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Garden Club hears presentation on terrariums

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Master Gardener Anne Sickenger presents a demonstration about terrariums to the Rocky Mount Garden Club.

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From Contributed Reports

Saturday, February 23, 2019

The Rocky Mount Garden Club kicked off the New Year with a program on terrarium arrangements.

The guest speaker, Master Gardener Anne Sickenger, educated the members and their guests about terrariums, their upkeep and ease. She was quick to point out the simplicity of these “mini rainforests.”

As Sickenger began to demonstrate the process for making terrariums for the group, she pointed out some of their benefits. The plants that work well in these glass gardens are low maintenance. Along with the ease of caring for the plants, they make great gifts for birthdays, teacher gifts and are nice for people who don’t get out often. For those who travel, Sickenger recommended collecting special rocks, sea shells, etc., to use in terrariums as memory pieces to reflect on happy times.

A beach-themed arrangement made with shells collected on a vacation is just one way to make a terrarium personal for anyone. She also reminded the ladies that this type of greenery works well for those who are not gardeners and may not have a green thumb.

The Garden Club members learned about the many different types of terrariums, some closed and others left open. After explaining the steps of layering of small pebbles or gravel, activated charcoal and soil, plants and intricate pieces for decoration are added. Once plants and decorations are in place, the soil can be topped with rock, moss or other material to finalize the look.

Sickenger also gave decoration ideas like adding “water streams” with blue glass rocks and “lakes” made with mirrors for larger containers to add character. During the demonstration, she reminded the club members to get creative with the tools they will use.

Most terrariums are not the easiest to arrange. With the correct tools, it can be much simpler and cleaner. Sickenger brought out an arsenal of homemade tools she found on Pinterest. One, a bamboo skewer with a wine bottle cork attached, worked well as a soil packer, as a small paint brush easily cleaned extra soil off the glass.

Nearing the end of the design of the terrarium, she explained the best placement for terrariums based on the light requirements, saying indirect lighting is the most favored option. She also provided each member with their own personal terrarium information packet that included several ideas, with unique containers and several sizes.

Once the demonstration was complete, Sickenger presented the newly made terrarium to the club. The club then offered it as a prize in their monthly fundraising raffle. Members line up to purchase 50/50 tickets at monthly programs as a way to generate extra funding in the budget and a chance to win a little extra cash themselves. It’s a win for everyone in attendance even if their ticket isn’t a winning number.

The ladies start most programs by enjoying socializing with finger foods and beverages prepared by members prior to the program’s educational demonstrations, and enjoy meeting new ladies in the community.

The Rocky Mount Garden Club extends an invitation to any women who would like to join them for a visit before its program year ends in April. The group of ladies are confident you will find “Flowering Friendships” is just one of the many fun things the club members enjoy.

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