I’m going to go ahead and tell you up front: This isn’t a step-by-step for building a terrarium. I cheated. Sure, I read up a bit on terrariums before starting, but honestly, the nursery made it so easy!
I went to Gethsemane Garden Center up in Andersonville this weekend (after yet another delicious brunch at M. Henry). I knew they’d have the actual plants, but I was worried about finding charcoal powder, which apparently you need to prevent molding. I’d looked at Menards and Home Depot with no luck, though it was a few weeks back so early for “gardening season.” Anywho, not only did they have the charcoal powder, but it was part of a terrarium kit that included the river rock (for drainage), charcoal and potting soil – all in a size appropriate for one terrarium (I certainly don’t need a 10-pound bag of potting soil sitting around my apartment). Very convenient, indeed!
Then all I had to do was ask one of the greenhouse workers what I should buy for a low-light terrarium (low-light because I have to keep my blinds down what with being at street level), and she pointed me in the right direction. I’m kind of nervous though because she didn’t seem thrilled about the lack of light so hopefully the foliage takes (and I have my dad’s green thumb!). Because it is a low-light terrarium, there weren’t many colorful options, but all in all, I’m happy with the way it looks. Next time I’d vary the heights a bit. For me, it’s very soothing, like one of those therapeutic sand things with a tiny rake.
The cost of some peace and quiet?
Glass container: Free (from and old holiday centerpiece, thanks Mimi!)
Terrarium kit: $14.99
Plants: $6.99, $5.98 and $2.99
Dinosaur: $.75 (Can you spot it???)
To me it was worth the price of putting it together on my own – I like getting dirty! – but honestly, some of those pre-made terrariums on Fab.com and other sites are probably worth it.