I have a slight apothecary jar addiction. I am literally incapable of entering a housewares store without buying at least one apothecary jar (also on that list: throw pillows, white sheets and soy candles). I have them in my master bathroom holding q-tips and cotton balls. In the guest bath they hold shea-butter soaps and more cotton balls. I can’t think of a single reason a guest in my home would need easy access to a large supply of cotton balls, and yet there they are:
(We aren’t even going to discuss the color scheme in there. It was like that when we moved in and I usually keep the door closed and pretend it doesn’t exist.)
This would be a good time to mention that I kill plants. Thousands of them. Each and every houseplant I have ever bought has died by my hands. There was a period where I was going through 7 or 8 orchids every six months until my husband suggested that perhaps I move on to cheaper victims.
Then something surprising happened. I was in my sons room and I noticed that the very large, very 1970’s style terrarium my mother had given him was full of leafy, living plants.
I vaguely remember putting a few ferns in there when he got it last year, but since then have not so much as looked at the thing. That’s when I realized that perhaps I could marry my personality flaws of apothecary-jar-hording and plant-homicide to create unique and stylish terrariums. I started with this:
Four empty jars, freed from being relegated to a life of holding cotton balls. If you look out the window behind them on the right, you will notice last summers attempt at a container garden. I left it there as a reminder that if I want heirloom tomatoes I should go to the grocery store, not to the plant section of Home Depot.
Anyway, I gathered my supplies: potting soil (I chose the looser kind used for seedlings. My only reason for this was that I thought it was prettier dirt), small plants, rocks.
I’m willing to admit that I might have gone overboard with the plants:
The rest was easy. First I added a few stones to the bottom of each jar:
Then I added a bunch of soil to each jar which ended up being a mistake because the plants all poked out the tops of the jars. So don’t do that. I had to dump all the soil back into the bag and got it all over my desk, proving once again that sewing tables do not make good potting sheds. Here I am cleaning up my mess:It worked better to just remove the plants from their planters and loosen the soil at the bottom until it was no longer planter-shaped. Then I put them on the stones in the jars and used a spoon to add a little potting mix around them. I put two plants into most of the jars, spooning soil around them until they felt secure, but still loose enough that they could settle down a little when I watered them. Here I am spooning soil, in case you wanted to know what that looks like.Then I gave them a light watering and put the lids on:After that I had to clean up a large amount of spilled soil and debris from my table, but I was happy with the results so it was worth the mess. Here they are all finished. I’m hoping that they’ll sink in a bit more, otherwise I might go back and remove some more soil. Supposedly they create their own atmosphere and don’t need much watering. If, like me, you’ve killed many a cactus because you water them even though you know you’re not supposed to, don’t fret. All you have to do if you over-water is take the lid off for a day or two and they’ll dry out. I might move them to a sunny spot where they don’t have to stare at what’s left of my container garden, wondering if they’re next.