Grow: Primers & Projects
Starting a Terrific Terrarium
Six simple steps to creating your own beautiful botanical habitat-in-a-bottle... or jar
A roomy greenhouse of one's own is the fond dream of many an eager gardener. But for those of us without the space or the budget to think big, creating a terrarium can be a beautiful, fun and fiscally feasible small-scale alternative.
Garden correspondent Paul Epsom visited the impressive Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, Massachusetts, to talk with Christian Primeau about the right way to get started.
The first thing to realize is that you have lots of options when it comes to choosing a container for your terrarium. Pretty much anything will qualify that allows in plenty of light, and can be closed off to create a humid environment that mimics nature's own water cycle, whereby water evaporates, condenses, falls down onto the plants, and repeats. Re-purposed containers, such as fish aquariums are often used, and Christian had on hand a number of examples, ranging from relatively small glass jars to a somewhat larger architectural container that in effect is truly a miniature greenhouse.
So, for a spring gardening project that's compact, attractive and easy to tend, follow these few simple steps to be on your way to a terrific terrarium.
Plant choices: Dwarf and slow-growing plant varieties work especially well in terrariums. For Paul's visit, Christian selected Alternanthera 'Snow Queen', deer foot's fern (Davallia canariensis), and mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus). Moss will thrive in this humid environment as well. You can also add rocks and any number of decorative touches to your terrarium.
After that, the only thing left to do is step back and enjoy your beautiful little botanical habitat!For more information about the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, Massachusetts, visit them online at www.towerhillbg.org.
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This segment appears in show #2803.