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Make your own Terrarium with a little help from Leah Umrigar of The Green Bowl

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Green thumb or not, spend a tranquil afternoon creating your very own mini-garden with this easy step-by-step guide

Roll up your sleeves and get ready to build your own terrarium

If you love greenery but don’t have the luxury of a large, terrace garden or balcony, then terrariums are the perfect solution. As jars, bottles or bowls filled with a mix of flowering plants, succulents and ferns, these mini gardens make great conversations starters and add plenty of character to any part of your house. “Six years ago, when I started doing this, few people in the city knew what terrariums were and fewer still were interested in learning to care for them. But things have changed considerably now,” says Bandra-based Leah Umrigar, who created terrariums for clients under her brand The Green Bowl.

Building your own terrarium is surprisingly easy and an almost therapeutic exercise. “Assembling terrariums in narrow-neck bottles or jars can be difficult, so start with a wide mouthed glass or plastic bowl that allows you more room to manoeuvre inside it,” Umrigar, who puts together delicate and robust presentations for clients, tell us. Place them in your study table, side table or entryway and voila - you can have a spot of nature in the smallest spaces.

“People are surprised at how fuss free terrariums can be and how far just a few spritzes of water will go when it comes to maintaining them,” she says. The important thing to remember is that they need plenty of natural - not direct- sunlight, and gentle watering to thrive. So, office cubicles with incandescent lights are a big no-no!

Irrespective of temperamental weather, Leah says, sealed or open terrariums mostly work well here. Though she cautions, “Succulents and cacti work best in an open terrarium, because the humidity in a sealed space is too much for them. And when it comes to indoor greens, expect a sealed terrarium to mist over with dew drops so the inside is not entirely visible.”

Terrariums also make fantastic personalised gifts. “Not only are they low maintenance, but they can be really fine-tuned to reflect someone’s style and taste,” she adds. Well, we’ve seen some of her creations and have already started our own Pinterest mood boards. Now, it’s your turn!

Here’s what you’ll need:
    Loose pebbles - we suggest a collection of large and small
      sizes to try different arrangements.
-    Cocopeat and mud mix
-    Multi-coloured stones
-    Miniatures - Choose ones that reflect your style or mood
-    An indoor plant
-    Glass jar

Leah, pictured here, runs The Green Bowl in Bandra, Mumbai and handcrafts custom terrariums in all shapes and sizes.

7 easy steps to your mini-landscape:
1.    Start with a base layer of stones
2.    Add a layer of mud.
3.    Next, add the cocopeat and mud mix
4.    Arrange the plants to showcase them effectively
5.    Put a layer of stones at the base of the plants to create a stage for miniatures
6.    Place the miniatures
7.    Water the plant

Your terrarium is ready!


Nidhi Tiwari

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