Whilst I was zooming around the other day, trying to find more material for the blog, I happened upon a store that sold terrariums. My partner spotted them, and said, "Ooh, if you're struggling for ideas for my birthday, I wouldn't mind one of those!". Great, I thought, something I can put together if I find the right container and the plants and its quite a different present to give.
Amazingly, I found exactly the type of glass jar that I envisioned for the project - sealed lid, with a curved top, so that the water would condense then drip down onto the plants - and it only cost $7 from one of those bargain shops. You could do this with a recycled jar, or in a smaller jar if you want. Mine is about 30cms high, and I probably could have done with a little more height.
Okay, so get some rocks or pebbles for the bottom layer. Add in charcoal and a bit of coconut fibre (or get a little layer mat made especially for the bottom of pot plants like I did). You won't need to buy exta soil, I found that the stuff that was on the plants was more than sufficient.
Speaking of which, I bought two small baby's tears creepers and a viola plant for the terrarium. Small, slow growing plants that like a bit of light, but not too much. Underneath the viola, I popped a little surprise...a realistic ceramic green frog. It gives the jar a bit of 'life'.
Thanks to Mel, for letting me invade her kitchen to set it up, the present was well worth the week of figuring out how to do the jar and where to find the materials. Pete was absolutely delighted and I must admit it does look pretty cool.