Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sleeping Beauty

Friday, March 21, 2014

For those with black thumbs...

It is a fairly well known fact in my family that my mom, is in fact a gardening wizard.  We had two huge gardens on either end of the yard for as long as I could remember and the infamous "dirt patch" for my little brother the bulldozer.  Added a bit later was a glass green house that housed seedlings galore, which quickly outgrew into a mass of fruits, veggies and herbs.  Which, of course, I didn't wholly appreciate to it's potential until I moved away and couldn't be near to the veggie goodness at the blink of an eye.  Thank god for Trader Joe's.

It didn't take long to realize that I was gardening challenged.  As with a select few of things in my life that were lost on me (math mainly lol, oh and my knack for racking up speeding tickets), gardening definitely topped the list.  My mother, the eternal gardening optimist (anyone can garden!), began her mission pretty much as soon as I had found an apartment.  There was the window herb garden.  Then came the balcony tomato garden (to my defense, it dumped over in my car BEFORE I could properly kill it).  Then the countless basil plants that made the trek to my apartments and were tenderly care for day after day (I didn't KNOW they don't need water EVERY hour...I was also very generous with the sunlight). 

Eventually and still to this day, I feel the overwhelming need to warn my mother every time she attempts to stow a plant into my car.  My tactics have gotten quite blunt at times.  

Mom:  Here, a basil plant!  You can have fresh pesto!  They love apartments!  

Me:  Aw!  Yum, I love pesto!  *Cue Death Eater sign in the sky*

Just kidding, but there isn't...well...any plant that I haven't killed except my giant spider plant.  Which lives in water.  With no light.  It's like a green pet rock, really.  

Then, the hobby of collecting succulents was born!  For a while I just collected pictures on Pinterest (wouldn't you if you had my history of plant murder?),  then around Christmas of last year (DIY Christmas!), I decided that I would be brave and give some homemade terrariums as gifts.  If they weren't LIVING with me, maybe they would be more likely to live?  Right?!  Anyways, right or wrong, that was my justification.  

As it turns out, it ended up being on the best decisions (and gifting ideas!) that I've had to date!  My first few were mediums sized, "dollar store terrariums" (they sound cheap, but they are ADORABLE), with Christmas ornaments planted inside for a little custom pizzazz.  


1. (1) glass jar, large mouth jars work the best (easier to plant)
Be creative! Old coffee mugs, mason jars, goodwill finds, big or small, really anything will do.  A variety of glass planters is the start of a very cute collection!

2. Dirt.  
Most people can find this somewhere outside. But you can also purchase it by the bag at Home Depot or walmart in their gardening section. 

3. Rocks.
Depending on your planting vessel, really any rocks will do from larger stones to gravel. Make sure it fits in your jar.  The dollar store and any craft store carries bags of polished stones.  Glass stones and even wine corks will also do the job and they add a little bling ;) 

4. Moss
Moss for me unfortunately falls under the "live plant" category, which of course I end up I buy fake moss. It's more for a decorative, finishing top layer anyways.

5. Succulents.
Size and variation will depend on the price of each plant.  I usually get smaller ones, so they typically run between 2-3 bucks per plant. Sometimes you can find some pretty decent deals in the gardening section at Fred Meyers and other places if you're looking.  

6. Miniature decor.
All my gifts I made for Christmas had little gnomes in them (christmas ornaments from world market), but be creative!  Tiny cupcakes, a little figures or even antique jewlery makes cute additions, and makes terrariums easy to personalize. 

After you have gathered your supplies, time to build!

Layer: Stones, dirt (don't pack to tight), plant succulents, add more dirt to cover the roots, pack firmly, moss and add your decorations!

Your succulents only need water once every week or no overwatering! :)

The happy insomniac 

Cooks in the Kitchen