Liven Up the Indoors: How To Create A Terrarium

During winter months when our favorite outdoor activities have been curtailed by the cold, we seek out ways to carry them out in our indoor environment. For times when we long to create and nurture something green, terrariums present an excellent indoor alternative to gardening. To help us craft our mini garden scenes, we sought out the advice of Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based interior and fabric designer Pam Heavner,  who also happens to be a terrarium expert. Here are her recommendations:

  1. Gather the necessary materials: Pebbles or fish aquarium rocks, charcoal, soil, moss, humidity-loving plants from your local nursery, and a pretty container (preferably one with a cover). A Victorian candy dish, a footed silver bowl, or a cake stand with a cloche make great vessels.
  2. Spread 1 to 2 inches of pebbles as your base layer, then add 1/4 inch of charcoal, then about 2 inches of soil.
  3. Add your plants, such as african violets, ferns, or begonias.
  4. Top with as much moss as you like.
  5. Add whimsy! Place mini items and other favorite small articles from your collections among the vegetation for some flair.
  6. If you enjoyed the process, make more! Terrariums look great grouped.
  7. Maintain your creation by watering it every so often (approximately once a month should suffice).

Expert tip from Pam Heavner in Chapel Hill, NC. Image of terrarium created and photographed by TSG co-founder Christy Ford. See some of Pam’s creations here.