Here in the winter-bound Midwest, I get a little twitchy by the end of January or so. We're still locked down under snow and ice, or in the case of this odd winter, brown grass and mud. I start longing for green and growing things besides the rosemary (which is still alive, sort of). About this time of year the husband and I start hitting conservatories. However, this year I decided after a series of discussions at work, to build my own little conservatory - a terrarium.
I'm not a big miniature gardener. As a die hard tree geek, I like my plants huge and preferably climbable. There is, though, a charm in gardening on the small scale. A recent visit to my friend's lovely home gave me lots of inspiration. Joannie Rocchi is the Perennial Manager at The Growing Place in Aurora and a passionate plantswoman. Her house is filled with terrariums, luxuriant houseplants, and herbs. It was a glorious chance to satisfy my plant-deprived senses.
Joannie's newest endeavor is the water garden terrarium. In the giant jar she has duckweed and frog bit floating among pretty glass bubbles. A scattering of activated charcoal on the bottom keeps the little ecosystem healthy.
I loved this tiny clay house with its little clay stones and seed pods. This miniature moss garden lives under a glass cloche. Under the glass, it becomes a misty mystery.
Joannie prefers clear glass containers. Looking for a use for that old punch bowl? Why not fill it with plants? Add a ceramic mushroom or two, and you have your own personal jungle.
There are many resources for terrarium ideas. Here's my step by step process for my own little garden. I like Tovah Martin's book, The New Terrarium, in particular. I also found a nifty blog, The Fern & Mossery for all things terrarium that's packed with information and inspiration.