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Bring The Outdoors Indoors With This Terrarium Coffee Table

When you live in a townhouse, apartment or flat without a garden, you can bring the outdoors indoors with this terrarium coffee table - a mini garden in your home!



Bring the outdoors indoors with this terrarium coffee table


When you live in an upper level townhouse, apartment or flat, it isn't always possible to be able to spend time outdoors in a garden, and that's why this terrarium coffee table is a must-do project. It can be made any size - to fit around a suitable container - and filled with all types of pretty foliage plants, to bring just the right amount of outdoors into your indoor living room.

The coffee table itself is designed around whatever container you choose for your indoor terrarium and is simply an easy version of a shadowbox. A box is made to fit around your terrarium container, topped off with a decorative picture frame-style surround that can be easily lifted on or off, with 4 legs. Alternatively, you can shop around secondhand stores or online auction websites to see if you can find a glass-topped coffee table that would be perfect for this project.







The most important part of the coffee table is the terrarium that sits inside the coffee table, as this is the main element that provides colour, interest and texture and lets you bring a bit of the outdoors inside your home.



Plastic container to contain the terrarium

Assorted small plants for the terrarium, low light

Sphagnum moss

Potting soil

Aquarium or gardening charcoal


Fired clay balls









1. The first step is to find a container that you can use to hold the terrarium. This can be any size you want for your coffee table. You will then make the table around this container.


Choose a container for your terrarium that is the size you want for your coffee table.


2. Place a layer of fired clay balls in the bottom of your terrarium container.

GOOD TO KNOW: Fired clay balls are commonly used in hydroponics and hold a reasonably large quantity of moisture that is perfect for your plants, but they are not too heavy.

3. Soak the sphagnum moss in clean water and squeeze out excess moisture before packing the wet moss on top of the clay balls. The moss layer should be about to 2 to 3cm in thickness.


Fired clay balls and Grolite create the perfect conditions for a terrarium garden.


4. Now you can place a thin layer of charcoal over the top and spread evenly.



5. Finish off with a 15cm-thick layer of potting soil with added Grolite and make holes for planting your assorted plants. Before placing these in your terrarium, set out how you like them to look. You ideally want a layout of plants that will look great when viewed through the glass top.







Decide on a layout arrangements for your plants before putting them in.


6. Once all the plants are nicely bedded, give them a light misting of water. If you use all the materials as specified above, you will only need to give the plants a good misting with water once a week.


better homes and gardens magazine



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