus Mix
  5. Plants
  6. Moss topper

Ethan’s digger helped dig all the holes. (Just kidding) 

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The incredible staff at Bowood helped me choose plants that would best fit each of my containers—more moisture-friendly plants for the closed jar, drier plants for the open box. I need lots of hand-holding at nurseries.

Don’t ask me what the names of the plants are, I have no clue. I’ve just now gotten a hold on outdoor plant names…indoor/terrarium plants are a whole new world to me.

All I know is they turned out lovely.

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Nothing like adding some plants to make a house feel like home. I may not have art hung on the walls or a single curtain covering a window, but we have indoor gardens.

I just hope I don’t kill them. (Stu’s got the green thumb…he’ll make sure they stay alive)

At least the closed jar should be pretty self-sufficient.

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I won’t lie, the “ingredients” for these little pots of pretty weren’t cheap. The total for everything (minus the containers) came to a little over $50, but I have plenty left to make several more terrariums. I got some succulents for our porch and will use the cactus mix for them, can put moss on outdoor plants, and I hope to find a use for the leftover charcoal…any suggestions?

***Pssst: I saw the moss on sale at Joanne Fabric for like $4 a bag. CHEAP.

Thanks to my Grandma for her generous “house warming gift” that went toward this little project. Ethan was thrilled to “Plant a wittle garden”, even if all he wanted to do was play with the rocks.

Terrarium pros—did I do it right? Any tricks I should know? 

6 Responses
  1. April 29, 2013

    They look great.

  2. April 29, 2013

    They are beautiful and well done like every thing you do. Can’t wait to see them.

  3. Lara permalink
    April 29, 2013

    So cool. Actually, I don’t know what is better…the beautiful terrariums or Ethan’s perfect table manners.

  4. Kristan permalink
    April 29, 2013

    Can I just say I love looking at pictures of your new house and Quinn’s buddy, Ethan?! And especially love that the digger wasn’t left out of planting!!

  5. Lauren G permalink
    May 1, 2013

    I just finished putting everything back in place after having plantation shutters put up this past weekend. I plopped down to read your blog and it’s so funny that the jar with the lid… I have 4 identical jars (only mine have red and green lids) from Bret’s grandparents just sitting over by the fireplace. I smell a new project… terrariums!

    • Becky permalink*
      May 2, 2013

      I ALMOST got one with a red lid! Can’t wait to see a) your shutters and b) your terrariums!!

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