With the weather turning a bit cooler I try to keep the outdoors with me all year and I found an easy way to make a mini desk top terrarium using a Ball jar and some plants from my garden. These jar gardens would make neat teacher gifts for your kids to make also! The steps are really simple: First you need a clean Ball or Atlas Jar, some type of Rocks, Dirt or Potting Soil, and a Small Plant (I used some thyme I dug up from my garden) Moss or Bark for interest, and last something for a little fun, I used a broken shard of a blue plate and worn tile pieces but you could use anything you like, a shell, little metal car, interesting rusted spring maybe?
Here are some moss and lichen covered bark pieces I found outside and thyme from my spice garden.
1. Fill the bottom of the ball jar with a few rocks, good for drainage and looks good too!
2. Pour in some dirt. I used dirt from my garden but you could use potting soil too.
3. Plant your little plant. The thyme is a little bit long so I trimmed it and tucked it in with a spoon. You might have to gently coil around the roots to get them in and add a little more dirt if needed.
4. Here I tucked in some of the interesting mossy bark pieces. I love the different shades of green and the different textures!
5. A view with the bark and moss.
6. Add your little piece of interest, my broken pottery piece, and water. OK, not too much water but enough to soak the dirt and moss and have a tiny bit in the rocks, about 1/4 inch in bottom. Now put on the lid and Voila! When in a sunny spot you will notice the condensation forming in the jar. It is basically it's own biosphere, like a desktop rain forest, where the moisture keeps regenerating. Don't leave it in all day sun, just for a little while to let warm up.
Experiment with different tiny plants and different size jars!
Happy mini gardening!