Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Making a bottle garden.

Many years ago I had a wonderful bottle garden that had been thriving for nearly a decade until it was watered almost daily by a house sitter who knew no better. Bottle gardens, of course, rarely need watering if ever and if the balance is right they sustain their own micro climate.

Recently I acquired a medium size bottle and decided to have a go at another bottle garden. It is about half the size of the Carboy I used to have but never-the-less it is big enough to work if I get the balance right. The beauty of this one is that it has a wide neck and therefore plants and soil are easy to place inside.

You need a good layer of drainage, here I am using old marble and granite chippings leftover from Luis' mosaic work. Charcoal is also required to keep the contents fresh. A good layer of bought potting compost is placed on top of the drainage and charcoal then the plants are added. Usually we would not buy potting compost but home-made is likely to be less sterile therefore causing an increased risk of bacteria or mould.

We chose two Pileas and a low growing evergreen we are not sure of (possibly a type of fern). Three plants is more than enough for this bottle garden. We have also incorporated a lovely piece of rock crystal we found locally. Watered sparingly and the lid secured, it shouldn't need watering again and if it steams up with condensation, the lid can be removed until clear then re-applied. Once it fills out a little it should look the part.

The bottle garden will sit on the bedroom balcony along with our small collection of orchids so that we can enjoy it as we sit and read in the morning sun. The next house plant project is to create another Bromeliad tree, similar to the one in the photo below. These were with me for many years until the excess watering incident and several house moves.


  1. Anonymous2:27 pm

    i didnt realise you put the lid back on

    maybe I should give this a try

    1. Have a go they are so low maintenance once established.

  2. Anonymous9:18 pm

    I think your fern-like little green plant is a selaginella.

    Jam Lady

    1. Brilliant - thank you, much appreciated.


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