Moss Mangled in Terrarium Attempt

As you may know, terrariums (as well as printing) are in vogue right now, the cutting edge of interior decor. Actually, not really. Every plant store has a selection of terrariums for sale. More like blunt edge of interior decor.

It is landscaping in miniature, the urban dwellers momentary escape. Not to mention, requires far less hard labor than outdoor gardening. Like my dreams of a Fall line of Newborn Knit Hats, I also envisioned fantastical glass enclosed worlds of moss, fimo-clay birds and toadstools, fern forests and strategically placed sculptural stones and wind-knotty branches.

I decided to start small. Started by looking in thrift stores for glass containers. I wanted chunky glass to evoke yesteryear cabinet-o-curiosities feelings. I bought some charcoal bits and gravel from the local (aquarium) fish store, and soil from Target. Mossy plants ("ground cover" plants), and a Venus flytrap. I wanted my venus flytrap to be surrounded by a velvety carpet of lush moss.

The first problem was apparent as soon as I compared the venus flytrap height to my glass containers. Venus was too tall. I think I had Tiny-Model-Ship-In-Jars-With-Tiny-Neckhole dreams as well, as I quickly realized that I could not smush a plant through a small neck using chopsticks as I had planned.

Even though these are mini landscapes, there needs to be space to work with, like shoebox sized space. Need to be able to get hands/fingertips in there. So I settled for planting moss. (1) Thin layer of charcoal - this is supposed to soak up bad stuff. (2) Soil layer, with big divot into which to shove plant roots. Plant roots take up way more space that one would expect. The soil layer wound up being quite deep - another reason why a bigger container is better - so the soil doesn't hog up most of the space. Oh yes, there's a worm in there - couldn't be bothered to pick it out. I put (3) gravel over the soil and around the plant when I noticed aesthetically, there was too much soil.

Problem 1: once I dump gravel on soil there's no separating them. I tried scooping out some soil, resulting in an indistinct border between gravel and soil, as you can see. Aesthetically yuck. Problem 2: moss plant was mangled, I'd knocked off flowers, and it was covered in soil bits. I used q-tips to clean and untangle. Hopefully Mossy Plant will live, and if it outgrows this container, well I'll deal with that then!