Saturday, September 17, 2011

Starting Your New Terrarium

Now that's I've whet your appetite for a terrarium,
(see last week's BloomerBlog post)
where do you begin?
With only a few simple rules to follow,
terrariums are really a fun way to garden indoors.

To begin, select a container. Almost anything will do.
It should be watertight-remember that your terrarium will be generating moisture on it's own.
Most plants will require a cover of some type as well,
which maintains the humid environment.
This is your chance to be creative!

When you're ready to plant, first lay down a base of horticultural charcoal.
(No, not briquets from the BBQ!).
This is an important step, helping to keep the soil sweet,
providing drainage,and preventing root rot.

Next, the soil. Your plants will only be as successful as the soil mix they are potted in.
It's easy to test the consistency by squeezing a ball of soil in your hand-
if it clumps together, it's too heavy.
A soil that falls apart easily will be appreciated!
Hint: Chopsticks are a great tool to use in
positioning items within your container.

Plants will be the most important selection you make for your new terrarium.
Rock-garden or desert plants would not do well in this humid environment.
But there are dozens and dozens of plants that will love this new home.
Look for cuties like Begonia, Bromeliad, Pepperomia,
ferns, mosses, and ornamental grasses, to name just a few.

Then you can have lots of fun selecting the decorative bits...
artificial mushrooms, tiny houses, fanciful bugs, even elves!

When selecting a place in your home for your terrarium,
be sure to site it out of direct sunlight.
Remember, light entering this glass container will be magnified!
Bright, indirect light is your key to success.

Of course, if you're rather just bring one of these beauties home, ready-made,
we now have them, here at Bloomers!

Bloomers Floral Design
122 South Front St.

Wilmington, NC 28401


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Terrariums are Back!

Terrariums are back, and in a big way!
Even if you consider yourself a 'brown thumb' gardener,
you can be successful with a terrarium.
Once planted, these enclosed gardens nearly take care of themselves.

When you think 'terrarium', you probably remember some dusty glass case
in the back of biology class, surviving despite attempts to sabotage it.
But do you know where they began?

The classic terrarium is housed in a 'Wardian" case, named for the 19th century amateur biologist Dr. Nathaniel Ward. Out on a woodland walk one day in 1830, he gathered a moth pupa and slipped it into a bottle he happened to be carrying. Once home, he forgot about it, only to come upon it months later. He found no butterfly, but instead, a seedling fern had sprouted. And thus began a Victorian "fad" that has survived over decades.

More importantly, this discovery allowed scientists and botanists to travel the world and successfully transport seedlings back home. Up until that time, travelers had only been successful with seeds. If you've ever tried to bring home a plant specimen from your vacation, you know how difficult that can be! The Wardian case allowed all sorts of plants to travel across the ocean safely, without exposure to salt water.

Today, the new terrarium is not limited to a classic Wardian case. Any watertight container with a cover will do. And depending on the type of plant you would like, you may even find a unique container with no cover...perfect for those plants that don't appreciate a closed, humid environment, such as succulents.

At Bloomers we now have terrariums, the perfect gift!

Next week: How to care for your terrarium.

Bloomers Floral Design
122 South Front St.

Wilmington, NC 28401