So, what have I been up to this week (apart from working)…
Last weekend and Monday bank holiday I was in Norfolk, you may have seen on my Instagram I went to a ball with my family and friends which was great fun.
Then last night I went to Coal Drops Yard (always my fave place in London, check out my other blog posts), and went to a workshop as part of London Craft Week this week at Tom Dixon’s. The workshop was hosted by a company based in Hackney called Botanical Boys (great name) who run terrarium masterclasses as well as build bespoke terrariums for people to buy.
So that’s exactly what we did; made our own terrariums! It was so much fun. As someone who loves plants, I have so many in my house including a little orchid, a lemon tree and a palm plant, I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about plants and how terrariums work. There is something really special about looking after plants in your own home, I know people say this all the time and you’re probably thinking what a load of rubbish but I find it is really true that having plants in one’s home is good for mindfulness and general wellbeing (plus they look fab). My plants are like my babies so yes I am one of those crazy plant people, I don’t talk to them though, yet 😉
Anyway, this workshop was really well organised, the Botanical Boys first went through how terrariums are made which is super interesting. They were discovered in Britain by a botanist based in East London, in the Victorian times. One day this botanist, Nathan Bagshaw Ward, noticed that one of his jars where he observed insects was left unattended and open and there was a new little fern in there. He left the fern in the jar and gradually this grew into a fern plant (the ones we see in our local garden centres and supermarkets) and this jar became the very first terrarium. N.Ward quickly cottoned onto this new concept of plants thriving in sealed cases without ventilation, he had made lots of wooden cases (called Wardian Cases, imagine a portable green house) to export British plants to Sydney and vice versa.
Once we had the low down on terrariums we got to making our own with a step by step guide and a glass of Prosecco kindly given to us.
The first step is to add little pebbles/stones to the bottom of the jar – this acts as the water drainage. Then add a bit of moss which acts as a sponge for absorbing excess water. Thirdly add a thin layer of little bits of charcoal which keeps the soil fresh, then you add the soil and finally the plants. One question I had when we were making these was whether it matters if the plants and their roots are touching but all these plants are very good at thriving together in small spaces.
At the end of the workshop, we all got to ‘lucky dip’ into a bag of little animals that we had to name and add to our terrariums as a bit of decoration. Both Sam and I got a cow – hence Michael and Mildred!
Overall the workshop was so much fun and a great way of doing something different, especially after a busy week at work – again good for the mind! I’d highly recommend going to one of their workshops in their studio in Hackney. Or if you just fancy a terrarium (they are usually super expensive) then you can find them in lots of concept stores like The Conran Shop in Marylebone – I see them everywhere and have wanted one for ages!
I’ll let you know how Michael and Mildred get on (the terrariums themselves are also called these) in their new home. You’ll probably see them featured on my Instagram stories quite a bit from now on.
Lots of love girls xxxx