terrariums in the ny times + the botany factory

by Grace Bonney

i’m something of a terrarium nut (though i seem to kill all the ones i keep), so i was excited to hear from emily at the new york times about a story she was writing on the “comeback” terrariums were making. in addition to chatting with people like flora grubb, tassy from sprout home, katie from botany factory, emily was kind enough to include my thoughts on the topic, as well as including a link to the terrarium how-to video i filmed with tassy last year. in addition to hearing some of my favorite experts talk about the popularity of terrariums, i really enjoyed the slide show, and getting to know some new companies with which i wasn’t familiar. the pieces above and below are by katie from the botany factory in san francisco- and are now on my birthday wishlist. they look so cute and easy to maintain! click here to check out more of her work online and click here to read the article at the times’ website.

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  • I have tried making terrariums, and its it hard not to kill them, these are beautiful, and have inspired me to give it another go! The video was super useful too!

  • My mother had terrariums all over the house when I was little and about five years ago, I asked her how to make those things and she pulled out this ancient 1960s how-to book with NO pictures. Needless to say, it’s been great to see their renaissance over the past three years because now there are better guides out there!

  • I’m trying to build my own terrariums but am having a very hard time finding affordable charcoal… does anyone know where I can buy it in bulk?

  • I recently made one with plants from by backyard and it didn’t quite work out. I should leave it to the professionals! love these!

  • Love these! I wonder, I just moved to a new place with three window wells. Can you make terrariums out of them even though they get very little light?

  • I own/owned ( a few broke) the little hanging possums…I bought them in San Francisco at the modern store version of Crate and Barrel. I originally bought 5, but on the ride home, one broke, then I couldnt hang up 4, because you should only hang odd number objects, so i left one on a table. Then a friend of mine wondered if a diet coke can could fit into the hole, it didnt, so it broke lol. They r the thinnest of glass objects, if your not hanging them, the odds of them breaking are good. For easter I put little eggs in them, it was adorable.

  • These terrariums are really good looking. However, I can see problems with them. Succulents do not like to be wet, and the nature of terrariums is to keep humidity in. The opening may be big enough to keep moisture from building up, but they look like a problem in the making.
    I was a big terrarium maker in the 60’s. If you’re interested, I’ll email you the technique a very knowledgable plant lady taught me that worked pretty good in “the day”.

  • I’ve been becoming a big fan of terrariums over the last year or so. I’m hoping to do a few projects with my daughter this summer to jump start an interest in gardening. (And to justify my weakness for thrift shop glassware.)

    @Linda-I, for one, am very interested in any knowledge you can pass along. What’s the best way to exchange email addresses?

  • this is soooo nostalgic! mi abuelita would give me some every time we’d visit her house; she had them all over the place. i don’t own any now, but this has inspired me to start collecting them again. I like ones with purple hues. simply gorgeous!

  • I have recently purchased teardrop hanging for terrarim , which has opening of just 1.5 inch only . please guide me how do i put succulent or other plants in it >
    Thank you