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Dan Faires, the Design Star season five fan favorite and host of DanMade, presented at the 19th annual Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival presented by HGTV at Walt Disney World over Easter weekend. Dan demonstrated how to plant with a terrarium and how to go vertical with a clever container garden. Check out Dan’s tips for terrariums and vertical gardens:

As a first time presenter at the Flower and Garden Festival, I really had no clue what to expect. I found myself on stage with an audience full of fellow plant lovers. The response was greater than I could ever have imagined and all of the people who were at the presentations had great questions and feedback.

Dan Faires EPCOT Flower and Garden Show

I covered a lot of gardening tips, tricks, and DIY tutorials including the Danmade Vertical Garden, Danmade Planterfall, and Danmade Terrarium. Many of the visitors asked me to post instructions and photos on HGTV.com so they could use them as a reference and share them with friends and family. I hope that if you missed the presentations, you will still be inspired by one of these three Danmade projects.

Terrariums are currently a very big trend in design and a lot of people in the audience were excited to go home and make one of their own. These easy, miniature gardens are a great way to bring the outdoors in or for anyone who has a black thumb. They make great gifts, and are a great way to get children started with gardening. From a design perspective, terrariums are also one of the best ways to make a bold statement in any space.

The basic steps for making your own terrarium are very simple:
1.) Select your glass terrarium of choice either online or at multiple retailers. Make sure to consider where you will be placing your terrarium in your space because the sizes and shapes are endless.
2.) Add gravel or stone to the base of the terrarium to provide additional drainage if necessary.
3.) Add an inch or two of potting soil.
4.) Insert your plants.
5.) Add green moss, Spanish moss, or mulch to fill in and help maintain moisture.
6.) Enjoy your new “miniature garden” in your home and watch your friends admire your new creation!

Dan Faires Terrarium How To

During the presentation I gave three basic terrarium tips:

1.) Don’t feel like you have to spend a fortune on plants to make your terrarium beautiful. Because these gardens are so small, all you need are a few clippings from your existing garden. Succulents work great for this because you can remove baby sprouts from the mother plant that have small adventitious roots that will soon develop into an entire fibrous root system. If you have time, I would suggest starting your baby plants in seed starter kits so that their root systems can develop a bit, but if not you can plant them directly into the terrarium and watch them thrive.

2.) Moss is BOSS! Cheesy tagline, I know, however this is SO TRUE. Moss will fill the dead space between your plants and add that finishing touch. Moss also absorbs moisture very well and will help maintain the humid environment that will help the plants in your terrarium prosper. You can use any type of moss and can find it at any plant nursery, but also keep your eyes peeled because you don’t need much. I scraped mine off of a shaded cobblestone side-street here in Manhattan.

3.) Invest in a spray bottle. I killed a lot of plants as a youngster by neglecting them for weeks and then trying to over water them. With terrariums, all you need are a few sprays per week to keep your plants happy. The spray bottle spreads the moisture out evenly and prevents over-watering which can lead to root-rot.

Another tip that I would give to those of you who might be discouraged by the prices of these leaded glass terrariums is, get creative. I found a large vase at a thrift store for $3 and it has worked perfectly to display my daffodils that are about to bloom!

I will be posting how-to steps and photos for the remaining Danmade projects – the Danmade Vertical Garden and the Danmade Planterfall – on HGTV.com in the next few days, so be sure to check back.

Dan Faires Vertical Garden Planterfall

Daniel Grady Faires
Host of HGTV.com’s DanMade

18 Responses

  1. Maria says:

    I'm a real big fan of terrariums. They're little landscapes unto themselves, yet can also be incorporated as part of a bigger landscaping in perth – or a lot of other places for that matter.

  2. Starting small with easy to maintain plants would be a good idea. Once you get the hand of things, then you can start thinking about making a miniature ecosystem.

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Abbi McCollumAbbi is Programming Director of HGTV.com and a contributor to Design Happens. She shares her home with her chef husband - who loves to cook a meal using every pan...

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