Want an entire garden that fits in the palm of your hand, requires minimal watering and looks luscious and green? Then you want a terrarium. The good news is, you can build it yourself.

With more people moving towards inner city living, the lack of a backyard can hamper the creation of a green jungle or flower forest. But what if you could create a teeny tiny garden that you can place anywhere, inside or out, that wasn’t dependent on available space and still allowed you to get your hands in the dirt?

We spoke to Patricia Foley from That Flower Shop to get some insider tips on making your own terrarium — but first, we asked her how this trend got started. Like most trends, it’s older than you think.

“Terrariums are mini indoor gardens kept in glass containers,” she explains. “In 1842 Nathaniel Ward published a book called On The Growth of Plants in Closely Glazed Glasses. Mr Ward was involved with the botanical studies of many insects and plants, and with his glass containers, he could share his discoveries with other parts of the world, transporting and keeping exotic plants in Warden Cases (terrariums).”

Patricia is a big believer that every home should have a terrarium. “These fantastic mini eco-systems are built in glass vessels of various shapes and there is something truly special about observing and caring for these little forests and gardens.”

Patricia says the terrarium trend only really took off recently, thanks to social media. “I made my first terrarium three or four years ago,” she says. “Back then there were a lot of people making terrariums and sharing a lot of information and tutorials online. But since then, terrariums have taken over many hearts all over the world via Instagram and Pinterest!

So, where do you start? What are the best plants to use? “It’s best to use slow growing indoor plants,” Patricia says. “And remember, there are a few factors to consider before making a terrarium. The choice of plants depends on the size of the vessel and the amount of light it will get. It is always good to keep the plants with similar requirements together.”

Tips for maintaining your terrarium

  • Choose plants that are appropriate for where you will be placing them.
  • Lighting is important (they thrive indoors, but in a well lit area).
  • They must be kept moist.
  • Avoid excessive light and extreme temperatures.
  • Occasionally they will require a trim and tidy up (make sure you clean the glass).

Ready to jump on the terrarium trend? Most nurseries have a terrarium range in stock and most of these plants are easy to propagate as well (terrarium aficionados usually share cuttings). If you need more tips, many local florists and nurseries now offer terrarium workshops.

Click through the gallery above to see all the terrarium pics!

Do you have a terrarium? Let us know in the comments below…

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