True Confessions

The fruits of my labors

Here’s Herbdoc, with a Christmas confession:

Okay, I’ll admit it, but I’m not taking all of the blame!  Dirtynailz and Tovah Martin need to shoulder some of the responsibility.  Last Thursday I was supposed to be cleaning for the upcoming holidays when I got involved in terrarium making…not one, mind you, but four of them!  It was a pleasant process, and when I was finished, I was so happy that I hadn’t cleaned because my kitchen looked like a dirt devil (and not the vacuum type!) had rolled on through.  Now I have several beautiful Christmas gifts for friends and family, but after enjoying them for a week, it will be hard to let them go.

Here’s some advice for the novice who plans on making these as gifts:

  • Don’t decide three weeks before an event that you want to give terraria (or terrariums) as gifts.  It takes a while to find the perfect container, and I managed to visit a half dozen or more stores before I found the ones I purchased.  The next time I’ll scour flea markets, garage sales, and kitchen and gift aisles in the big box and high end one of a kind stores.  My favorite containers have wide bottoms that taper to a lidded top.
  • You’ll need pebbles, charcoal and good quality houseplant soil.  Since it’s winter and some things are difficult to find, it resulted in more visits to several places to find exactly what I needed.  I ended up a pet store to buy loose charcoal!
  • Miniature plants are not that easy to locate in the winter months!  When Tovah gave the workshop she had tiny potted plants to share.  Although I bought miniatures, they were in much bigger pots forcing me to split them for use.  Since I also “overbought” I now have a dozen extra houseplants to care for!
  • I picked up a few decorative items on my wooded property, but also purchased some small figures at a local gift shop.  Again in the future I’ll check garage sales for these items.
  • Lastly if it’s a gift, give it away quickly!  Something about putting time into creating these small worlds makes it very difficult to part with them.  At least one of my creations has made itself at home in my bedroom and isn’t going to leave anytime soon!

Since I have so many extra materials and I happened upon a very large and beautiful hexagonal glass jar recently, I think I will be crafting another little world shortly after Christmas.  Be warned!  This terrarium making is quite addictive!

ready to brighten someone's home

We at Digging RI would like to wish all our readers and supporters a wonderful holiday and a great 2010. Thanks for reading!

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About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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7 Responses to True Confessions

  1. Peg says:

    Beautiful! Wish I was on Herbdoc’s Christmas list! 🙂

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  2. HerbDoc says:

    Thanks, Peg! Hope your Christmas was merry. Everyone seems delighted with these miniature worlds so try making one or two for your home. Tovah is right; there is something very peaceful and calming about having them around!

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  3. Wendy says:

    These are gorgeous gifts! The containers are perfect.

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  4. HerbDoc says:

    Glad you like them Wendy! They’re fairly easy to make, and I’m planning on filling that hexagonal blue jar this week. My son and I figured out that it will hold about 2 1/2 gallons, and he’s trying to convince me to make sun tea (it has a spigot in it), but I will not be swayed! 🙂

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  5. bike1 says:

    Happy New Year. I took the class with Tovah. I have since made six terrariums. Three for gifts and three for myself. I am now always looking for containers. I plan on making more when it easier to find plants. Where is everyone finding plants now?

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    • dirtynailz says:

      Heather, there are two good sources that I know of in our area. One is the venerable Logee’s greenhouse. It’s in Connecticut but they have a good website, and you can order plants by mail. If you haven’t been there, it’s also really fun to visit, and not a huge drive to get there. Another is Peckham nursery in Little Compton. They have a large selection of small plants and they are Master Gardener-friendly! As you may have noticed, I try to stay away from the big box stores.

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  6. HerbDoc says:

    I actually picked up some minis in Holdridge’s in Ledyard before the holidays; they also had some nice African violets at the time. Dirtynailz is correct about Logee’s, but remember, most greenhouses won’t ship plants in the dead of winter due to the freeze factor. Good reason for a road trip! 🙂

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