There is much to love about terrariums, whose name is based in the Latin terra (earth) and arium (a place or receptacle). Indeed, they captured the heart and imagination of Chris Saban - our Creative Director - many years ago, these wonderous ecosystems in glass vessels - self-sustaining, growing, developing right there in front of you.
Terrariums date back to Victorian England, where a botanist by the name of Dr. Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward discovered (quite by accident, around 1842) that moss and ferns were growing in a small encased glass jar he had set up for an entirely different purpose. This discovery piqued the interest of scientists as they were able to observe a living world of plants - from places far and wide - in a small enclosed vase; further, it also sparked the interest of those who loved the exquisite decorative nature of diverse plant species able to be displayed within the home.
These miniature plant environments continue to offer a great deal to plant lovers and are especially well suited for the urban dweller: they are easy to care for, take only a little space, and can allow us to enjoy plant types that may otherwise be more tricky to grow. They also invite us to observe living systems, and can add moments of quietude, joy and reflection to the day.
Our new-in-store range is by an Australian design duo who specialise in object creation for the style conscious miniature garden lover. Proudly working in South Australia, they are environmentally conscious and aim for high local content in their manufacture - all very important to us at M&G.
Their designs such as the biodome (above) are as elegant as they are beautifully designed-for-purpose. The funnel-inspired opening allows good airflow for plant health, along with enabling condensation to be captured on the glass and channelled back down to the plants below - this mimics the natural water cycle.
At 28cm in diameter and 27cm high, this unique design works equally well as a table centrepiece or to sit in your favourite light-filled area at home. With bases in concrete or marble, they are truly an interior design delight, perfect for rainforest (or wet-style) systems where ferns, mosses and other delicate plants thrive.
This offset design is also a gem, and at a smaller scale (16cmD x 14.5cmH) is a perfect desk-top or bookshelf accent, the teardrop opening again providing a balanced environment for your plants to be as happy as can be. Keep these somewhere filled with natural light, out of direct heat or sun.
We have bespoke designs available in store, which our expert team have created for you to enjoy for yourself or to gift to someone special; we are always happy to offer our advice on selections and maintenance, and have popped our tips together for you in our article How To Care For Your Terrarium.
If you're keen to learn more, we run classes weekly in the studio to create your own Succulent Terrarium (traditionally created with a range of succulent plants and layers of soils and stones in an arid/dry style) - you can look for more info here.
Merchant & Green are pleased to be your botanical lifestyle store in Redfern, open seven days to bring more green into your world.