Return of the Terrarium

As part of the whole Steampunk trend that is inspiring me at the moment, I have had it in mind to build a terrarium((Sometimes called a vivarium.)).  This idea began as a spark a month or so ago now, and since then I have been trying to find suitable jars or other glass containers to work with.

This morning, after breakfasting at a cafe, I spotted some lovely jars by Maxwell and Williams((It can be found at Maxwell and Williams in the Storage section and is part of their Olde English range.)) at the local kitchen speciality shop. The one that I purchased is a 4.2L cookie jar.  It is an awesome jar.  I love it.

This type of jar has a plastic seal fitted to the inside of the lid, but I thought it better to remove this so the terrarium is not completely air tight.  While you want the water to stay in the jar, allowing for watering to be far less frequent, you do not want the jar sealed as it will cause rot and mould to occur.

I have some nice black rocks, coincidentally also from Maxwell and Williams, in the cupboard already.  These make for a nice drainage base in the terrarium.

A layer of charcoal is meant to be put over the stones.  This provides a filtering layer that helps keep the terrarium healthy.  Charcoal is not that easy to buy these days unless you go to a pet shop and get the charcoal they sell for fish tank filters.  Luckily, I found a plentiful supply in my chiminea that sits on my back deck.  So, the charcoal went in next.

On top of that went the potting mix and the plants.  I have used a couple of different ferns, some moss from a hanging pot on the back deck, and another moss like plant that also came from a hanging pot on the back desk.  At this stage the terrarium still looks a bit bare, but I am sure the plants will grow and fill it out soon.  Also, the potting mix is still sitting a little high in the jar, but I am sure it will settle another centimetre or two in the next week or so.

Not bad for my first terrarium in many years I think.  There is room for improvement, but we will see how this one grows in the months to come.  As for this one, it is now sitting on the coffee table in the lounge room.


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