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Thursday 14 February 2013

A Growing Trend: Pretty Planters and Terrific Terrariums

I'm going to wilfully ignore the date and talk about a plant other than the red rose, just for a bit. One of the new year resolutions which I'm only just getting round to is trying to introduce some more greenery into my flat. Okay, I have a few herbs and I usually pick up some flowers if I remember in the supermarket, but I'm talking about introducing plant life with intent: like in Leah Goren's home shown on Miss Moss or Isabel Wilson's home shared on Freude von Freuden or simply the bedroom hanging baskets on this Design Sponge sneak peek. My pinterest is appropriately over-grown with such inspiration.

So, how to aspire to such greenery greatness? I'm keeping my ambitions simple at first, very simple with Catherine Grandidier's Edison lightbulb vase. Made from recycled incandescent light bulbs, they're only £7 each from the Southbank Centre.

I reckon my budding gardening skills can handle some cacti too. These sets from Ikea are prettier than most in their pastel pots and £4.50 gets you a set of three. There's a catch though - can you guess what? Yes, they're available in-store only.

So, if I'm going to be forced to head to the delight that is Croydon Ikea, I'm going to try and get a few more pieces along the way. I've had a long standing devotion to the PS plant stand. It's the white vertical stand with the three pots in the image above - perfect for my small flat and only £30.

For a more dramatic look, but just as reasonably priced, I'm tempted by Rockett St George's sky planter for £24.95. It's clever too - I'm not exactly what its 'internal reservoir' system is, and am even more shaky on how it works but it claims to cut watering by 80%.

I don't think I even knew what a terrarium was until I saw them springing up on loads of US blogs. But now, obviously, I want some badly. Turns out these glass containers were first used for growing plants in London in the nineteenth-century by Nathaniel Ward who was eager to save his beloved ferns from evil smog. But while our American cousins seem to have lots of options for buying fashionable terrariums (even Urban Outfitters stock them there), options for us UK customers are more limited. The beautiful numbers shown above and at the top of the post are both from West Elm: a US shop but one that ships to the UK. Their range is lovely, and includes stunning hanging glass planters as well as terrariums  Prices are very reasonable too, starting at £32.98 for one of the glass and wood numbers. However, the shipping and also tax on top of that worked out at about £25 on two terrariums, which is making me pause over the purchase button. Come on British retailers - get on the terrarium trend!

One UK exception is Living Gems, who provide the terrariums ready-filled with plants. This is their 'no.2' design, a glass jar filled with a variety of moss, decorative stones and a feature plant. This is £65, but their prices range from £28 up to £185.

Of course, the other option is to get a glass jar or bowl and make up my own. I was delighted to discover Hermetica (who make extremely beautiful but pricier terrariums) run make your own terrarium courses covering everything from what plants to pick to copper foiling your own model. Wow. There's more details here.

The final option for this time and cash-strapped gardener? There's always Colleen Jordan's wearable planters. Green genius.


  1. How do the (gorgeous) Edison light bulb vases not fall over?

    1. I'm guessing they've got a slightly flattened bottom.

      Otherwise, magic.

  2. I've managed to kill one of my small ikea cacti...perhaps i should try a terrarium? And only use fake plants obviously! ~ Sioxsie

    1. I've also been tempted by these fake succulents from John Lewis which sounds like they could do the job:

      Hopefully they'll be back in stock soon!

    2. Oh thank you! I'll have to have a loo out for those. Didn't even think about fake succulents... ~ Sioxsie

  3. Take a look at these great air plant terrariums I make right here in the UK:


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