Make a garden in a jar
Don't let the weather stop you gardening – make this terrarium instead.
Making this terrarium – a garden in a jar – is the perfect anitdote to all that Christmas consumption of recent days.
It's nice to have an activity in hand once the presents have been unwrapped and the batteries have run out on the children's new toys. Plus, it just feels wonderful to get amongst nature and plants after all that slumping in front of the television, one hand in the Quality Street tin. I also like the idea of creating something at the end of one year, and watching it grow and develop into the new year.
This is an easy craft, but it does mean a trip to your garden centre – where most things should still be at post-Christmas sale prices.
Here's what you'll need:
- A selection of small plants: I picked succulents and ivy, but be warned that the selection may be limited. You can also use a cactus or two but beware of the prickles. How many you use depends on the size of jar you use but you want plants that won't grow too big (I'll have to trim the ivy I expect)
- Horticultural grit – you won't need much of this, I bought two small tubs for £1.75 each
- Compost and charcoal (any left overs from the barbecue will be fine)
- A jar. You could use one you have at home, it has to be quite large though. I bought a biscuit jar which can sit at an angle for £1.75 from Tesco
- Chopsticks or a teaspoon to use as digging tools
If you are re-using a jar make sure it is clean then layer the grit and the charcoal on the bottom (the former aids drainage and the latter keeps it all fresh).
Place a small layer of compost on top; remember the layers will be seen so try not to mix them up. You can also add interest by making small hills or dips.
Make holes for the plants in the soil using either your chopsticks, teaspoon. Children's hands are usually small enough too. Place your plants inside, bearing in mind that taller ones will need to go at the back, and firm the soil down around them.
One plants are in place, mist them a couple of times with water. If you leave the lid on, the terranium should be self-sufficient. If you're using cacti though remember they prefer dry conditions. Don't over water your terrarium and keep it out of direct sunlight.
We made ours with the ivy trailing out which means the lid can't really fit on but that's fine, we'll just have to keep an eye on watering it. A visiting Lego Star Wars figure completed the scene.
For more inspiration on what containers to use, take a look at these terrariums in heavy lidded jars. If you need more information, read up on suitable terrarium plants and more ideas for indoor gardening.
Photo: Debbie Webber
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