Garden in a bottle

Anjana Nair is designing terrariums for your homes

So you have no space for a garden. Yet your green fingers are itching to nurture a garden or you could be yearning for a patch of green on your table, bookshelf…. Then your solution is a terrarium, a garden in a container, the perfect match for your search for a green space, says Anjana Nair.

A post graduate in agriculture from the College of Agriculture, Vellayani, Anjana had been making such designer gardens in Brunei, where her husband is working. After she returned to Thiruvananthapuram, Anjana began working on her terrariums as a hobby. “I am working from home as editor of Agriculture Today, a monthly magazine from Delhi. When the stress gets to me, I find solace in my terrariums,” she says with a smile.

Enterprising hobby

That is when she noticed one of her former classmates doing brisk business with her terrariums in New Zealand. Her husband, Krishnakumar, and her sons suggested she do the same instead of confining her green thumb to a hobby. Her Bengaluru-based brother-in-law also motivated her to enlarge the scope of her hobby and commercialise it.

Although she was a little hesitant, she took up the suggestion and put up a few snaps of her terrariums on social media and asked around if customers would be interested in her cute garden in a pot. “The response was encouraging and I got many customers who wanted specific ones for their homes. I have been doing that and I am quite happy with the bespoke terrariums I have created,” says Anjana.

Priced between Rs. 150 and Rs. 1,000, the terrariums are ideal for people on the move because the pots do not require high maintenance. Some of them require to be watered only once in three weeks and some require a weekly intake of water. She confides with a laugh that she uses a filler to water her plants. Anjana uses succulents, cactii, creepers and air plants for her creations.

“The plants are not difficult to procure but the shapely glass containers and nifty garden embellishments are not all that easy to find in the city. So I source them from online sites. The only problem is that when you purchase raw materials from online, it can push up the prices. Hence, I am trying to experiment with what is available here,” explains Anjana.

Through trial and error Anjana has a lovely collection of terrariums that she has painstakingly created. While some of the containers have been decorated with coloured pebbles, some have layers of coloured pebbles along with plants that complement each other. Anjana is experimenting with air plants to see how they fare in the city’s climate.

“I have not sold any closed terrariums as those require a little more attention than open ones. So I made one and gave it to a friend to see how much of care it needs,” she says with a smile. Branded as Tiny Earth, the terrariums were put on exhibition and sale for the first time at Technopark. Buoyed by the response, Anjana is hoping to design more such gardens in bottles for all kinds of spaces.


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