I learned how to build a terrarium online at a website called MonkeySee. Over the course of five 3-minute videos I was able to pick up how to construct the ecosystem by choosing the right container, building the foundation, and adding and arranging the plants. I took another 8 minutes or so to learn how I should care for the little thing and, voila a new hobby!
I'm not sure what has always drawn me to moss. I think when we were little I found some growing under our swing set slide and assumed it would be the perfect mattress for a little creature or imaginary friends (the St. Patrick's Day leprechauns). Ever since it has been one of the best parts of hiking for me. I pet it, I poke it, I put my face on it (I know, gross). I just can't help but admire nature's cushion. It's like hair for rocks and trees!
Moss is the best part about the terrarium, but not what Kacy Paid,
my MonkeySee instructor, focused on at all. I'd almost rather not have a single plant and just a jar full of moss, but then again I'm not sure if that defines terrarium or not. Fortunately, I don't get a grade for this new craft.
Dominic was very supportive and went to a plant shop in Brooklyn to get me a starter kit. Apparently the best terrariums include a piece of fancy equipment calle
d horticultural fabric. I think panty hose would work ok too...
At the end of July we went downtown to the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market to search for a creative container. It didn't take long before I had a pear-shaped jar in hand. Although it's not a closed container, we thought it would make the perfect vessel for a first-attempt. I was surprised at how excited Dominic was about this scavenger hunt. He stood patiently while I inspected old mason jars and gum-ball machines. Quite the husband, he didn't even bat an eye when I strayed from our goal and started perusing the vintage jewelry and antique furniture booths.
The pear container.
The building process - that mini cactus on the left didn't make it in.
NYC has all kinds of resources for indoor gardening and tiny living - two integral parts of building a terrarium. We even came across a hydroponics store not far from the market where I picked up an Urban Garden magazine. I needed to review an article in the February/March 2011 edition on 'The World of Worms'. Mine aren't looking too good...
Don't tell Lynch, but last weekend I built a New Hampshire terrarium from the soil of this beautiful state. I couldn't help myself. The moss is extra charming up there!