Shopping: Terrariums

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Building terrariums was a trendy hobby in the 1960s - right up there with making macrame and crafting fringe vests out of suede - and they have long been a science fair staple. But terrariums are shedding their kinda-lame past, enjoying a recent resurgence in grooviness.

The art of successfully growing plants in a closed glass container now involves more than a Petri dish or dishwasher-cleaned jelly jar. Designers are arranging vast combinations of plant life in bell jars, covered cake stands, miniature greenhouses and even light bulbs.

Terrariums as decor are fun conversation pieces and a way for users to exercise a green thumb inside their house or office where there's air conditioning.

Dig into these other unique ways to take on terrariums.

Buy them pre-made

Twig Terrariums is a Brooklyn-based company that builds tiny little terrarium worlds into recycled glass, including apothecary jars and old chemistry beakers. The grassy dioramas offer a voyeuristic glimpse into funny mini-stories.

In one terrarium a man is being arrested by a police officer in front of a brick wall he has just spray painted. In another a tiny man is running away from a dinosaur, about to escape through a chain-link fence.

Twig sells a variety of designs on its website ( to customers who live outside of New York, all planted and ready to go.

"Gentle Reminder"


"Grazed & Confused"


Wear them

Don a functioning ecosystem around your neck with a plant pendant housing tiny cacti from conservation jewelry company Gem Sprouts ( Urban Outfitters sells terrarium-style necklaces with dried and live flowers inside. Or try designer Erica Weiner's $40 necklaces made of vintage watchmaker vials filled with charcoal and reindeer moss (

H ang them

Franklin Park Conservatory's gift shop, Botanica (no admission ticket necessary to shop), sells hanging terrariums by interior art design company Roost.

There are open-mouthed glasses that hang like paintings from metal hooks; these wall terrariums come in two sizes and cost $55 or $70.

Another glass style is shaped like a teardrop with two open holes on either side. Those ($85 each, $100 for one with plants in it already) hang from ropes and would be great to create a terrarium chandelier effect.

Decorate them

Craft website Etsy is full of vendors selling Lilliputian sculptures that would be perfect amid the green growth of terrariums - tiny gingerbread houses, spotted mushrooms, elephants and these little one-inch tall guys.

Glazed pottery owls

Sets of four for $25; sets of two for $13