Terrariums: Gardens under glass (1971)
A glass garden like this makes a sure-fire conversation piece to accent any room in the house. You’ll find all kinds of attractive glass containers to choose from. A terrarium is not only easy and fun to put together, it’s a snap to care for. Here’s how you go about it.
Whatever container you choose, make it shine with glass cleaner. Place about an inch of coarse sand or pea-size gravel in bottom for drainage.
Make up a light and porous soil mix with equal parts peat, perlite, and soil. Dampen the mix before spreading it over the drainage. Use small plants that won’t soon outgrow the container — and avoid crowding them.
Only seven specimens were used in this 16-inch bubble. Carefully remove most of the soil from each plant, set in place, and firm loose soil around the roots. Water each plant — just enough to settle it into place.
This terrarium [below] was made to be viewed from one side. Soil was graded low in front, high in back. After plants are in place, you can cover the soil with bark chips for a more pleasing appearance — and add a figurine for interest.
A glass dish, just large enough to cover the opening, is used to maintain uniform moisture. If container clouds with moisture, remove lid until the moisture disappears. Keep lid open a crack to let in a little air.
Months can go by without your having to add water. To avoid cooking the plants, never place a glass garden in a sunny window.
Plants used here: dwarf palm, English ivy, fern, boxwood, dracena.
Creative terrarium ideas: Fantasy in a glass (1966)
Gardens on a tiny scale make dramatic accents around your home, and will transport all who view them to other places and other times.
For example, the hyacinth planter below becomes an enchanting seaweed garden with a live goldfish swimming in the top.
Your choice of containers is almost limitless. Use small objects, toys, wood carvings, as part of the composition. Bird gravel and vermiculite make wonderful soil. Get to it.
Brandy glass is a perfect container for a “sea” garden. Cover bottom with gravel and plant tiny greens. Add stones chosen for shape and color. Buts of driftwood in bird and fish forms complete the composition.
An ordinary apothecary jar makes an attractive container for a dry garden. Several wooden fish and a tiny owl and frog are nestled on miniature greens and branches bedded in gravel.
More glass terrarium ideas
This is for you if you love the west. Fine sand with small cacti, tiny covered wagon, and wood figures make a memorable scene in an oblong fish tank.
In a plain round fishbowl, a pair of knights guard a castle landscaped with tiny “shrubs” and flowers planted in a mixture of graven and vermiculite for realistic “grounds.”