It's summer vacation, and we have had lots of rain. Older son is off to work at camp, the younger one was following me around saying he was bored, really b-o-r-e-d. I like to make up the day's agenda as I go, so the first week with an out-of-school schedule is unsettling for my kids. And rain complicates many activities--except moss collection.
My younger son has been wanting to make a terrarium for months, so we walked around our city block and collected three kinds of moss, some lichen and pine cones. (Note: the pine cones and wood started to rot.) For a base layer, we used poultry grit left from sprinkling on icy sidewalks. Found some activated charcoal and laid down a thin layer of that, and topped it off with potting soil. My son did the "gardening" and the landscape design. The deer was part of a small herd given to me by a my French friend, Valerie one Christmas so that we could have an authentic French Buche de Noel.
We were pretty excited by the results so went to the thrift store and got more jars. Then hit a garden center and found some sweet ferns. Valerie also gave me the little ceramic king in the jar on the far right below-- for a special cake served on Jan. 7th to celebrate the Three Kings. So now he has a place to stay in the off season. (I think a French pastry supply store must be an amazing place.)
We will see how well the moss and plants survive, but now they are quite gorgeous and we had a lot of fun.
There are a lot of directions for terrariums out there, but the basics are crazy easy. In a nice jar, put down a drainage layer: pebbles, grit, gravel. Then put down a thin layer of charcoal to keep down mold. (Not charcoal briquets that have chemicals in them.) The final layer is moist potting soil. (This should take up no more than 1/3 of your jar.)
If you have little plants put them in next. Cover bare soil with moss and arrange your treasured trinkets, rocks, fossils etc on top. Spray with water.