I don’t know what it is about things in miniature that makes me feel all warm inside, but I cannot deny the extreme adorable factor of all things tiny. I love babies and kittens and teeny buttons and all manner of other doodads. The thought of creating a miniature garden ecosystem under glass seemed like a ridiculous amount of fun; the same kind of fun I used to have arranging my PlayMobile dollhouse and its inhabitants as a child.
This weekend, A. and I delved into the newly popular world of terrariums. Terrain at Styer’s has been hosting a record number of their very popular terrarium workshops and we were eager to learn how one can plant, grow, and maintain an entire body of living organisms within a container with minimal effort. The concept of bringing nature inside really appeals to me now that we’re almost mid-winter and I am continually trudging through snow drifts. Creating a terrarium feels like a meditative process as I consider the aesthetic of my design. The fluid motion of the glass vessel; the texture, color, shape, and height of the plants; the rich, loamy smell of the soil…all of these are things I considered as I set about creating a miniature wonderland. It feels wonderful to be under the bright sun streaming through the greenhouse windows on a cold, January day working my hands in dirt and remembering that there are monumental, natural changes occurring beneath all that snow.
Compared to some of the other workshop participants, and A.s spectacular example, my terrarium is rather minimalist with a wide, flat-leafed Strawberry Begonia, cheeky pink Joseph’s coat, a creeping bit of Baby’s Tears, and a strikingly red striped specimen that I cannot name. A layer of deep green moss holds the soil and creates a lush carpet should I ever decide to add a gnome for a hint of whimsy. I added a few smooth pebbles that turn a lovely shade of turquoise when wet and some porcupine quills that I acquired in South Africa for visual interest. I love how the slender, striped shape of the quills are reminiscent of bare trees in winter.
My creation is now happily at home on my desk where it can bask in the diffuse winter light and remind me that spring is, indeed, coming.