Terrific terrariums with Colin Barlow

Friday, March 10, 2017 1:33 pm

Leon Piper | Mornings producer

If you’ve always wanted a garden, but worry you don’t have space, then worry no more! Terrariums have saved the day. A lovely assortment of ferns, grasses and moss in a nice glass bowl can really brighten up a room and add a touch of green to your life.

Our resident garden expert, Colin Barlow from Gardens from Eden joined us to discuss terrariums and more for his regular Friday morning segment.

Here’s the main advice he had for garden enthusiasts:

  1. Start with a glass bowl or even a large wine glass. Fish bowls work well.
  2. Add a layer of small gravel at the bottom as a drainage layer. This can be found at nurseries, pet shops and aquarium supply shops. Make sure to wash it thoroughly.
  3. Cover the gravel with a layer of horticultural charcoal as a filter layer. Again, this can be purchased from your local nursery and will need to be washed first.
  4. Get creative with some mini landscaping. Create some slopes and valleys to make a varied space for the plants.
  5. Use a seed and cutting compost, not potting mix. Potting mix will make the plants grow too quickly, and your terrarium will quickly turn into a full-sized garden.
  6. Add some interesting stones, rocks, twigs and so on. Remember to wash things you find in your garden to avoid contaminants.

It’s important to choose slow-growing indoor plants that only need low amounts of sun. Miniature and baby ferns work well (Polystichum and Nephrolepis will grow too large, so avoid these) as well as Goosefoot plants (Syngonium). The Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes) is nice for adding colour, and Baby’s Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii) is a nice ground cover, and a moss scraping will add variety.

As well as terrariums, Colin discussed compost bins and, in particular, his go-to product — the Aerobin that can be purchased online.

Watch the full 30 minute Q&A: