Katy Elliott

A daily design journal about new england life, home decorating resources, and renovating a 257-year-old house in Marblehead, MA.

An Antique Terrarium For My House

Posted on | November 7, 2011 | 17 Comments

Do you remember the beautiful antique terrarium I picked up last fall? It’s been sitting in my bedroom collecting dust. The stand had been turned into Greg’s clothing rack, so sad.

Over the weekend I took a trip up to Snug Harbor Farm in Kennebunk to gather plants to finally fill it. I decided I’m tired of waiting for the “fun” house projects till the renovation is complete. A beautiful terrarium can live amongst paint cans and tools? Yes, a bit unconventional but really fun.

My terrarium has a removable glass pitched roof. I liked the idea of having a a tall, dramatic focal plant and then smaller plants and mosses in different textures and shades. When I was choosing plants I didn’t factor in enough room for planes of just moss. I would recommend bringing the actually terrarium with you; so you don’t buy too many. Just like in the composition of an abstract painting you need resting spots for the eye. Plus, you need room for plants to grow. I imagined my terrarium to be a fern patch found in the woods of New Hampshire.

Below how I made my terrarium plus, a list of plants I choose with the help of the wonderful staff at Snug Harbor Farm. All of the plants below prefer cooler conditions with low sunlight.

Mother fern
East Indian Holly Fern arachniodes simplicior
Birdnest fern
Jerrissa (tree like)
Button fern
Sellaginella “krassiara area’ yellow spikemoss
Baby tears
French staghorn (wish I could have used this but it didn’t fit; needs to stay a little dryer then the rest)
Cushion spikemoss
Variegated Creeping fig
Dwarf pilea
Variegated acorus gramineus (spiky grass)

All the plants I choose for my project.

Scatter rocks in the bottom of the terrarium.

Cut a screen to fit the base and place over the rocks.

Scatter a layer of soil in the bottom. As I added plants I added more soil creating higher and lower areas.

I made the composition with a center element and smaller plants around. Here I’m playing around with different center elements. I thought the Jerrissa would be really beautiful but it was too tall even after a little haircut.

I ended use a fern as my center element and smaller ferns and moss in different textures.

Give the terrarium a look from the side to make sure you have some nice height with some room for growth.

I didn’t use all the plants I purchased. I planted them in small terra cotta urns I picked up Snug Harbor Farm.

Every room has been a victim of the renovation. Why not have a beautiful terrarium?

Related Posts:
Snug Harbor Farm
Recent Finds: Terrarium, Camel Back Sofa, and Stool
My Day At Terrain

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


17 Responses to “An Antique Terrarium For My House”

  1. Donna Seger
    November 7th, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    It looks great, Katy—as does the room! During my own renovations I remember that finding a way to instill a bit of grace in one’s life amidst the clutter is quite the challenge. And thanks for the details instructions–the crucial screen step is the one I always forget.


  2. Jane Flanagan
    November 7th, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    This looks like an amazing fun project! I want to make one too!


  3. mary
    November 7th, 2011 @ 11:39 am

    Gaaa! This looks fantastic. I’m bookmarking these instructions.


  4. Steve
    November 7th, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    Really beautiful. Nothing better than a plant to add life to a room…even it’s under construction.

    That room is looking great!


  5. liane
    November 7th, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

    katy- too good! now i want to make one. well done girl.


  6. Ann
    November 7th, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

    Beautiful work; what a great tutorial!


  7. Marie
    November 7th, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

    oh my! it’s just stunning! great job!


  8. Lin
    November 7th, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

    I’ve been thinking about terrariums under cloches lately and loved seeing your post. When the weather turns cold and snowy and we can no longer work in our garden and yards, it’s nice to bring some green inside. Perfect timing! Love your terrarium and I’m ready to find some cloches and begin. Thanks for the lovely post.


  9. Pam
    November 7th, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

    How much fun is that! Plants add happiness to the home. Your terrarium is beautiful. I hope your new plants like their new home.



  10. Karen @ Aurelia Interiors
    November 8th, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    The terrarium looks great. It will be nice to have a spot of green this winter. I have a small terrarium in an old blown glass jar with succulents that is looking a little well, sad and I just may have to steal some of your plant ideas to freshen mine up. I love the terra cotta urns too! So pretty!


  11. Jill
    November 8th, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

    The terrarium looks great! I love the industrial vibe going on in your room now. When I was a kid, we built our own house and lived in it at the same time. At every stage, my mom did her best to make it aesthetically pleasing. It really helped!


  12. Kit Mitchell
    November 8th, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    And the room where you placed it looks perfect!


  13. mopar
    November 9th, 2011 @ 12:57 am

    I cracked up at your last line. Yes.

    (I mean, I know what you mean! I’m not criticizing your lovely rooms.)


  14. jane
    November 9th, 2011 @ 9:44 am

    Katy, Can I ask about the table your terrarium is sitting upon? Thank you!


  15. Katy Elliott
    November 9th, 2011 @ 10:00 am

    Hi Jane,

    An old wood table we found on the side of the road in Maine about 8 years ago. :)


  16. Elisha Davidson
    November 11th, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

    I’m obsessed!! I love this!


  17. Glamorous Glutton
    November 14th, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

    Fabulous terrarium but even more fabulous house. Love the colours. GG


  • About Blog

    postcard of house

    A journal about new england life, decorating inspiration, and raising a baby girl while renovating a 262-year-old house in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Read more...

  • Press & Mentions

    goop press
    marblehead home and style

    best 20 interior blogs

    best 20 interior blogs

    instyle editor pick nov 11

    marblehead home and style

    improper bostonian

    times online

    the guardian
  • Categories

  • Monthly Archive

  • Most Popular

  • Sponsored Links

  • Follow Along

    Sign up for bi-weekly post updates

    Newsletter plugin by glockeasymail.com

  • Blog Courtesy

    I love to share! Please credit my blog and provide a link when re-posting to your blog, website, pinterest etc. Please ask permission to use complete blog posts with my original written text, instructions or photos for web, tv or print use. E-mail me with questions: elliott.katy@gmail.com.