More photos at: My Flickr Page
I originally wanted to solve my constant problem of never knowing where vending machines are on campus by creating an online map, but I ran into trouble making images that would be legible and easy to navigate online. Thus I addressed a bigger and perhaps more fulfilling (healthier, at least!) problem in my life: I can't afford anything that is not necessary to my life.
I have wanted a terrarium since I was a child. A neighborhood friend had one when I was growing up, and the idea of a stable, self-contained ecosystem under glass has since fascinated me. The problem is, they are expensive to buy pre-made and buying individual miniature plants to place inside of a home-made one can add up. I've spent tons of time thinking about terrariums, and done lots of internet research, but making one seemed daunting.
Thus I gathered a bunch of succulents from my neighborhood, my own yard and my mom's yard. I bought a large glass kitchen storage container from Goodwill for $2, spent $6 on activated charcoal, and that is the full amount I paid to make the terrarium above, which contains 9 different kinds of plants.
Building the terrarium took a few hours. First you put a thin layer of activated charcoal on the bottom of the container. This removes impurities from the water in your terrarium, keeping it healthy. Then a layer of potting soil. Traditionally one should use sterilized potting soil but that was an added cost, so I just used potting soil from my garden shed. I built the soil up at an angle, so that all of the plants could be seen once it was done. I used a rock I had at my house to become the anchor for the moss and fern piece that I found in my backyard. I used a Q-tip to make holes for the plants, tweezers to place them, and a larger Q-tip to tamp down the soil around the plants. This is harder than you think when you start! Plants are fragile, and it is hard to see through the glass and be sure of what you are doing.
I am so happy to have this terrarium on my nightstand. I have a spray bottle to keep it moist, and I hope that it will last a long time. I am considering it my birthday present to myself!!
I also used a fancy jam jar to make a smaller terrarium for my friend. I want to make more!
PS: WHO HAS ACCESS TO EDITING THE STYLE AND LAYOUT OF THIS BLOG? IT IS MAKING ME INSANE THAT SOMEONE DELETED THE NAVIGATION ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE. I CAN FIX THIS, I CAN MAKE THIS ALL BETTER. HELP ME HELP YOU.