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plants your garden

bottled garden

On 06, Jan 2015 | No Comments | In plants, wintergarden | By All Year Garden

There is something very poetic about a garden in a jar. Terraria come in all shapes and sizes and provide the lucky owners with the lowest maintenance gardening gratification there is.  If properly sealed to prevent moisture loss a bottled garden is completely self-sufficient, it creates a Lilliputian climate that breathes, perspires and fogs the glass at sunrise, a scaled down version of plant world.

A disciplined gardener would open the jar periodically to keep it under control, trimming and shaping the plants and cleaning dried leaves. I am not a disciplined gardener, therefore my planted jar is more of an Amazonian jungle than a plant conservatory  – an aggressive chlorophyll driven venture where lush waxy growies compete for light (as if they didn’t have enough – the terrarium is placed between two windows and has the daylight bulb on all the time).

The plants grow as fast as they can to reach the full height of the container, then start expanding sideways to fill up the space. At its mature stage (I have gone through four or five iterations so far) the terrarium looks like a comic scene from the silent movies where an unreasonable number of people try to fit in a miniature car.

Eventually the whole scene becomes unmanageable and I need to start over. This version has something old and something new, but it’s mostly new, therefore pretty and tame.

If you have a terrarium, don’t feed it! The plants grow too fast anyway, you don’t want a jungle on steroids.

The old aquarium inside which the plants grow was meant for fish but after the sad demise of several inhabitants I swore off the grief and planted it. The plants are happy, crazy happy in the luxurious accommodation (it is quite spacious by terraria standards). Its semi-sealed environment provides tropical living for house plants, really, with the temperature in the mid-seventies and the fluorescent daylight tube glowing all the time.

I wish I could find something with blooms that can tolerate the high humidity environment. Inside their little glazed universe the plants exist outside worldly concerns, oblivious to the season or the time of day.