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DIY Terrarium + A Sweet Plant's Little Story

From the age of 3 to 8, Charlie, my oldest, attended a warm and loving Montessori School. After three years in the same classroom, Charlie “graduated” third grade. His favorite teacher gave him a plant to celebrate. The plant was his to care for. It was to remind him of all his amazing growth in school and the continued growth he would surely experience as he grew up. We feel so lucky that Charlie spent his formative years there. Charlie fell in love with his plant instantly.
When we first found out we were moving to Baltimore, the news rocked our entire world. We had thought we would live in Boulder forever. All of sudden we had to pack up our lives and move across the country in matter of weeks. As the house where Charlie had spent his entire life began to disappear into boxes, and what was left began to dwindle to a few items, Charlie turned to me and asked me who would pack his plant. How would his plant make it to Baltimore?
I tried to explain that our plants would have to stay in Boulder. He burst into tears with a level of intensity that surprised me. All the tension and stress over leaving his school, his home and all life as he knew it became packed into this little plant. I tried to comfort him. Maybe we could give it to a Boulder friend to love and care for? Maybe we could give it back to his teacher to care for in his Montessori classroom? The plant didn’t want to leave Boulder either, I said. Nothing worked.
Finally, I said to Charlie, if it’s that important to you, you’ll just have to carry it to Baltimore yourself. To be honest with you, I thought that this responsibility would induce him to leave it behind. I myself couldn’t take on another thing. I was wrong. The morning we left, Charlie picked up his plant and carried it every step of the way. Above is the sun rise that escorted us out of Boulder.
On the airplane, filled with the sadness of leaving our home, I looked over at my Charlie. He held his plant with such tenderness, frankly, I burst into tears. The plant made it to Baltimore a little worse for wear, but after a little caring by Charlie, it perked up again.
He’s continued to care for it carefully over the last year an a half and recently began pestering me that it needed to be replanted. After weeks, I finally relented to do it, but only if he helped. This lovely little terrarium was born. His little plant is finally growing roots in its new home, just like we are!
DIY Terrarium
:: Glass jar or vase (wide opening is best)
:: Sand
:: Potting Soil (succulent or cactus soil is best for succulents)
:: Rocks
:: Moss
:: Decorative items
:: Very loved for plant!
1:: Start with a layer of sand to provide good drainage.
2:: Scoop out a hole for soil in the sand. You can add a little moisture to the sand to help do this.
3::Add soil to the hole you’ve created. We used regular old potting soil (sometimes I don’t do everything the way I should :)) If you’re planting succulents, using a cactus soil is better for drainage.
4:: Carefully remove your plant from its existing pot, keeping the soil around its roots intact.
5:: Create hole in soil for plant and carefully add plant. Pat soil around it and carefully press plant into place.
6:: Add decorative moss and rocks around surface.
7:: Add other bits of interest. We loved these little figurines given to Charlie by his Aunt. She used to collect them as a little girl. She kindly let my kids pick their favorites on our last visit. This terrarium gives them a happy new home too!
I had put off making the terrarium because I thought it would be too difficult, but it really was a snap.
Don’t hesitate, go make yourself one today!

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