Life in a bowl

Life in a bowl

It has been a year that Anushree R, a post graduate student of Botany, started making different kinds of cacti, succulent planters and terrariums. It all started in her final year, when the department had organised an agriculture fair. Anushree picked up a few plain pots and planted different kinds of cacti in them.

Since they were plain, she used her creativity to make them more interesting.  Happy with the outcome, she  decided to experiment more with different kinds of pots and plants. That’s when she came up with the idea of working on planters and terrariums too.

Her unique interest and some of her interesting works were eventually noticed by family and friends, who wanted her to work on something for them too. “I choose cacti and succulent plants as they are slow growers and need low maintenance. They are ideal for growing in small pots, jars and containers. Since these plants are not available in every nursery, I procure them from a contact,” says Anushree.

She adds, “To decorate these terrariums and pots, I pick up accessories available at bookstores.” 

She uses small plastic pots, ceramic tea cups and coffee mugs as planters and for terrariums, she uses fish bowls of different sizes depending on her needs.
Acrylic paints, sharpie markers and googly eyes are some of the materials she uses to give life to these pots.

“I have worked on about 50 to 100 pieces so far. I primarily make couple pots,  polka dotted and vintage planters. To add an earthy hue, I use brown tea cups,” she says.

She adds, “Since they are low maintenance plants and occupy less space, one can keep them indoors. The only criteria for its care is providing adequate sunlight and water. It is a unique way of gardening and gives a green touch in the inside of the house. Apart from these, small planters and terrariums are also great options for gifting.”

She points out that to make a terrarium it takes about two to three days and for planters, it is usually a day or two. The rarest of all the cacti that she owns is the moon-cacti, which she says gets a lot of attention from people. She has a miniature and a matured one of this variety.

 “Apart from buying these from nurseries, I have now started growing them
at home. I generally work on a desert theme for terrariums where I use sea shells, coloured sands and pebbles. However, succulent gardens are something that I started working on recently. There is so much I am learning in the process and I want
to do more of them,” she says.

Other than this, Anushree also has a keen interest in making terracotta jewellery and doodling. Positive responses and encouragement from her family has helped her to continue her interest. 

In fact, Anushree says her father has been pushing her to start a business that will cater to her passion. “I want to work for now but would definitely like to think about the idea of starting something on my own a little later. Apart from my parents, my friends have been a great support system. They click pictures of my work which I later upload on social media. The positive reactions I get there motivate me to come
up with new and better ideas each time,” Anushree sums up.

(Anushree R can be reached at

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