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Terrarium made in January workshop. Courtesy photo.




Succulent terrarium workshop

Where: Studio 550 Community Art Center, 550 Elm St., Manchester
When: Saturday, March 21 and April 25, 3 to 4 p.m. 
Cost: $35, or $25 for college students or those who bring their own glass.
Visit: 550arts.com




Talking terrariums
Studio 550 holds succulent terrarium workshop

03/19/15
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



 Bring a little spring into your home with Studio 550’s succulent terrarium workshop on Saturday, March 21, or April 25, from 3 to 4 p.m.

“[A terrarium] is basically the above-water equivalent of an aquarium,” said Monica Leap, Studio 550 programs director and the workshop’s instructor. “You build a small ecosystem out of stones, soil, and plants in a small glass.”
Back by popular demand, this is the third time the workshop is being offered. Leap offered it for the first time in December as a way to share her passion for plants.
“If I could turn my apartment into a jungle, I would,” she said. “I’m a big fan of plants, and I enjoy succulents, so I figured I’d offer [this workshop] and see if people liked it, and they seemed to, so I’ve continued to do it.”
A basic terrarium requires a glass piece, drainage stones, moss, soil and three small succulent or sedum plants. Succulents are plants with thick leaves that retain water, and are often used ornamentally.
The process, Leap said, is simple. Start out by putting drainage stones at the bottom of the glass to keep the roots from sitting in water and getting root rot. Next, add the succulent-specific soil, the plants and any decorative pieces.
All materials will be included in the $35 tuition fee ($25 for college students or those who bring their own glass piece). There will be upgrades for sale as well, such as more plants or different glass pieces.
Students will also receive an information sheet with details for how to care for their terrarium or build another on their own. Caring for a succulent, Leap said, is similar to caring for a cactus. Only water it when the soil is dry, and put it in a moderate amount of sunlight. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves, but not enough sunlight will cause the plants to get long and lanky as they are reaching for the sun. Next to, but not in front of, a window is the perfect place.
“They are the easiest plants,” said Leap. “Some people come claiming to be serial plant killers, and this is a good way for them to ease into plant care. Most walk away hopeful.”
Participants are welcome to bring their own glass or decorative elements. The glass must be around 5 inches wide to fit the provided plants, which are between 1 and 4 inches in size. The glass must also be open at the top, as closed glasses are too humid for succulents to survive.
“There are a lot of ways to make it your own,” said Leap. “You can play with the landscape composition like the slope and height of the plants, you can bring your own glass, or you can add little pieces like decorative stones, shells or figurines. Whatever you choose -- it makes them all unique.”
 
As seen in the March 19, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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