Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Desert Scape Terrarium

I've been positively itching to make a cool looking terrarium.  I had this old fish bowl/vase and thought it would be perfect for an open succulent desert scape.

First a layer of gravel for good drainage.  Next a layer of activated charcoal.  Finally, an inch or two of cactus soil followed by a top layer of sand.

Finally three succulents that seemed to work together.  Odd numbers are always best.  Then a little whimsy with a rock I had collected at the beach, a dry pebble stream bed and a butterfly that I raided from my seven year old daughter's room (she'll never miss it!).

Then because I really wanted to use this great $2 jar I found at the thrift store I made a closed terrarium with this great little olive tree bonsai.  I put a few pebbles in it and a little frog.  In truth, I don't love the frog and realized that somewhere in one of children's room I have a little pebble with the word "peace" on it that would be perfect.   I dug around and couldn't find it, so I almost didn't include this picture but thought that since this is my first post I would take a stand for imperfection rather than perfection.  Seems like a better way to go.  Also, in the corner you can see the wonderful book by Tovah Martin, The New Terrarium that helped inspire and guide me.


  1. Hi Emily,
    I love your creativity. Your work is beautiful in a wabi-sabi kind of way (look it up if you don't know what that is...I think you'll like the concept.)
    You inspire me!

  2. Em...I love the terrariums and I wouldn't call them imperfect! If you want color you can add a tender bulb like an amaryllis or paperwhite or three. They are easy to remove post bloom. I love the concept of bonzai in a pretty jar. I have some seedling hollies and you've inspired me to try bonzaiing one. Who knows what I'll do in the greenhouse from hell! XOE