Home & Garden

Harriett Hendren: Modern terrariums let imagination take root

Artist Shane Powers designed the Hanging Bubble Collection of terrariums for West Elm. Pieces range from $9 to $34 for each mini terrarium.
Artist Shane Powers designed the Hanging Bubble Collection of terrariums for West Elm. Pieces range from $9 to $34 for each mini terrarium.

Terrariums, miniature gardens enclosed in glass, are bigger than ever in home décor. And the current crop of indoor displays for your house or office feature an amazing selection of containers.

Everything from succulents to ferns and moss can be grown in these indoor gardens, which have been popular as far back as the 1800s. Elegant Victorian-style cases remain popular, but contemporary styles include delicate hanging orbs, hand-blown pitchers and simple jars.

Michler's Gardens and Greenhouses on East Maxwell Street in Lexington carries a variety of terrarium sizes.

"It really has a broad range," Robin Michler said. "Some are quite small and could fit in a nice window table, and others are completely self-standing and can sit on their own table."

West Elm, the furniture and home décor store, offers a selection of hanging glass bubbles designed by artist Shane Powers. Ranging from $9 to $34 at Westelm.com, they're affordable enough to hang in groups for an eye-catching display.

Better Homes & Gardens magazine devoted several pages to terrariums in its January issue, including tips from Tovah Martin, author of The New Terrarium.

Martin suggests sticking to small plants and clear containers. Gather your favorite plants in your own piece of glass, or buy terrariums already assembled from an array of stores.

Ready-made designs at Etsy.com include apothecary-style jars filled with moss, pine cones and river stones from Doodle Bird Imaginariums. The tiniest of terrariums may be worn as necklaces or rings, and several online storefronts offer accents for your container, including mini ceramic mushrooms, deer and farm animals.

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