I found this Wardian Case terrarium at the flea market on Saturday for a grand total of 4 euros. Dusty, dirty and full of potential, I spent the rest of the afternoon researching DIY terrariums. 
Luckily, the garden centre just outside of town is one of the only places in Germany open on a Sunday. So we packed up the kids and off we went. I knew that I wanted to do succulents, and there were plenty to choose from. Safely transported home, I went to wsork.
For the most basic terrarium, you will need:

A glass container, even a fish bowl will do.
River rocks, or other small rocks, for drainage.
Potting soil.
Plants. I went with succulents and cacti, but ferns and moss are equally beautiful.

Start by layering the bottom of your vessel with the stones.
Top with a good layer of soil
Arrange your plants around the centre of the vessel, trying not to let them touch the sides. The humidity in there could make your plants rot if you're not careful, and it's better not to have them all mushed along the sides.
Top with more soil where needed, and then give it a good misting. DO NOT water it like a regular plant. It will just get mouldy and smelly.
Et Voila! Put your terrarium in a sunny spot and give it a spray when it starts to look sad. Avoid direct sun as that glass is going to become an oven and you don't want to cook your plants. This project took only a little bit of time to put together. We "borrowed" the rocks from a neighbour, used leftover potting soil and bought the plants for less than five euros together. Grand total came in at around 10 euros, and I'm happy to have a bit of living art grace our flat. 
3/7/2012 03:28:55 am

Is this a new home for Shelly?

3/7/2012 10:52:02 pm

Nah, Shelly got upgraded from Tupperware to a bug house, he's not going any further up the social ladder from that.

3/7/2012 05:50:11 am

Is Shelly the snail? Looks really good Tara, low Maintenance is key!

3/7/2012 10:52:52 pm

Shelly is the snail. Maybe you'll meet him one day. I wonder if customs will let us bring him over?

3/7/2012 12:45:31 pm

Wow! That looks beautiful. I have a Wardian case but it doesn't have a sealed bottom so I can't put dirt in it unless I use a pan. Everything I put in there dies. But then all my house plants die eventually. I think I'm a better gardener outdoors.

3/7/2012 10:53:53 pm

You and Kate have the greenest thumbs I know! The fate of my terrarium is not boding well.

wow, that looks beautiful, Tara. It should certainly do well in your bright apartment.
3/7/2012 09:46:57 pm

3/7/2012 10:54:18 pm

This makes me giggle.

3/7/2012 09:51:06 pm

A light misting seems so simple but for some reason I always forget. And I have to do it when the kids aren't looking because then they take it and try and spray everything with water. Then I take it away. Then Poppy screams, "Mine!" Then she cries. Terrariums are hard work.
But it looks pretty!

3/7/2012 10:55:21 pm

I heard her "MINE" yesterday and it was adorable. I would take things away from her just to hear her say it over and over.

4/7/2012 02:02:44 am

love it Tara! now I feel inspired by both you and Katie to try to make one too. where can I get a terrarium? and this should be Shelly's new home, or atleast her vacation property, she'd love it!

4/7/2012 02:31:21 am

I would try HomeSense Chris. For everything in life.

p.s. I think Kate performed circus tricks for the people at Anthropologie and got hers for next to nothing. You can always try that route since you're good at things.

5/7/2012 02:43:49 am

My big one is from West Elm and my smaller one is from Crate and Barrel.

5/7/2012 01:11:37 pm

Just wanted to say hello I had a quick minute to stop in. Sorry it's been quite sometime since I have stopped in to read all things Germany :( . Blog looks great just to let you know ! Wicked planter thing-a-ma-jig :) lol ... Claudia is so big. Elly to you must have your hands full . None the less miss you's. Take care chat sometime soon.


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