Choosing a terrarium

Choosing a terrarium

Kevin Smith takes you through the different types of terrarium available, so you can plant up an indoor display.

In this No Fuss video guide, Kevin Smith, Gardeners’ World Magazine, takes you through the various types of terrarium.

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Choosing a terrarium: transcript

Terrariums and bottle gardens have become really popular in recent years, and with very, very good reason. They’re a great way to garden indoors if the weather’s a bit nasty outside and they don’t take up lots of room, meaning you can have a garden in the smallest of spaces. They’re also really interesting objects. They’re very
decorative and really nice to look at – definitely worth giving them a try.

There are lots of different types that you can choose from. They all look slightly different and they’re all good for a certain kind of display. If we just have a look at this bottom garden here. Now, this is a really traditional, huge jar. Generally, what you do is you put compost in the bottom, regular house plants inside. Sometimes you put a big cork in the top. And the idea is that the whole thing creates an ecosystem and looks after itself. You can also find things like this is what I’ve got here, a traditional terrariums. They’e what you think of when you’re describing something of this kind. They’re very angular and they’re very beautiful to look at.  They’re open, they’ve got no kind of lid. And they’re generally used for growing very small house plants or little cactus or indeed air plants. Now, some of them hang up and some of them just sit on a surface. So, on top of a
fireplace or on a hearth – anywhere you like, really. These terrariums were bought new, but you might find something similar in an antique shop or a reclaim centre. They might be a little bit more expensive, but they will feel really authentic.

If I just put these to one side. Now, this may look a bit uninteresting, but it just moves around and it creates a really nice organic feel. Now, these are usually used for air plants primarily. But what you can do – see this little hole here. You can put a piece of string in there and hang this up. So this is actually really versatile. However small is, it’s actually a very useful thing.

The great thing, of course, about terrariums and bottle gardens is you don’t need to buy something specific. Lots of items you’ll find around the house can be used. So, this little selection here just shows you the kind of thing that you could create a terrarium with. I’ve got a small but very plain, very attractive vase, a slightly larger vase here, a small square one, exactly the same thing. In fact, I think this might have started life as a candleholder. And then here, just an old jam jar. Now it might seem a slightly strange idea, but by the time this has got something inside – a plant – it will actually look really nice.

So the great thing when you’re choosing terrariums is there aren’t really any rules. From really big bottle gardens to traditional models like this one or indeed something a bit more fun, like a homespun glass jar. Anything is possible. Just give it a go and see what you can create!