When the winter blues set in for us less fortunate climate dwellers, us die hard gardeners just need to get our fix somehow!! Terrariums are so easy to create and really help with creativity and mental well being. At least that's how its makes me feel when things are dark and cold up north. If you follow the directions and the easy steps to create you mini ecosystem you will succeed. I've had my share of mishaps but not many, and all I had to do was just start over and adjust things differently. Did not have to throw anything out, so its pretty forgiving when getting started.
The First thing I would do is purchase the most fantastic book on the market currently for terrarium how to, and how to create the most spectacular modern, traditional, whimsical, daring, simple, and just all around perfect displays and terrariums.
The New Terrium by Tovah Martin with Photographs by Kindra Clineff
currently you can get a used copy on Amazon for around $15 and a new copy for $16 compared to the normal retail of $25. Its worth every penny.
The book has wonderful illustrations and directions and is only around 170 pages. You will be creating beautiful different types of terrariums in no time and just
wait for the complements and the "can you make me one?"
Many retailers out there are been catching on to the terrarium thing providing anything from hundreds of dollars for antique wardian cases to Marshall's , TJmaxx, Home Goods, Jo-anns, Micheals and dont forget your basement! ! Marshalls', TJ , Homegoods I usually score pretty big for next to nothing. You will find the online retailers way more expensive although you will come across some incredible cases and containers that are very very expensive. This is what I have noticed over the past year. I noticed CB2.com (crate and barrel 2) started carrying glass containers perfectly fitted for a small or medium sized terrariums and inexpensive pries too! I purchased some funky ones from them and they where great!
My local nursery exploded with with terrarium displays a huge selection of bell jars, wardian cases, etc. The manager said its been all the rage right now. This was 2 monts ago April, 2010.
I hope to see more and more folks on this forum exchanging picutures and ideas endlessley.. once you create your first terrarium that you absolutely love, that's it your hooked. It's not an expensive hobby by any means except for the high priced cases and antiques. The plants are cheap and you usually can get 3 uses from one tiny plant for different terrariums or share with friends!! It's quite unbelievable.
Below is a picture of a terrarium I created with a lady slipper orchid (paph.) The whole thing came out beautiful and the flower lasted 6 weeks. Ferns, mosses, clovers, etc are all happy in this little world.
Get the book, enjoy every page and trust me you will be inspired before you can finish it!