An afternoon being creative and playing with plants, is pretty much my idea of perfection. A few weeks ago I was thrilled to be invited to an event in London to learn how to make a terrarium with botanist and broadcaster James Wong.
The event was organised by Fiskars, a leading global supplier of products for the home, garden and outdoors. Renowned for their famous orange handled scissors, Fiskars products are known for their brilliant design and functionality.
High above central London (on the 37th floor to be precise) is the green and leafy Sky Gardens. London stretches out before your eyes in breathtaking views – the grey urban architecture matches the moody grey skies. It was a really inspiring place to get green fingered and talk all things botanical.
At one point James asked everyone in the room whether they felt they were a confident gardener, and interestingly only two people raised their hands. Bear in mind this was a room full of people that love gardening, in fact a few of the people attending have dedicated gardening blogs. Yet none of us would label ourselves a ‘gardening guru’.
I know personally I love to be out in the garden but often feel out of my depth and like I don’t know what I am doing. I often call my mum or mother-in-law for plant advice.
Interestingly, it would seem that most folk in the UK feel this way. Fiskars recently ran a survey to learn more about Britains gardening habits, and discovered that the average Britain properly gets into gardening at the age of 41 and before then, we rely on family to help keep our back yards green and thriving. Plus, many of us haven’t tried simple tasks like trimming a hedge or potting a plant and most of us don’t feel confident with identifying plants.
A spokesman for Fiskars commented: “Gardening can seem daunting at first and it’s only natural to want to call upon parents or grandparents who tend to be much more knowledgeable. Our innovative range of products makes gardening easy and hassle free, helping you to reconnect with your outside space, no matter your level of skill.”
It was so refreshing to listen to James (a self-confessed gardening geek) explain that we shouldn’t worry so much about the conceived rules of gardening but rather throw ourselves into the creative play that comes from planting and nurturing a garden.
During the afternoon, it was great to be able to pick James’ brain for gardening tips and advice. It’s always a pleasure to meet some one who is super passionate about their subject. His love for all things green is infectious and it was really interesting to hear him talk about the history and science behind the terrarium and how its discovery shaped the 20th century, not just in terms of how the victorians gardened and grew things, but also how plants were then transported around the world, which led to important exports like the tea plant, and rubber plant.
For those that haven’t come across terrariums before they are a glass container containing soil and plants. Usually they are sealed which then creates a tiny environment where the plants no longer need watering due to an internal water cycle; moisture from the soil and plants evaporates (due to the elevated temperature) and then forms condensation on the inside of the glass which then in turn falls back down on to the plants and soil.
We had to set ourselves a ‘brief’ for our terrariums. Mine was entitled ‘Fingle Bridge’ and it was inspired by a green and mossy wooded valley in the darkest depths of Devon that we had visited whilst on holiday. Below are some photos of my finished terrarium on our coffee table at home.
James judged all the terrariums at the end of the session and it was a lovely surprise to be chosen in second place.
Remember, If you are one of the many unconfident gardeners out there, take comfort that you are not alone. You can also follow Fiskars on Facebook here, where they offer lots of great gardening tips. Becoming a gardening guru isn’t as hard as you might think… All you need is a passion for your garden and the desire to create your own little haven of green space to escape to. Nature instinctively wants to grow and survive, and will find away, we are just there to give it a helping hand.
This post is in collaboration with Fiskars, but as always all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the blog posts that make Geoffrey and Grace possible.