Sunday, 14 March 2010

Ryan's Garden One Year Anniversary, A Home for Carnivores and the Competition Winner

Have you ever thought about making a terrarium?  I have intended to make one since last Christmas when I bought a jar of old fashioned sweets.  The leftover glass jar was too good to throw away so I saved it specifically for this project.  In typical style I forgot about it and got side tracked by other things.

Recently I read a couple of great blogs which inspired me and prompted me to take action.  The first  post I came across was written by Jane Perrone and it pictured the most beautiful terrarium I think I have ever seen.  Jane's terrarium had the look I was aiming for, however, I now know just how difficult it is to plant in a small jar!  So, hats off to Jane.  The other post that catapulted me forward was written by Martyn Cox.  Martyn and his son demonstrated the processes involved in making my small garden.  It also shows us how much fun it can be to make a terrarium with your children.  If you have a spare few hours that need occupying then this is a great project.  You can read his full post here.

I knew that I was limited to just one or two plants for my tiny terrarium and after a little research I decided that I would use a venus fly trap (Dionaea muscipula).  These plants thrive in the terrarium environment and it will enjoy the position I have in mind for it.  I also used moss from my garden to cover the remaining soil.

To make my terrarium I followed a few simple instructions:

1. A suitable vessel is selected and cleaned.
2. Gravel is washed and added to the terrarium to help with drainage and stop plants from sitting in water.
3. A specfic carnivorous plant compost is added.
4. Venus fly trap and moss is positioned using two spoons and firmed in.
5. The terrarium is watered and allowed to settle.

If you find that condensation is building up inside the terrarium you can open the lid to allow some moisture to evaporate.  It is also important for the Venus Fly Trap that you allow it to be exposed to the world outside of the terrarium as it will not fulfill its purpose in life if it cannot catch insects.  I intend to place my fly trap outdoors in the summer so that it has a chance to find something to eat and failing this I will use a fertiliser which will give the plant the necessary nutrients for growth.

For a first attempt, It's not too bad.  I still aspire to create something as beautiful as what Jane made and one day I'm sure I will but for now I will remain content and watch the fly trap blossom.  

Have you made a terrarium?  Do you have any hints or tips for success?

If you entered the Mother's day competition to win a great pair of gardening gloves check here to see if you won!

In other news it has been exactly one year since I started writing this blog!  I would have prepared a special post but I have only just realised.  Thank you to all who have commented, retweeted and emailed me over the past year.  It is always appreciated.  Here's looking towards another great year.  Cheers!


  1. Many congratulations on the first anniversary of your blog Ryan and here's to many more :)

  2. Congratulations on your blog anniversary. I'm looking forward to reading many future posts. I love the idea of using a venus fly trap in your terrarium.

  3. Congratulations on your bloggiversary, Ryan.

  4. I am well impressed with what you have achieved in a year! Well done & happy bloggywotsits.

  5. Oh, so my terrarium isn't good to look at? I've just told my son what you thought - I hope you feel proud about making an eight year old cry? lol. Only joking of course. Yours looks very nice. Congrats on your anniversary - have you popped the champagne.

  6. Thanks for the kind comments all.

    Martyn, I love your terrarium. That's why I featured it. Was it you who cried? Go on, tell me. I won't say anything I promise.

    No bubbly here I'm afraid just lots of tea and pain killers.


  7. Thanks for the kind comments, Ryan. My top terrarium tips would be to choose as big a jar as possible, with as wide a mouth as possible. Smaller jars are hard to fill with suitable plants and harder to make tidy. There's a good book by Tovah Martin if you want further inspiration - my next goal is to put toghether one of the glass cake stand terrariums as seen in her book.

  8. I just found your post from The Good Life's blog - what a fab idea this is! I have a coffee jar just like that sitting in the kitchen waiting to be used for something. My kiddies will just love making one of these little gardens :-) Terrariums used to be all the rage when I was little but I haven't seen any for years so I am going to revive this retro feel garden in my house :-) Thanks a lot of the inspiration.


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