September 19, 2012

Under Glass

As much as I adore autumn and its cool air, colors and pumpkins, I do get a little sad thinking about the garden and how much I'll miss it.  A major impetus for becoming a homeowner 6 years ago was to have a yard of our own to tend and enjoy.  I love plants, and think I'm somewhat successful at cultivating flowers and vegetables.  Well, mostly.  Avert your thoughts away from the "potato harvest" of last month. :(
Anyway, despite the love I have for our home, its lack of natural indoor light is depressing (you may have seen me struggle with indoor photos of the kids and other stuff here on the blog).  We have windows with Eastern and Northern exposures, (and with narrow window sills to boot), so we don't have great light for most houseplants and herbs.  The kids really don't allow for indoor gardening anyway, but I do miss having African violets in the windows and tending a little school of plants.

Rather than pine over my would-be plants, I thought Soren might like to create a terrarium garden to display in the kitchen, where we do get some morning sun.  I used a bunch of stuff we had on hand, like gravel, a spray mister (thanks Tara!), and a jar (I switched it out to a larger one mid-way through the activity since the one in the photo it was too small).
I picked up a few low-light terrarium plants at a local garden store for under $5 and thought we could use dirt from the backyard in case we wanted to add some insects or worms at some point (potting soil isn't good for that).

The activity couldn't have been easier (I think the hardest thing was trying to keep my camera clean), and what kid doesn't like to be told to go dig in the dirt in the name of science?
To begin, we put about an inch of gravel on the bottom of the jar.  We actually used some leftover bonsai soil from Chris' dormant dream of cultivating a bonsai collection. 
Next we put about 2-3 inches of soil on top, dug straight from the yard.  Then Soren made a few small holes in the dirt where he wanted the plants to go.
After he situated the plants, I filled them in with dirt to hold them in place.  He tamped them down, then added some finishing touches, including shells, river stones, a plastic dinosaur, and of course, a Lego mini figure.
Once it was in place, we watered it, misted the leaves with the spray bottle, and put the top on.  It now sits in our kitchen, with daily tending from its keeper.
Hopefully it will add some life to our long winter. If anything, at least the Lego man will have fun re-enacting Jurassic Park.

3 comments:

  1. How fun! You know he is going to want that Lego Man back, don't you?

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  2. I'll bet Lego figures will be in rotation in that terrarium. I love it.

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  3. This is so NEAT! I've always wanted to make a terrarium like that but never really looked into the process at all--Thanks to your post, I know a little bit of what to do! :)

    That has to be fun to look at everyday when you go into the kitchen!

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