Thrifty Giving: Ellen’s Terrarium

My friend Ellen is having a baby soon, and so to celebrate I gave her a collection of plants that in time will hopefully require no maintenance at all. Even though gifts were verboten at this shower (she’s having her second boy and they have everything they need already) I figured this gift would be okay since it was for Ellen, and not sweet baby Luke, and because I’ve been meaning to give this to her for at least a year now.

I originally used this terrarium to pimp my desk when I worked at the library, but since then I’ve been looking to give it a new home. It’s apple-shaped and Ellen is a teacher. The choice is obvious.

I found this container years ago while thrifting and it held gross-looking fake flowers that were wired to the bottom of the glass. I ripped out what I could by hand but ended up taking wire cutters to it to remove the rest. I posted a simple terrarium tutorial plus links for inspiration here.

For this terrarium I used baby spider plants and cuttings from three types of succulents: a jade plant, a calico kitten, a snippet of something my friend Justy brought me from the top of Half Dome.

Succulents like to keep their roots dry in between waterings and can be tricky to house in enclosed terrariums. Jade plants do better than most, and the other two have been hardy staples in my garden. If things get too moist, taking the lid off and letting them air out will help. Spider plants can generally take all the abuse you can give them.

The baby shower was held at the family ranch and while I was there I found some shingles on the ground that were coated with a thick layer of emerald moss. It is so hard to find moss where I live because our climate is so hot and dry. They were already starting to wither so I took as many pieces as I could carry and when I got home I soaked them in water. They started to revive so there will be moss terrariums in my future.

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    • Carrie Anne says

      Thank you so much, Leo! Since I used a thrifted container and plants from my backyard, it was extremely cheap to put together.

  1. Ozmarelda says

    We live in Oregon on 100+ acres of plant nursery and farmland. Just say the word and we can get you some moss of every color. Moss is like Mother Nature’s carpet out here. I can just see the funny looks I’ll get at the post office shoving that into bubble wrap….

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