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Garden in a glass!

‘Look at something green and eat a lot of carrots’ is a common old wives tale. There is no better time to follow this than now; a world that revolves around digital screens all day long. There is no doubt that the artificial light damages your eyes and they need a break. A good way to give your eyes a break is to look at the green grass and the trees, but not all of us can have our own private garden. 

Best things come in small packages. This is so true… especially when it comes to miniature gardens. Just like how there are miniature doll houses or kitchen sets, the same concept comes into gardens. They are the real thing but on a much smaller scale.

Over population is a huge issue, where there are more and more buildings coming up each day, to make room for all these skyscrapers the first thing that vanishes are trees and parks.  Lucky people still have those green back-gardens where they can spend a Sunday afternoon reading, but others need to find a different solution; fairy gardens are the new trend.

Photo Credit: Nishma

These are miniature personalised gardens that can sit on your table at work or by your bed side. Traditionally, these gardens used to be made to attract fairy’s for good luck but lately they are used as a great stress reliever, they also make the perfect gift.  

These gardens are usually made of smaller ‘dwarf’ plants that take longer to grow. But each plant is different, they all have different aspects to it. It is not just something anyone can put together, it takes skill and a good knowledge of plants. Talking to a miniature garden maker, Nishma, one can see that it does take a lot of hard work.

How did you come up with this idea?

I saw a couple of pics on Pinterest and Instagram and that was my inspiration.

What inspires each garden?

It really depends mostly on what plants are available, but I generally go with how I feel on the day. Like my first one was inspired by my house. I had a table that looked to bare and wanted to add some greenery to the house. The others were to create a Zen meditation room, I have bamboo plants already and succulents compliment them well.

Photo Credit: Nishma

How do you find the plants?

I go to a few different nurseries in the area. Succulents are normally easy to come across. Sometimes you can even find them in your parks or near the beach.

Is there a scientific process behind creating these gardens?

In terms of scientific prep… they are small ecosystems of their own, you have to make sure that there is a good drainage system in place as well to combat root rot. The general layering would be; a variety of large and small stones at the bottom, followed by a layer of activated charcoal, and then potting soil. You then go about placing your plants, I like to use small to medium plants so they don’t overcrowd each other. Then to finish it of I put a lite layer of small pebbles on the top soil.

Other factors to take into account are the type and size of container you are using if it’s going to be an open or closed terrarium. With closed terrariums, you need to get slow growing, humid loving plants. Such as ferns, ivy and moss. This is because the moisture is trapped in the jar.
With open terrariums, succulents like cactus and aloe are easy to care for and easy to come by. They also don’t need much maintenance and watering.

What is your favourite part of building this garden?

I find it super relaxing! There is something very soothing about putting together this little home for your plants. And it just looks so pretty around the house or office.

5 simple steps to create your own mini garden: 

  1. Wash and place a layer of small to medium stones at the base of the bulletproof glass you can buy if you visit the website.
  2. Put a thin layer of activated charcoal, followed by a layer of 6-8 cm of potting soil.
  3. Using your hand or small spoon dig a hole/pocket to place the plant. But not too deep that stones are visible.

4. Remove the plant from packaging, the dust of access soil around roots and carefully place in the hole, making sure roots are secure. Then cover with extra potting soil.

5. Make sure there is at least 2cm of potting soil on top once all plants are placed. Now use small white stones or eco moss to decorate your terrarium floor.

*All photos taken by Nishma Jeawon

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