terrarium

Using Decorative Features In Your Terrarium

A terrarium or bottle garden can be a beautiful feature in your home.  Terrariums can look spectacular when planted with your favourite plants that are suited to growing in a humid environment, and often need no adornment, but you may wish to enhance your planting using a piece of wood or bark, some decorative stones or crystals, or even a specially chosen ornament.

Using natural wood as a terrarium feature

My BiOrbAir with the real piece of wood I have used as an ornament to enhance my planting
My BiOrbAir with the real piece of wood I used as an ornament to enhance my planting.

When I initially planted up my BiOrbAir terrarium, I chose to include an attractive, slightly gnarled piece of oak with my planting.  The wood was cut into two pieces to make it easier to insert into the terrarium; I then checked the pieces of wood over for insects and kept the wood inside my house for a few days prior to planting, so I could check the wood over again for insects before I placed it inside my terrarium.  I am not sure when I first spotted a woodlouse, but within a few months I had a growing family of woodlice living in my BiOrbAir.

It’s possible that some of the slugs I have found inside my terrarium were also introduced together with these pieces of wood.  I was well aware when I chose a piece of real wood to include in the terrarium, that it was highly likely that I would be introducing a pest or two to my terrarium; I knew that manufactured ornaments were available, that are designed to look like wood, which are sterile and inert and carry no pests whatsoever.  I happily took the risk and included the wood I found, simply because I prefer real wood over fake.

The woodlice have caused quite a few problems inside my terrarium, they have eaten and damaged my plants and also made some rather sweet tunnels into the moss I included in the terrarium.  I found the woodlice rather difficult to remove at first using my own home-made tools, but now thanks to my long handled gardening tweezers from BiOrbAir it’s a lot easier.  I intend to remove the remainder of the woodlice as I see them, putting the woodlice safely outside in the garden.

A woodlouse entering the tunnel!
A woodlouse entering the tunnel he’s made!

Polyresin terrarium ornaments

Reef One, the manufacturers of the BiOrbAir, produce wood ornaments or sculptures in a variety of different shapes, sizes and colours.  The sculptures are cast in a polyresin and then painted with a non-toxic enviropaint, they are inert and completely safe to use in a terrarium, bottle garden or aquarium.  Some parts of the sculptures are hand painted to ensure they look as realistic as possible.  These specially manufactured ornaments would obviously never introduce any pests, diseases or problems to your terrarium, they are completely safe to use with plants, fish, amphibians, insects or animals.

Terrarium ornaments designed to fit inside your terrarium

When I selected my piece of real wood to add to my terrarium I needed to find one that could fit into my terrarium.  As it was the piece of wood I used had to be cut into two pieces.  With the specially designed wood sculptures from BiOrbAir, you simply choose the sculpture you prefer and pop it inside your BiOrbAir, as naturally all of the BiOrbAir sculptures fit inside the BiOrbAir terrariums, some may need to be rotated first, but they all fit.

This is the Reef One rockwood ornament (Rock 3)
This is the Reef One rockwood ornament (Rock 3).
Here’s a closer look at the Reef One rockwood ornament (Rock 3)
Here’s a closer look at the Reef One rockwood ornament (Rock 3).
Here’s a closer look at a different side of the Reef One rockwood ornament (Rock 3)
Here’s a closer look at a different side of the Reef One rockwood ornament (Rock 3).
My BiOrbAir on 29th August 2015. I am so much happier with the look and feel of the planting and the colour of the new moss.
My BiOrbAir on 29th August 2015. I am so much happier with the look and feel of the planting and the inclusion of the cork and miniature orchids.

Using cork bark in terrariums

Almost a year later when I replanted my BiOrbAir terrarium, I removed the decorative piece of wood and replaced it with a number of pieces of natural cork that I arranged to form a rounded shape, almost like a discarded branch.  I mounted some miniature orchids onto the cork bark, which I feel really adds to the look and feel of this terrarium, as you can see for yourself in the photograph above.

I have now learnt my lesson from my previous experiences using natural wood, where I inadvertently introduced woodlice and other pests to my terrarium; so I didn’t take any chances whatsoever with the cork – it was boiled, baked and microwaved, to ensure it was thoroughly sterilised before I included the cork in the terrarium!

When I planted my Miniature Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, I used cork to mount my orchids, and also to provide interest as a decorative feature in the terrarium.  Again I ensured that the cork I used had been thoroughly sterilised prior to planting.

My Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir on 26th August 2015.
My Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir on 26th August 2015.
The addition of a few shiny conkers to your terrarium can make a pretty feature.

Natural terrarium ornaments

You can have a lot of fun choosing ornaments for your terrarium or bottle garden, you could include a beautiful piece of real wood, stone or slate, or your favourite sculpture or carving; your imagination is the only limit!  You could create a pretty, fairy style garden complete with miniature fairies and toadstool ornaments, or design a more of a prehistoric looking scene complete with dinosaur figurines.

Why not take your inspiration from nature and include pinecones, conkers, twinkling crystals or quartz?  It’s easy to create a quirky and fun, beautiful and inspiring terrarium or bottle garden by simply including your favourite natural objects, small ornaments or children’s toys in your terrarium.

The attractive pebbles in this glass terrarium support the air plants and add to the overall appearance of the terrarium
The attractive pebbles in this glass terrarium support the air plants and add to the overall appearance of the terrarium.
This worn pebble is a natural feature, that's easily added to your terrarium and could be swapped for something different to suit each season
This worn, lucky pebble is a natural feature, that’s easily added to your terrarium and could be swapped for something different to suit each season.
Shells can add a different feel to your terrarium or bottle garden
The addition of shells can create a different feel and look to your terrarium or bottle garden.
The piece of cork wood in this glass orb provides a secure base for the air plants, without it they would just be in a heap, at the base of the globe – the effect of which wouldn’t be as attractive as we see here.

Quirky terrarium ornaments

A small glass swan used as a decorative feature
A small glass swan is used as a decorative feature in this terrarium.
A glass swan used as a decorative feature in the terrarium
A glass swan used as a decorative feature in the terrarium.

Hello Kitty hanging out in her terrarium garden……

Other articles that may interest you………

To see the first part of my White Orchid Trial BiOrbAir Terrarium, please click here.

To read the first part of my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.

To read about the new features that the new 2017 BiOrbAir terrarium offers, please click here.

To read about tools for tending your terrarium, please click here.

To read more about terrariums and bottle gardens, please click here.

To read about the BiOrbAir and traditional terrariums, please click here.

To read the first part of my Miniature Orchid Trial – Growing Miniature Orchids in the BiOrbAir, please click here.

To read my planting list of miniature orchids to grow in terrariums, please click here.

To read the first part of my long term review of the BiOrbAir terrarium, please click here.

To read about the special features of the BiOrbAir, please click here.

For a list of plants suited to growing in terrariums or bottle gardens, please click here.

To see the full planting list for my first BiOrbAir terrarium, please click here.

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