Book Review – Making Terrariums

Book Review – Making Terrariums

As mentioned in my last post  I started having fun creating terrariums to help bring some  green into the house. I thought I’d do a quick book review of two of my favorite books I’ve read on making terrariums. I’ve become fascinated (ok, a little obsessed) with the endless opportunities for making creative mini-gardens under glass.

Book 1:

Terrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds
by Amy Bryant Aiello and Kate Bryant
Photographs by Kate Baldwin
Published by Timber Press 2011

Terrarium Craft by Amy Bryant Aiello and Kate Bryant – Photos by Kate Baldwin

This nice soft bound book with a modern design, presents 50 terrarium projects in easy to follow steps with interesting photographs. The first chapter covers everything, from choosing a container, soil, plants and growing tips. Chapters 2 through 5 present the 50 projects organized by type of terrarium, (forest, beach, desert and fantasy). The arrangements challenge the commonly held perceptions of what a terrarium is and can be. The plants are used in imaginative new settings that made me reconsider my opinion of plants such as Begonia, Jade and Aloe.

*Photo Kate Baldwin from “Terrarium Craft” by Amy Bryant Aiello & Kate Bryant

This book encourages the reader to think about creating a collage with natural elements. These terrariums are not your average fish-bowl filled with ferns and moss. This is a modern, imaginative and incredibly artistic look at a very old craft.

*Photo Kate Baldwin from “Terrarium Craft” by Amy Aiello & Kate Bryant

The writing is clear and engaging and I’ve found myself picking this book up many times to read different sections and look at the photographs. Even though I may never follow any of the step by step examples of the beautifully photographed and clearly explained projects included in this book, I will definitely refer to it for inspiration and use as a reference guide. This book is a good value and worth the buy if you like to have easy to follow directions that are not your typical terrarium designs

Book 2:

The New Terrarium: Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature
by Tovah Martin
photographs by Kindra Clineff
Published by Clarkson/Potter Publishers 2009

A bright modern hard-cover book with amazing photographs “The New Terrarium” is an easy to read and understand guide to all things terrarium.

Book Cover photo by Kindra Clineff   The New Terrarium Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature
Book Cover photo by Kindra Clineff   The New Terrarium Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature

Separated into 6 parts the book begins with an inspiring chapter discussing what terrariums are and how they impact our homes and lives.

Tovah Martin is a garden expert and author who often writes for magazines and appears on TV. She writes in a very friendly and relaxed style which draws you in with her enthusiasm for plants and nature. Her encouraging non-technical tone will help anyone who maybe put-off by the idea of reading a “gardening book” enjoy the examples and ideas she shares.

Photo by Kindra Clineff from The New Terrarium by Tovah Martin

The remaining chapters cover in-depth discussions of the containers used for terrariums, how to choose plants, care for plants and finally several case studies which offer step by step instructions to create your own masterpieces. I really liked the idea of integrating the terrariums into our households by placing them on a side table near the couch and not tucked away in a corner somewhere. She offers good advice on learning to let go and enjoying terrariums, being creative and experimenting – in other words, don’t take it too seriously – have fun!

*Photo Kindra Clineff from The New Terrarium by Tovah Martin

This book is  much more gardening and plant focused so I recommend it as a good reference guide. Hope this quick book review helps inspire you to get started making terrariums.


Have you tried creating a Terrarium? Any good books or websites to recommend? I’d love to hear about it so leave a message in the post section.

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