Tips & trends
Jodi Dawson of Oakland Nurseries holds a terrarium.
Back again: terrariums
Just in time for our early spring desire to see more green, terrariums—which originated during Victorian times and had their last surge of popularity in the ’70s—have returned.
Creating decorative terrariums is an easy and low-maintenance way of adding greenery to a house or apartment, whether you make one for yourself or to give as a gift. Oakland Nurseries’ greenhouse manager Jodi Dawson offers some tips about what you need to get started:
• A clear glass container in any size, avoiding colored glass
• Stone pebbles or sand
• Activated charcoal
• Sphagnum moss
• Potting soil
• Terrarium-appropriate plants in different heights and textures.
Choose from the seemingly endless options of ferns, baby tears, begonias, moss and others. However, Dawson recommends avoiding herbs, flowering plants, cactuses and succulents because “the terrarium environment goes against their laws of nature.”
Once the supplies are purchased, create a thriving miniature garden by following these six steps:
• To begin, add a layer of stone pebbles or sand to the bottom of the container to enable drainage.
• Next, add a thin layer of charcoal, especially if you’re creating a closed terrarium. This helps filter the container’s air.
• Then, add a thin layer of sphagnum moss. Dawson recommends paying particular attention to spreading it out toward the container’s edges for a cleaner look and to provide a strong base for the next step.
• Fill the container with two to four inches of potting soil.
• Dig a hole in the soil to insert each plant, being careful to cover the plant’s root ball.
• Finally, garnish the terrarium with decorative stones, bark or cherished trinkets to add a personal touch.
• While terrariums are generally low-maintenance, proper care will ensure a successful living environment. Avoid placing the container in direct sunlight because “the glass can reflect the sun and burn the leaves,” explains Dawson. Lightly water the terrarium to maintain moist soil. If condensation has stopped accumulating on the container’s glass, it may be time to add a bit of water.
Add water and fish
Whether you’re a novice aquatic gardener or simply interested in adding plant life to your fish tank, Amy Zerkle of Aquarium Adventure, 3632 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., offers advice on what to look for when garnishing your aquarium.
“You always want to make sure you get true aquatic plants,” says Zerkle, referring to a label commonly used by aquatic gardeners. Such plants can survive only when completely submerged.
For beginners, she recommends looking for aquatic plants with a low-light tolerance. Those plants include Anubias, which grows in many forms, and Java fern, a plant that fish avoid eating due to its bitter taste. Both attach easily to stone or wood that is used in aquariums and are fairly simple to transfer to new settings if an aquarium redecoration is considered, Zerkle says. Other viable options include Crypt Spiralis, a grassy plant with adaptable roots, and Bolbitis, which can grow large.
Choosing plants for an aquarium is akin to picking furniture for a house, Zerkle says. “It’s about people’s personal preference.”
The Short North home furnishing store, Bungalow, has expanded with two new shops recently opened in Powell and New Albany.
Owners Julie DeVito Butler and Paige Langdale say the timing was right. “We really weren’t planning on doing two more stores right away, but the spaces we wanted both became available at the same time,” Langdale says.
The duo was looking for quirky lots with character. The Powell store is in a little white chapel located at 50 W. Olentangy St., while the New Albany shop is in the historic mill in the center of town. Both will provide bigger spaces for furniture and upholstered pieces. All three stores feature additional items including jewelry and accessories, many of which are locally made.
Add some glitz
The sparkle and elegance of chandeliers comes down to eye level with a variety of new floor lamps now on the market. Regal sophistication and ornate detailing make the American Brass FL-2572 17 Light Floor Lamp (from $5,290) from LightingUniverse.com an eye-catching focal point in any room. With its French-inspired gilded frame, 17 candlestick lights and a delicate string of pendant crystals and beads, this is a lamp that makes a big impression. But if you’re looking for a better price, check out the 19th C. Rococo Iron & Crystal Floor Lamp at Restoration Hardware ($995).