Making a Terrarium

I’m crazy for moss. I don’t know why, but I love it. If I could, I would live in a house carpeted in moss. More than likely this obsession stems from my fascination with fairies. I never said, but fairies are my favourite mythical creature. Everybody knows how much fairies love moss, right?

Over the years, I’ve tried to bring more moss into my life. The trouble is that moss requires very specific growing conditions and neither my backyard nor my house resembles a shady, moist forest. I’ve tried decorative bowls filled with moss, moss lining my planters and moss edging for the patio. Unfortunately, I’ve killed lots of moss in the process.

This is why I’m so excited about my new terrarium. This enclosed glass mini eco-system should be perfect for keeping moss alive… theoretically.

On Monday, I started gathering together all the essentials for this project. Almost everything I used for the terrarium were found materials, the only thing I purchased was some activated carbon from an aquarium shop. The activated carbon or charcoal is used to filter the water in the terrarium and keep things clean. I used this vintage cracker jar that I had found a few months ago. On my walk with Maisy, I scooped up a small section of moss from the woods, complete with a cute mushroom. My local lumberyard let me grab a handful of gravel and sand for free! When I got home, I divided a small fern we have growing in our front yard.

Into my cleaned out glass jar, I put a layer of gravel with a bit of sand. The gravel provides drainage for the water. On top of that I put a layer of activated carbon. Then a layer of dried moss or sphagnum moss. I have a good collection of dried out/dead moss already. This keeps the soil from getting down into water below. My section of live moss had a nice layer of soil attached to it, so i just cut it to size and evened out the bottom. Once the moss was in the jar, I made a little hole to plant my mini fern. I tried to tamp down the moss and all the layers below to compact it all together. I even put in the acorn cap that was sitting on the moss when I harvested it. A little bit of water was added to get the roots wet and then I put the lid on.

The idea with a closed terrarium is that it is it’s own eco-system. The plants produce oxygen and the water condensates and runs down the glass and waters the plants. If it gets too misty, you can open the lid and let it dry out a bit. After a few weeks, apparently things get sorted out and it just takes cares of itself.

I’m mentally planning more terrariums, but I’ll see how this one progresses. It’s pretty amazing though. It’s like a little green mossy world on my bedside table.

These terrariums by Paula Hayes are a whole other level. {via unruly things}

Terrarium Layers

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