- Author: Karen Metz
I have been inspired by all the clever containers I have seen other Master Gardeners use to plant in. So when our decorative table fan bit the dust, I was loathe to toss it. I liked the color and the faux carving on the base. My husband kindly snapped it so the fan portion would lie flat. He removed the heavy motor and snipped the electrical cord.I took the fan cage apart and removed the fan blades. I layered moss in both sides of the fan cage then put in the soil and started planting. The planting space was quite shallow so I tried to choose small plants. I found some small begonias for the center then surrounded them with alyssum and scotch moss, Sagina subulata. They are doing well so far on my back patio which is protected with shade cloth.
- Author: Sharon L. Rico
Terrariums have always fascinated me, especially when they contain tiny buildings, oriental bridges, driftwood, unusual rocks AND plants. I also have a fondness for Wardian cases, that were popular during Victorian days, displaying unusual plants, moss, and often small reptiles. They originally were built to transport plant specimens from Europe and Asia to the U.S., or other locations. The moist enclosed containers would maintain the plants for some time, until they reached their destination.
Part of the fun is the hunt for tiny, small plants that will fit your glass container and any tiny decorative accessory to add to the plants. Ferns, succulents, violets, orchids and air plants work well as the living part of your miniature “home”, and small pieces of bark, rocks or a bird nest, along with tiny ceramic insects, reptiles or figurines will complete your miniature world.
During the holidays I purchased some large plastic, clear ornaments (4x4x1), at a craft store. What fun it was to plant them with moss, succulents, air plants and carefully embellish them with driftwood and rocks. These miniature growing globes were fun to create and give as gifts. They will last for years with only minimum attention and an occasional sprinkling of water.
We all desire to connect with nature and to nurture living things, especially during winter months when it’s difficult to be out in the garden. Consider creating your own terrarium or miniature garden. You will find great resource books in our local libraries.
- Author: Sally Livingston
After attending a session on succulent container gardening at UC Davis, I decided to try it. This is my first attempt. When I purchased the succulents, I thought it would be too crowded in the planter but there is space. As they grow, I think it will fill it, but if not I plan to add some other succulents.
There are many kinds of succulents and I just got a few different ones. They have shallow roots so I put rocks in the bottom of my planter. Then I used packaged soil designed for succulents or cactus mix. It is more porous that the usual potting mix and helps retain water for longer periods. This one is located at the entrance to our gazebo and gets morning and early afternoon sun then some shade. It seems to be doing well. I water it about every two weeks slowly with at least a quart of water. But if I forget they are very forgiving. This winter I will move them to a sheltered area when frost is in the forecast.
You might want to try this type of gardening. There are so many different and variety of plants that it is fun to select a interesting combination for your container. And it doesn’t require a lot of care or frequent fertilizing.