Capture the magic of the woodlands

Capture the magic of the woodlands Terrarium

With the Christmas decorations long gone, January can seem like such a bare month in contrast to the bright lights, shiny ornaments, wreaths and garlands that come out in December. Between Christmas, St Patrick’s Day and Easter, there is a long wait before adorning your home with more seasonal decorations.

If you can’t wait until Easter to bring out new decorations then a home-made terrarium is just ornament for this month. A terrarium is like an aquarium for plants. You can capture the magic of the woodlands and secret gardens and contain them in a glass jar. Design your own miniature wonderland filled with anything you would hope to find there.

For the terrarium you will need one large glass jar, bowl or bell jar with a board, compost, pebbles, moss, twigs, snippets from fir branches, pieces of bark and decorations of your choice to include.

Fill the bottom of the jar with the compost and pat down. Gently pat in some moss and lightly sprinkle with a little water to firm everything up. Now that you have the base of your garden or forest laid out you can start designing the overall look.

To place in the ‘forest trees’, insert a wooden skewer into the soil and then place the fir branch snippet in. Repeat until you have the number of mini trees you want. If you have tiny rabbit mascots, place these in amongst the moss and trees. Alternatively, cut out rabbit ears from brown felt or card and place them inside the jar. Choose your favourite woodland animal to place inside the terrarium. You can always add the rabbits in closer to Easter and keep the terrarium for longer.

Model a few toadstools out of some red and white play dough and scatter these around the perimeter of the dome. Mould a mushroom cap out of the red dough. Roll a piece of white dough into a stalk and any spare pieces into tiny balls. Attach these to the mushroom cap and very gently flatten them with your finger.

The larger the jar or bowl you use, the bigger you can plan your designs. A fairy propped on top of a piece of bark inside a jam jar is just as creative as a large scale mini garden or forest.

Change the contents of the terrarium throughout the year to reflect the highlights of each season; lots of bright greens for spring and summer, reds, yellows and browns for autumn and a few snowflakes for winter.