24th October, 2022

Terrariums are a perfect, enclosed, self-sustaining ecosystem, with humidity, moisture and clean air, perfect for small exotic plants to thrive.

Why have terrariums grown in popularity?

Terrariums, a sealed glass garden, have had a resurgence, last popular in the 70’s, what’s made them popular again?

Let’s look at the history of ‘the bottle garden’, an unintentional discovery by botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward in 1842.  He was observing insects in glass jars, and noticed condensation developed during the day that collected in the base of the jar during the evening.   He added some leaf mould and a fern spore to a bottle and low and behold it grew!

Nathaniel went on to create a sealed mini glass greenhouse, The Wardian Case was born; it was used by plant finders to transport exotic plants from warmer climates and then by well off Victorians to keep their beloved tender plants in a clean environment as cities were polluted by industrious smoke and smog.

And is that the appeal?

We’re no longer living in a smoke-filled environment, but we do live in sealed houses with heating and lighting drying out our atmosphere.  We are also time poor; terrariums require NO day-to-day care, maintenance is minimal, perfect for our busy lives.

I know, you’re suspicious, a collection of plants that require nothing?!  Really, yes, nothing to do but enjoy!!   An occasional tidy is all that’s required, no watering, no feeding, and no misting.

I will qualify this; it needs to be a sealed glass jar, those glass containers with a hole in the middle or open at the top are a different matter altogether!

They are fascinating to watch grow, an ideal desk companion; encouraging us to take five!  It’s also a great learning curve for young people, if you want to make one yourself check out my blog on making your own terrarium.

And if you’re wondering what to buy that person who has everything…. You may just have found it, they make ideal presents, and can be ordered by visiting the shop on Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury.

Keep up with my latest shenanigans!

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