A garden under glass

This whole new trend of introducing beautiful plants in glass containers is catching on, writes Brian Minter.

As we look to add some warmth and colour in our homes after the bright and cheery Christmas season, there is a new style of plant décor sweeping the world.

Aeriums are glass containers – balls, baubles, vases and hangers – filled with easy-to-care-for indoor plants, like tillandsias, succulents and other fun and carefree tropicals.  They are all the rage.

Aeriums need some indirect window light to ensure quality growth but that’s about it.  All you truly have to do is mist tillandsias and air plants with warm water once a day or for succulents,  simply check to see if the media in which they are growing is somewhat moist.  In a glass environment, resilient tropicals just need a bit of misting or a moisture check once a week.   It’s really that simple!  I love the fact they are equally at home on a window sill, coffee table, desk or any convenient place in your home or office.  They can also hang in windows, from the ceiling or from decorative light fixtures.

The old terrarium look has been taken over by larger clear glass vases and bowls containing a single specimen plant displayed with artistic flair.  All that’s needed is a bit of well-drained soil and some horticultural charcoal on the bottom and for a finishing touch, a covering of moss, a creeping evergreen fern or colourful stones in the colours of your home décor.

For a very ‘in’ look, heart-shaped anthuriums, with their beautiful foliage and vibrant blossoms, can have the soil carefully washed off revealing colourful white and pink roots, and when placed in a clear glass vase of water, they can look beautiful for months.  Peace lilies (spathiphyllum) don’t perform quite as well, but they too look great displayed this way.  Hardy water plants, like water rushes (Jucus effusus), do very well in household situations.  Both the straight and curly forms can expose their attractive white roots in a clear glass container of water.

This whole new trend of introducing beautiful plants in glass containers is catching on, not only because they look unique but also because the care they require is minimal.  Folks, who previously had difficulty with indoor plants, can now relax and enjoy.

Almost all of these aeriums are self contained, fit into spots where traditional plants can’t and are tidy and clean.  They are a lot of fun, and many garden stores now carry them for you to try.  A variety of clear glass containers are also available if you’re feeling particularly creative to plant your own.  Aeriums are a nice and easy way to add warmth and life into your winter home.