The Woodland Terrarium

image courtesy mia.judkins
33ff78d6 seeable

Taught by Ben DiMatteo

Not possessing an innate talent for horticulture, Ben had to earn his green thumb over several seasons while working at a garden center in Western New York and as a landscape gardener in NYC. He is inspired by fabricated childhood memories of the 1970s (loosely based on re-runs of Columbo) and years of poking around the Northeast woodlands. Now a freelance writer living in Flatbush, Ben is happiest when up to his elbows in dirt.

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As the summer winds down and the few green patches of Brooklyn turn brown, it’s nice to have a garden indoors that thrives throughout the cold months and requires almost no care. The art of the terrarium has seen a resurgence in recent years, particularly in the flea markets and boutiques that grace this borough, but with a few simple tools and some choice plants, you could make your own tiny container garden that will rival any you could purchase ready-made.

The woodland terrarium, with its leafy foliage, creeping moss, and heavy use of stones and bark, is perhaps the quintessential terrarium landscape. It also happens to be the landscape of New York City and its environs.

Learning techniques developed decades ago by master terrarium gardeners, you'll create your own woodland-style terrarium inside a container you bring with you, using plants, soil and materials provided.

Topics covered:
- a brief history of indoor gardening
- basic plant physiology
- different terrarium styles to mimic different environments
- choosing plants for your terrarium
- how to make your own tools using common household items
- principles of miniature landscaping
- how to care for your pet terrarium

Some terrarium choices include: mason and candle jars, small fishbowls and aquariums, vases, beakers and flasks, large drinking glasses and brandy snifters, cake stands and clear cookie jars, or just about any glass container 4 - 8 inches in diameter and at least 6 inches tall tight-fitting lid. Of course, if you happen to have an unused hand-blown glass terrarium just sitting around, this is the perfect opportunity to replant it.

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