I can't remember when I started becoming obsessed with succulents. Their cute little forms. Nature's perfect patterns. And, I have a special love for this variety, Echeveria.
So it seems right that this month's #stylingtheseasons is dedicated to these little green, silver, grey and purple plant buddies, and that they find a more permanent home than December's wreath project.
February for me is about welcoming those first signs of spring into the home. Outside there is delicate pink blossom on the trees and of course the spring bulbs are all in bloom now. So I've brought some of the outdoor flowering plants inside to accompany a terrarium which I bought myself with my Christmas money.
You obviously don't have to buy a terrarium, you can use any found glass object or bowl, but I had my heart set on a copper one.
There are lots of tutorials about how to put together a terrarium, including, coincidentally, a beautiful one written by Katy @aptapothecary this month. Even Ikea has some guidance on how to put together a friendly glass house for your plants. So I'm going to keep the details very brief and include some top tips that I learnt from putting mine together.
To make life easier I bought a pack of everything you need for a healthy terrarium. Yes, you can buy all the individual items and gather pebbles yourself from outside, but they need to be cleaned and sterilised first to make sure there aren't any bugs or infections that can damage your plants.
The base layer of pebbles goes in first (for drainage); then a layer of activated carbon (which purifies and cleans the terrarium); then a layer of sphagnum moss (to absorb excess water).
At this stage I think its a good idea to work out your grouping of succulents or plants and how they might sit together. I chose a group of 5 (as odd numbers look better for planting and flower arranging) of differing sizes (with one hero plant). You might want to think about height of your plants depending on what you are using. I had difficulty sourcing my succulents so bought some mail-order in the end. (But Homebase are doing some nice packs for £3 for 3 minis - which is so cheap!) Make sure that none of the leaves touch the glass when doing your planting.
My other top tip is to clean the glass at this stage before you put the plants in. Because of the shape of my terrarium it was fairly easy to insert them, using a spoon, but chop-sticks could also be useful. I used a soft paintbrush to remove loose bits of soil which cling to the leaves of the succulents.
To keep my terrarium company I washed the soil off these hyacinth bulbs, and placed them in a nice glass container with some garden pebbles in the bottom; taking care not to immerse the bulbs in water. Have a look at @aquietstyle's blog and Caroline from @Wild_Rubus for my inspiration on this.
For the white mascari and purple crocus I left the soil intact as actually I think it looks quite nice under glass too. My kitchen table has never looked so stylish!
#stylingtheseasons is a monthly project hosted by @lottsandlots and @aptapothecary for people to re-style a surface of their home and talk about what that month means to them.
I normally make ceramics, but I am a little plant obsessed. I do sell some succulents with my mini-hanging planters, which are available in my etsy shop.
Copper Terrarium: Similar can be found at Urban Outfitters
Planting materials: UK Terrariums
Selection of 6 Echeveria of differing sizes: CactusPlaza