Expanding the 'Idea of the Month'
David Latimer was in the press in 2013 for his terrarium which had been unopened and untouched for the best part of 53 years. I found this amazing, I know I probably shouldn't but for me it was a 'isn't nature brilliant' moments.
As the weather has been unseasonably mild recently as well as ridiculously wet, spring plants are appearing all over the place! I have friends with daffodils in their gardens already.
Take advantage of this phenomenon and create your own mini garden inside, in a jar or large glass bottle.
Here is my quick "How to.." for making your our terrarium. I am sure there will be a more scientific person then me tell me something isn't quite right, but it works.
Perhaps yours could last 50 years (50 days?) - Try it and see!
1. Simply take a large jar and add a layer (1 - 1 1/2cm) of fine gravel.
2. Add a thicker layer of soil. I personally wouldn't use compost, I would use garden soil, there might be other interesting things in that soil, seeds, insects, fungi... you might be surprised! If you'd rather have specialist soil, potting mix and charcoal makes a good base.
3. You might add a few larger stones or smooth pebbles make it look interesting too, if there is room in your jar!
4. Choose your plant carefully. Ferns are quite hardy and work well, as do Starfish plants and Spider plants. There are some great suggestions here (image credits below):
Examiner.com: 10 Good Plants for Terrariums
The BHG.com: Top plants for Terrariums
6. Set the children a challenge:
- How long will their terrarium last?
- Will your plant survive?
- Does anything else grow?
- What do you notice about the inside of the jar?
- Make careful notes/photographs/drawing of any changes
- Can you see any root growth? or Flowers?
- Did anything get into your terrarium with the soil?
There are many possibilities for learning.
Feel free to add any in comments.
(Thanks to Steven Connor (@StevenConnor7) for reminding me how useful Water Canisters are for making these).