With the snow finally melted away and a week’s worth of gorgeous spring weather, I finally got my act together enough to go on a terrarium collecting walk. Inspired by Donna Smith‘s hermetic jar terrarium that she constructed during my Philly Secret Santa project night, I bought a similar jar in January with the hope of following her lead. To reign in my tendencies to spend way too much at plant nurseries, I aimed to make this strictly from found plants. Which, with feet of snow on the ground in February, became a little impractical.
Ian accompanied me on a walk around the neighborhood and down by the Stony Run Trail. It was fun to nerd out on all of the different kinds of moss and lichens around, and it really helped me slow down to enjoy my surroundings. I brought home one chunk of moss with an earthworm in it, because I couldn’t manage to coax it out. We also watched different colonies of ants in trees and dirt and taking wing to start new colonies. Like I said, it was fun to nerd out.
I went a tad overboard on my trek. Not only did I come home with stones that were too big, I came home with so many small samples of different plants, bark, and mosses that I couldn’t fit them all into the jar. Even when I made the arrangement in the jar sideways to get more planting space, I had far more samples than I had terrain.
I do not have any other large glass jars or dishes to make into terrariums right now, so I instead improvised with a casserole dish. I intend on finding other more appropriate placements for these plants later, but I had been concerned about the mosses’ welfare out in plain air. While trying to find a way to keep the plants moist, Ian made the excellent suggestion of using the left over window plastic that we just took off our winterized windows. Following Ian’s thoughtful suggestions, I made a small tent of plastic with double-sided tape, plastic, and a found (and quite straight) stick in the middle of the temporary terrarium.
Depending on how well this temporary terrarium goes, I may decide to keep it or find a similar approach to setting up the more permanent fixture. Perhaps a glass bowl over a fun platter. Perhaps a compelling dish with the same tipi effect with plastic. In the meantime, I will be monitoring these mossy landscapes to see if they will survive my absentmindedness. I have been known to bite off more planting than I can chew during the spring months.