I love terrariums. Put anything in a terrarium and it looks amazing. Airplants? Check. A single succulent? Check check. Old socks? Stuff them in a terrarium and they’ll look like some darn modern art. I’m telling you: it’s terrarium magic.
I especially love them for florals–these sorts of arrangements are so easy, and so stunning. So I thought I’d share a little DIY with ya.
First things first: you’ll need a terrarium. This little lovely came from World Market; they have a wide selection of shapes and sizes to choose from. If you’re like me you’re going to go in for one and come out with five. Just FYI.
If you’re working with this sized terrarium (if not, you’ll have to adjust accordingly), you’ll need a low, water tight container of some sort–I used a 4″ ramekin, and highly recommend it. Make sure the container fits through the door or lid of your terrarium; this one fits but you have to insert the container carefully at an angle through the door, adding your water after you’ve placed it. You’ll also need a small flower frog (which can be gotten inexpensively at your local craft store). In lieu of a frog, you can also grid the top of your ramekin with thin floral tape (or even better, do both). In ye olden days, I would have shoved a big chunk of green floral foam into the ramekin to hold the flowers–but I don’t like to use that stuff anymore (side note, there’s a new, eco-friendly version just coming out called Floral Soil, and I canNOT wait to get my hands on some. It would be perfect for this application). You’ll also need a few cupfuls of small pebbles of some sort.
Place your frog in the center of the ramekin, and fill around it with just enough pebbles to hold it securely in place (you don’t want the pebbles going in between the pins of the frog, however). If you want to do a tape grid, go ahead and do that once your frog and pebbles are placed.
Be sure to also tape down the edges of your grid.
Now place the ramekin in the center of your terrarium (again, this one has to be inserted at an angle, making sure to not disrupt the pebbles that are holding the frog in place. Fill with water once it is in place. Fill the bottom of the terrarium with your small pebbles so that they come about halfway up the ramekin. This helps hold the vessel in place, as well as disguise it.
Now gather your materials:
Because I wanted a whimsical woodland feel, and this is a vertically-oriented terrarium, I knew I wanted to use some, tall, delicate-looking materials. I decided on 1. Icelandic poppies as the centerpiece (because: poppies) (two blooms, and two buds). With their thin, but sturdy stems, they stand upright really well. Some other good choices for this would be anemones, ranunculi, or even tulips, depending on the season. As a background filler, I wanted fern leaves. Period. I have a ton of 2. Ostrich fern in my garden, and it is lovely and very durable in cut arrangements. Again, with great, sturdy stems that keep themselves upright. You’ll need some sort of low, dense filler material, also. I chose 3. Fern leaf Geranium leaves for this. They have a ferny, woodland look to them (and pine scent!) that I adore. Some great alternatives would be green hydrangea, green viburnum blooms, or lady’s mantle blossoms–something that’s going to fill up your low container and help conceal all the tape scaffolding, etc. As accents, I chose a couple of brightly colored 4. Fancy Geranium leaves (this one is ‘Mrs. Pollack’). An alternative would be green heuchera, begonia, or even hydrangea leaves–something broad and interesting to look at. The final accent is a trio of hot pink 5. Gomphrena fireworks pompoms–you could easily swap these for Craspedia (Billy Balls), or scabiosa. Also, you’ll need some bright green dried 6. Reindeer moss from the craft store or here to tuck around the ramekin for camouflage. I always try my best to use floral materials from my yard or local sources…but yeah…the moss is an unfortunate exception here.
Step one–start by tucking moss all around the outside of the ramekin, making sure you conceal the sides of it completely.
Step two–select the three tallest of your fern leaves, cut them to the right height, strip the bottom inch of leaves off and place them upright in the back of the ramekin (these stems won’t fit over the frog pins, so just let them sit in the tape grid). They can lean against the glass if they want to.
Step three– use your low filler material (#3 above), in this case the Fern leaf geranium leaves. Fill the entire ramekin with them, anchoring them as much as possible into the pins of the frog (but also, these will be fine just sitting in the tape grid).
Step four–place your decorative #4 leaves towards the front and right side (your right) of the ramekin.
Step five–place your three smaller fern leaves in the middle to front of the ramekin.
Step six–place your three varied length accent flowers (#5) off to the left. You want these guys to be staggered in height, and to look like they’ve grown in a cluster to the left side of the terrarium. Secure the base of each stem into the floral frog.
Step seven– place your poppy blossoms (#1) in the middle and slightly right, with the taller blossom behind and to the right of the shorter blossom. Try to secure the poppy stems into the floral frog. Now place your poppy buds in much the same manner. You want the poppy blooms and buds to look like they are growing from the same plant.
Step eight–stand back and assess the composition, carefully making any adjustments needed. If you can see any ramekin or tape showing, tuck a little moss in to conceal it.
Close and lock the terrarium door, and you are so done!
I thought I’d also share some images of a set of different terrarium arrangements I did for VerySarie‘s lovely Palm Springs birthday celebration last June.
(images courtesy of verysarie.com)
Incidentally, these terrariums: also from World Market.
Oh hey, Ostrich ferns and billy balls.
Terrariums are just good times (jot that down).