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Easy Garden Project Using Materials You May Have at Home

Each afternoon, after I log out of my work accounts, my daughter and I strike off on a walk around our neighborhood. This week, as schools have closed and individuals have worked from home, I have seen changes. I see children playing basketball or badminton in their yard. I see youth on bicycles riding around streets and cul-de-sacs. Neighbors are visiting with each other, albeit from golf carts on either sides of the street, observing appropriate social distances. Pure and simple, I am reminded of my childhood, when life wasn’t so busy.

Thinking of my childhood, I remember a fun project that my grandmother shared with me. I felt special to do this project with her. She showed me how to make a terrarium out of a two-liter soft drink bottle.

Do you remember the soda bottles of yesteryear? The ones with the black plastic bottom? That’s what we used. She showed me how to pull that plastic bottom off using a hair dryer to warm up the glue that adhered it to the clear plastic bottle. It was sometimes a trick to separate them!

We pulled the black bottom off of the clear bottle and saved it for the terrarium base. We had to line it with plastic wrap, though, because the holes would have allowed the terrarium to dry out. We then cut the bottle into two pieces, roughly one-third of the way down from the neck. The clear domed bottom portion became the terrarium top.

One we added moist potting soil to the plastic-wrap-lined bottom, we were ready to select the plants. I clearly remember Wandering Jew as one of her favorites. She showed me how to take cuttings and place them in the terrarium. I don’t remember any other plants, but this one has remained a lifelong favorite that I associate with her.

So, with all of this nostalgia for childhood, I decided to make a terrarium from a soda bottle. Since we are not supposed to be out shopping, I challenged myself to use what I had here at the house. I happened to have some bottles in the recycle bin, and plants are never a problem at my house. I realized, though, that I lacked pea gravel to make a drainage reservoir in the bottom. I remembered some brightly colored plastic beads in the craft room and figured they would work just fine!

I am happy to report that I was successful at putting together a terrarium with what I had on hand! Your adults neighbors may get a kick out of making a terrarium and nurturing their baby plants. You might even want to do this with children or grandchildren who are at home with you right now. There is a great chance they will remember the experience their whole life!

For directions to make your own soda bottle terrarium, click here. Thanks to MGEV Jim Henry, Chattooga County, for sharing the tip about where to cut the top bottle so that it easily fits into the base!

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sdorn

About sdorn

Sheri is the State Coordinator for the Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program and Extension Specialist for Consumer Ornamentals. When she is not traveling about the state of Georgia admiring the work of Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, she spends time in her own (real and virtual) gardens.