Many seem familiar with an impossible wish: to wake up in the morning, be surrounded by a marvelous garden with lush tropical vegetation. But attempts to grow something resembling tropical thickets did not end in a very pleasing result, and if a lush palm tree grew in a tub, then soon it would begin to run out of space and light.
However, it is too early to abandon rainbow dreams: to grow a tropical garden enclosed in a glass vessel is a wonderful way out! Such micro-tropics are a very real alternative to the implementation of a conceived and wide experimental field. Of course, due to the difference in climatic conditions and the inability to completely recreate the natural environment, one should not expect that all tropical guests will successfully take root, but the result is worth the effort.
It is known that most of the discoveries of different significance were made not as a result of targeted research, but as a by-product of scientific experiments carried out for completely different purposes. This happened with the invention of a garden in a bottle, the author of which was the British doctor Nathaniel Ward, who was keen on experimental science, at the beginning of the 19th century.
Somehow, without completing the experiment, the tester closed the butterfly doll in a vessel with his soil moistened under the arm, so that it would not fly away, turning into a moth in its absence. When, after a long time, the scientist again accidentally drew attention to a tightly closed vessel with a captive, contrary to the expectation of seeing a dead insect, he noticed a result that pleasantly surprised him. Among the green sprouts sprouted from the seeds that were part of the earthen mixture, a butterfly flew. The doctor showed the wonderful kindergarten in the vessel to familiar botanists.
Enlightened botanists appreciated the inadvertent result of a scattered natural scientist and qualified it as a scientific invention, calling it “Ward’s Box”. They liked the beautiful miniature of the garden so much that they enthusiastically began to grow similar ones for themselves. So, in England there was a fashion to grow exotic mini tropics in bottles. The invention was also used for the safe transportation of microclimate-demanding species of vegetation to European countries. Particularly capricious specimens were left closed in sealed glass vessels. A bottle of paradise has become popular in many countries around the world.
The essence of the discovery is as follows: plants provided with sufficient lighting do not require air, are able to independently recreate and regulate a suitable temperature and humidity level, creating a microenvironment close to the conditions of natural habitat. Tightness and adequate sunlight provide an average lifespan of a bottle garden of approximately 1.5 years.
How to make a terrarium in a bottle?
To grow a green paradise living in one’s own bottle in a bottle, certain skills and knowledge will be required. As phytorium. a hermetically sealed container made of transparent glass. you can use vessels of interesting shapes, various cans, aquariums that require tight closing. It is more convenient if the neck of the container is wide enough.
In an isolated garden, plants growing best in the natural environment of the tropics and subtropics, who love a humid environment and do not have a large root system, feel best. A sealed vessel will provide reliable protection against drafts that are contraindicated by it, will protect it from a lack of moisture and temperature extremes. Favorable temperature conditions and the necessary humidity of the plants create and regulate themselves.
The selection of plants suitable for the bottle garden is quite large. these are different types of ferns, small-leaved begonias, fittonia, miniature orchids. Various saxifrages, representatives of the arrowroot family, will do. Feel good in a closed environment and look beautiful groundcover plants, variegated ivy.
Rules for creating a mini-garden. perpetual terrarium in a bottle
- Do not get involved in flowering plants. they do not live in the greenhouse for long and bloom weakly. It is better to create color and textured accents by selecting plants with leaves of different shades and shapes or decorating the garden with colorful pebbles and glass.
- Do not make too bright a color accent.
- Consider natural preferences in lighting. Using ferns, it is necessary to provide them with a shadow. Other plants require a lot of light, and the window sill is the best place for them.
- For the composition, 5-6 plants are enough that you need to place them correctly: the plants that creep are placed in the foreground, the largest. with the edge.
- Although any glass vessels are suitable, it is better for a novice creator of bottle tropics to choose a small terrarium with a lid.
A two-layer drainage substrate is formed in the following order: a litter (up to 20 mm) of gravel is laid on the bottom, followed by a centimeter layer of charcoal. With a narrow neck, the components are poured through a cardboard funnel. Soil with a peat base is poured onto the drainage. The layers are compacted. If access is limited by the narrow neck of the vessel, you can tamp the soil with a stick with a foam or cotton swab attached to the end.
If desired, you can decorate the soil layer with glass, stone or ceramic decor. You can use chemically neutral and non-degradable decorative elements, otherwise they will become a favorable environment for bacteria that will destroy plants.
Planting plants in a terrarium in a bottle
The planting depth is small, it must correspond to the natural growth. An auxiliary tool is ordinary spoons, forks, long tweezers or sticks, with which they make a groove and deliver seedlings. Soil after planting is compacted with a tampon.
Planted plants are watered using a watering can or syringe. It is important that the watering is optimal. plentiful enough, but without excess. If you can guess with the amount of moisture, watering may be the only one. After moistening the soil, close the vessel. When fogging, it should be opened until the transparency returns and closed again with a lid. In the future, the plants themselves regulate humidity by evaporating the right amount of moisture through the leaves.
Terrarium care. a garden in a bottle is very simple: the plants themselves will create a microclimate and ensure its self-regulation. Do not need a garden and fertilizers, too accelerating its growth. Sometimes an intervention is required to remove dead leaves and plants.
That’s all the tricks. even an amateur can quite realize the dream of a tropical paradise in an apartment!
Photos of micro, nano, miniature terrariums below. represent the works of the master of terrarium Kris-Aquari’O from Montpellier, France: