Yesterday Elizabeth Licata at Garden Rant wrote about Tovah Martin’s new book, The New Terrarium. I haven’t ever made a terrarium but at least three and possibly four years ago a dear friend gave me a berry bowl for Christmas. Elizabeth’s post reminded me that I hadn’t seen it for a while. I went to look.
The berry bowl, planted with moss and partridgeberry (?) has always lived in our Great Room. It is usually not heated in the winter. Last winter, because of new insulation, it actually got below freezing. At one point I must have moved the berry bowl from the shelves where it could be seen and enjoyed, to a corner of the shelf, hidden by pitchers and forgotten. The plastic wrap ‘lid’ was seriously dusty, but the plants thrived.
I’ve never opened the berry bowl, and never watered it. Having found it in the shadows, I set it on the kitchen table where it could get some sun and feel a little love. It was not long before I could see moisture condensing on the inside of the bowl, so I moved it out of the sun where it could feel loved, but not so hot.
My berry bowl shows that it doesn’t take much, or maybe nothing but benign neglect, to keep a terrarium going. Still, I am going to get The New Terrarium Book because Tovah Martin says terrariums are a perfect place to grow orchids. I’d like to try that.
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I must get this book too. I have a terrerarium that is a few years old. It could use an update. I also have another container that could use some plants. I will have to see what she is recommending now days.
P.S. I sometimes catch a little rain water and give it a sip.
Lisa, There is always something new to learn which is the delight of gardening. I was amazed that my old and neglected berry bowl could still make condensation.
Your lovely berry bowl reminds me of the terrariums I made and gave away one Xmas. I planted them with tiny tropical houseplants. I’ve wondered since if the recipients knew how to tend them. You do have to be careful the plants don’t rot from too much moisture or get blasted with UV rays from too much sun. Tovah’s book sounds intriguing—thanks for the heads up!
Debra – It’s true that too much moisture might be more of a problem than too little. And definitley, do not put a terrarium in the sun!
I have Tovah’s book also. I have been into moss terrariums, you dig a piece of moss from your yard stick it in a bowl and within a couple of weeks it is a thing of beauty. Really fun.