Favorite Things

Secrets of a Successful Terrarium

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

One of the nice things about contributors is how much they teach and inspire me.  This month, Courtney is back and he is talking about his personal experience with a project I’ve long wanted to try: a terrarium! 

Placing anything organic under glass is a hot trend right now.  We’re seeing these mini ecosystems pop up everywhere in design, and more and more terrarium vessels available at stylish retailers.  They were big in the 1970’s and now they’re back!

james modern bespoke terrariumI learned with a little research yesterday that the art of a successful terrarium is not a new discovery by any means.

The history of the terrarium dates back to the 19th Century, and grew in popularity in the Victorian Era in England.  Their origination is credited to surgeon and gardening enthusiast Dr. Nathanial Ward. 

An amateur botanist, Ward was conducting an experiment on protecting plants from the polluted London air, and observed how certain plants could thrive and be kept healthy under glass. 

An added bonus to his 1827 discovery was that horticulturists could use glass vessels to protect tropical plant species in ‘Wardian cases’ from sea air on long voyages returning by ship to their homeland. 

I am fascinated by these ‘Wardian cases’ which we now call terrariums, and so is Courtney.  He recently attempted to create one himself, and learned a few things in the process.  

Please welcome back Courtney Lake on the topic of successful terrariums!

“Terrariums are the flora equivalent of a ship in a bottle in my opinion. They are beautiful living sculptures that can serve a multitude of purposes from table centerpiece to anchoring a mantel vignette. The terrariums of today are not the ones we crafted for school science fairs.  Modern terrariums combine form, texture and color to create living works of art.

Yet for many, including myself, creating a successful environment can be intimidating.  Every time I see one, I think to myself “How did they do that?”  It amazes me that people have mastered the art of how to create what are essentially miniature gardens within the confines of a glass vessel.

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A Fresh Catch via CameraBag

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

We spent our Saturday dedicated to one small goal: to catch a fish!   When you have little ones, and it’s their first fishing experience, you want to guarantee a result.  We’re so lucky, there is a place close by where you can go fishing, where the trout are plentiful, and they clean the fish for you once they’re caught.  Hagemann Ranch is a trout farm on the way to Bodega Bay, no fishing license is required, and they also supply the bait and poles if ya need ‘em! 

Here’s a glimpse through the lens of my recently discovered iPhone app called CameraBag.  I discovered it a few weeks ago and I’ve been having so much fun with it!  CameraBag gives you a variety of different filters, ranging from ‘Italiano’ to ‘Instant’ (like a Polaroid) to ‘1974’.   Here’s a look at our family friendly adventure through the lens of these CameraBag filters.

colorcross filter

ColorCross filter

Walk the dock at Hagemann’s and you’re guaranteed a good time, simply bring or rent bait and poles.  This pond is filled with rainbow trout just waiting to be caught. 

magazine shot

Magazine filter

 

 

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