In my former life as a responsibility-shirking 20-something I mercilessly teased my older friends for doing boring things like getting mortgages, having children and gardening. Of course a few years later I had to eat my words as I acquired my own mortgage, garden and baby. That baby started walking, then running, then having loud opinions about things. For the first time in my life it seemed easier (and less publicly embarrassing) to make my own fun at home. I swallowed my pride, apologised to my friends (sorry) and threw a bunch of seedlings into my barren backyard, hoping for the best.
Initially my victim tally was high. The plants were yet more living organisms reliant on me for survival and it felt like a bit too much commitment. I was therefore intrigued by the prospect of making a self sufficient indoor garden that would look attractive but require little actual input or competence to maintain. I came across London Terrariums who run brilliant workshops across London providing everything you need to make your own little ecosystem.
A warning: if playing the game Operation sends you flying into a rage then perhaps this is not the hobby for you. I found the process of planting the terrarium to be both intensely infuriating and oddly cathartic. It involves painstakingly feeding seedlings through the flask’s narrow neck then poking them into place. It’s fiddly but requires the sort of concentration that blocks out all the other noise in your mind, ultimately making for quite a peaceful experience. The women running the workshop were so knowledgeable and graciously corrected a few disasters on my behalf. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and feel rather proud of my terrarium which, one year on, I still haven’t managed to kill.
London Terrariums run workshops all over the city, booking information is here. My demijohn flask was quite heavy to lug onto the tube so I recommend finding a workshop close to home. Valium optional!
You can find pre-made terrariums and accessories at their shop, online or at 106a New Cross Road, London, SE14 5BA.
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