Terrarium Class With Tovah Martin

About a week before we moved to NYC I became infatuated with terrariums. The book release of The New Terrarium really set this mini obsession in motion, and I was delighted when I learned that the author, Tovah Martin, would be hosting a terrarium class at The Horticultural Society of New York only one week after our arrival.

The tuition for the class - $80 - was not steep by NYC standards, but was significant investment on our part. Justin was kind enough to pay it for me as a "welcome to NYC" gift. AW. It was a three hour long class and worth every dollar. There were nine students total, which allowed personal attention for every person and her questions.

I arrived late. Google Maps quite inconveniently located the HSNY about six city blocks away from the actual building, and I frantically called Justin when I realized that the sketchy area I was in most certainly did not look like the HSNY. He navigated me to the correct intersection and I ran through a light rain looking somewhat foolish. Luckily, all the plants they selected for the class were beautiful and healthy, so my lack of choice as the last student did not discourage me.

We sat through an hour and a half long lecture, a thirty minute demonstration and then set to work on our own terrariums. Aside from the supplied plants, soil, charcoal and rocks, we were also given a selection of random items to add to our terrariums as decoration - twigs, pine cones, feathers, acorns and in my case an animal bone. Students in the class were cheerful and it was nice to chat with strangers about a common interest. I took photographs of the other terrariums, but unfortunately it was difficult to capture the little environments behind reflective glass.


Alas, my terrarium has since died. I think the cute random items, along with too much moisture, did it in. After a week, white fuzzy mold appeared first among the "dead" items - pine cones and twigs - and then began attacking the plants. I removed the aggressive mold, threw away the extra objects, trimmed the dead sections of the plants and even washed their leaves, but it was too little, too late. Sadly, a lesson learned.

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