Terrariums: In-door gardening at it’s best during the pandemic.

Are you like me and finding this lockdown eternal? For what i hope is the VERY last leg of this Covid marathon I’ll be posting lovely home-based activities that will both look good and make you feel super cheery while you’re doing them.

In-door gardening is a fine way to be creative, to connect with those you live with or just allow our scattered minds to get fully absorbed in one task. With music on the background and the company of my 10 year old daughter, I found it a genuinely mindful task. We kept all our repotting tasks for one rainy Saturday afternoon and together we moved from one plant to another and eventually made these fun terrariums.

“A terrarium is a collection of small plants growing in an enclosed environment”.

First, I’d suggest a good rummage about in your house or shed to find any vase or vessel that you think might work. I particularly like glass vases so that you can see the layers you’ve created for the terrarium. Or you could possibly get yourself to the garden centre; they’re still open and if you go at openning or closing time, they’re empty.

Secondly, it’s worth considering what kind of look you’d like; maximalist with lots of plants and bits or minimalist with just a suggestion of planting.

Terrariums do involve buying a few things but they’re not too expensive. Here are the products I recommend –

• A glass pot(s) of some kind
• Gravel (mini, small and medium)
• Activated charcoal
• Soil or, ideally, cactus compost
• Tiny cactus or succulent plants
• Specilist cactus feed
• Music (your own, not garden centre music)
• Children (as above)

“This activity is a great way to get the kids interested in gardening and to get them off screens!”.

And here is the method to make your decorative terrarium –

• Place medium shingle at the bottom to help irrigate the plants’ roots.
• Then spread a little activated charcoal on top of the stones to fight off any unwanted bacteria.
• Next put in your soil or compost creating any differences in heights of areas of interest as your go.
• Now it’s time to position your plants. These can be big or small but remember to leave space for growth.
• We then placed the mini white stones on top of the soil for a Japanese effect and because we love the contrast of the white against the blackness of the soil and the green plants.
• You could use other stones, pebbles or bark to add some texturing.

Brilliant things to remember –

• You don’t have to fill the terrarium to the top, it can be very effective to just have a small amount of soil so that you can peer into this beautiful and tiny plant world
• Only small amounts of prodcuts are used, so you should have enough bits for another time as well. You can share the cost of a lot of these products with a friend or neighbour.
• This activity is a great way to get the kids interested in gardening, learning something new, to get them good and messy and to get them off screens!
• It doesn’t need to take a long if you’re short on time

Well that’s it folks. I love our terrariums and have them scattered about the house but in the kitchen mainly and they make me smile each time I look at them. That’s got to be good, especially at the moment!

I hope you find this post useful and that it helps to inspire you to do a different kind of activity during this pandemic and beyond.

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