A Bit of Green in a White World

Despite loving the freedom of a few gardening-free months, there is something to be said for having a little life in the house. A piece of green to brighten up a room. I have one small houseplant in my tiny house — a Christmas cactus my parents hauled out from California when they helped me move. It must still be in a bit of shock, because while usually by this time it’s overflowing with pink, so far this year there isn’t even a hint of bud or bloom. Still, the green is dark and glossy and quite nice atop the wide bookcase against the back wall of the room.┬áThe thing is, I want more.

There is an empty pot in the bathroom waiting for a Sansevieria, for starters. I just haven’t found the right plant yet. And then this morning, I saw this:


And I love it.

Now, living in ~ 300 square feet, I don’t exactly have room for a 28 gallon fish tank filled to the brim with skulls and horses and plants, but I could certainly find space at the edge of my desk for something smaller… say, something like one of these:

Here’s what I love about terraria:

– They’re easy to make from stuff you may already have lying around the house, or can find cheap at thrift stores or yard sales

– They can be big or small — whatever fits your space

– They are low maintenance because they are largely self-containted (especially good in water-poor areas like the desert)

– The sky’s the limit in terms of design — create a mini tropical rain forest, a sparse, cactus-inhabited desert, a green mossy hill, or a kitchen herb garden in jars; add marbles or dinosaurs or tiny farmers with shovels and hoes

A few things to keep in mind:

– Choose plants that won’t outgrow the container too quickly

– Keep them in a place where they won’t get direct light

– Water only as needed — there’s no hole in the bottom so excess water won’t drain out

– Remember, the bigger the container, the more plant variety and creativity there’s room for

Check out some of these simple DIY terrarium tutorials (no reason for me to reinvent the wheel when these folks did such a good job with theirs). And as for me… I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the perfect tank or jar and will post progress as I make it.

Fish Tank Terrarium

Apothecary Jar Terrarium

Lightbulb Terrarium

 

Six-Packs

Much as I love seeds, I am even more of a sucker for seedlings. Case in point, these two six-packs purchased at last Saturday’s farmers market.

The first is a selection of organic lettuce (Little Gem, Red Oakleaf, Green Oakleaf, plus a couple whose names I don’t remember).

The second is Red Russian Kale. I just can’t get over that color…

So while outside it’s been hailing, inside it’s already spring. And with the huge skylight in the kitchen, I may just plant them in bigger pots and keep them on the window sill. With colors like those, they’re just as pretty as flowers, plus they will taste good.

Grow an Avocado Tree

Thanks to the communications miracle that is Facebook and GardenBookstore.net, I found this great blog entry on how to grow an avocado tree from a left-over pit (especially fun for kids).

Now I will admit, I have tried on many occasions to do just that, but I’ve had very little luck. Turns out I left out one very important step — drying the pit before putting it in the water. But now that I know, I will definitely give it another try (and post the pictures here)

And do share your adventures in indoor avocado propagation as your projects progress.