Thursday, February 23, 2012
Bringing Some Green Into My February at The Chalet
This has been a really special winter, I know. The sun has been shining, the temps have been mild, and you can actually hear birds singing every now and then... But I'm still feeling that mid-winter longing for green plants and the opportunity to play with some dirt.
The Chalet (my amazing local gardening center) invited me to take part in a Terrarium Workshop earlier this month and I jumped on it. I had already planned to take the day off and it just sounded like a nice thing to do for myself (read: by myself). I love planting flowers in the summer. It's usually more of a hectic experience, but I realize it's some of the very little alone and quiet time that I get. Like planting my flowers, terrarium building was a nice, calm activity. And the terrarium I made is so cool. I love it. (You can see a little vlog that Kim made about building her terrarium at her Reluctant Renovator blog.)
I was worried that as a non-crafty person, I might zone out or get frustrated rather quickly, but I actually didn't. The women at The Chalet were informative and fun and kept the workshop moving while answering my many plant questions such as:
1. A former boss (who is quite possibly one of the most terrible people I have ever met) used to put the bottom of her Diet Pepsi in her plant everyday and would tell anyone who would listen that caffeine makes plants grow. Answer = NOT TRUE. Coffee grounds help with soil and composting, but for different reasons.
2. My grandmother used to pull the heads off of inpatients and place them in the ground next to the flower. She claimed they doubled the amount of flowers you could get. ANSWER = KIND OF. Pulling off the head helps keep the plant focused on growing. Plants are like ladies, they focus on getting all pretty, hit a peak, and then things go downhill (I kid, I kid...). And the head stuck in the dirt has the possibility of sprouting roots, which would create another flower.
3. I always thought you needed to get a little rough and pull apart the roots when removing a plant from its little plastic container and planting it. ANSWER = NO! All you have to do is "tickle" the roots a bit. Apparently one gardening guru with a lot of influence started this rumor, which horticulturists have been fighting ever since.
But, I have to share what I thought was the best takeaway (other than the terrarium)... Jennifer Brennan shared the best gardening advice I have ever received. Before you start gardening, slather your hands with lotion. Get it into all the creases, under your nails, work it into any space where dirt could worm in. The lotion forms a barrier for dirt and it keeps your hands easy to clean. It worked like a charm.
Looking for something to do this weekend or a good escape? Give the Terrarium Workshop on Feb 24th or 25th a try. It was really a nice way to spend a February day. And if you can't make it for the workshop, I highly recommend checking out all the other things The Chalet has to offer, like an amazing gift and home decor area, warm greenhouse area with gorgeous orchids, and a plant diagnostic center.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary Terrarium Workshop session, which included all of the items necessary to make the terrarium. I was under no obligation to post and all opinions are my own.