4 April 2011

A terrarrium in an old scotch bottle

The weather this past weekend allowed so much outdoor activity... walking, frisbee, returning empties, cleaning off the balcony and prepping for a massive garden! I couldnt help but notice all the bits of greenery poking up from the brownness of winter. The brightest patches of spring green caught my eye around large trees and on sloped banks. They were patches of live moss! I have seen some sites that sell kits for $20-$30 that allow you to build your own small terrarium...but why bother purchasing when you already have all the pieces? I grabbed as much moss as my hands could carry, being careful to take a bit of the clay soil with it.

Around the house, i collected an old bottle of Glenrothes whisky that i was using as a vase. Any glass vessel will do, you just need to be able to place the chunks of plant or moss inside the soil (this is where you might need chopsticks).  Another good choice would be Bulleit Bourbon or Woodford Reserve.

Here are the steps:

1. Break up some styrafoam into smaller particles for drainage layer (about half inch)
2. Place a piece of mesh or tulle fabric between above the pellets to keep the layers from mixing
3. Top with two or three inches of potting soil. Funnels will be required if you're using a bottle (the tiny opening is hard to work around but they're so beautiful) to direct the ingredients to the bottom
4. Use the chopsticks to arrange everything on the soil
5. Spray some water into the tiny ecosystem and close it up. 

You should only have to open it once a month or so to add water or allow wetness to escape. It can also remain as an open system, you just have to water it more often. I am planning on adding some smaller plants to this mix once the moss is better established! 

If you want to start a moss garden in a shady part of your back yard, try this recipe involving some moss, buttermilk and sugar in your blender. Garden gnomes and turtles will love that you gave them a place to park.

Greener is better!


  1. Ooooohhhhh....this looks awesome too, Marnie!
    Moss totally rocks!
    I totally want one - on the bottle hunt now!

  2. Just get Erik to polish of a bottle of scotch...I'm sure he can do it in a day or two :)