Small is big with these glass terrariums

For this Bengaluru-based advertising professional, designing closed terrarium is a form of relaxation. She took to it a year ago and has come up with more than 25 closed terrariums as of now.

“This hobby began as a project because I wanted to see if plants would really survive without any intervention,” says Vidya Varadarajan. 

Closed terrariums need to be balanced and it often takes a few tries to get the balance of all the elements right. “Designing closed/eternal terrariums requires you to wear the hats of a gardener, designer, and ecologist all at once,” she says. Vidya says that she was always interested in gifting and receiving plants. “But gifted plants might not survive for too long and that is sad. I found closed terrariums to be a good alternative and took to them instantly,” she adds.

She explains how a closed terrarium works, “It has different layers at the base, which is very similar to the earth’s filtration system. Gravel, charcoal, filter, and soil are the different layers in the jar, along with which some decorative elements are also added.” 

She buys plants from local nurseries while the stones and other decorative items are bought online. Sometimes, she also picks up stuff from the ground to keep it natural.

She uses custom-made white cement bases for her bell jar terrariums, and also uses different varieties of round jars, candy jars, and more.


Vidya Varadarajan

She is currently exploring the possibility of creating larger terrarium for hotels and restaurants.

The time duration each terrarium takes varies, depending on time and interest. “It also depends mainly on the type of plant,” she adds. 

Talking about her inspiration, she says, “More than anything, I was interested in the science of it. Not all terrains that I created have survived.” 

Many people have approached her to learn the basics of closed terrariums. “I post pictures of my works on Instagram and people, both known and unknown, have reached out to me. Few of them are interested in the concept and want to know more while few of them admire the beauty of it.” 

A lot of people asked her if she was interested in selling the terrariums. “I am yet to make a decision as I don’t want to ruin the charm of it being a hobby,” she shares. 

When asked if she turns to YouTube and other platforms for ideas, she says that most of them are foreign videos and that many techniques shown in them do not apply to Indian plants, due to change in climate and humidity levels here.

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Small is big with these glass terrariums

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