Stepping into a world of absolute tropical abundance, I recently visited The Greenhouse in Brentwood for a terrarium workshop. Here’s what we got up to in the botanical wonderland…
Terrariums have always been fascinating to me! I just love how everything feels so miniature and intricately-detailed. It’s like someone shrunk a bustling greenhouse and compressed everything into a compact, glass vessel.
A few years ago, I created a succulent & cacti creation at a terrarium workshop with the lovely ladies from Perrywoods Garden Centre during a South East Bloggers event. Whilst that feels like an absolute age ago, I’ll always remember how much fun it was!
Sharing a love for all things creative and hand-crafted, I knew a terrarium workshop would be a fantastic day out to gift to my best friend, Holly. We set off for our adventure to 21 Crown Street, Brentwood…
The Greenhouse is an absolute treasure trove of a shop in Brentwood; Overflowing at the doors & windows with fronds, tendrils, foliage and flowers. Stepping foot inside The Greenhouse transports you to a world of complete tropical abundance. Don’t laugh but I swear you could feel the air quality was so much better inside too thanks to all the plants…
I’m always on the lookout for pretty plants or unusual foliage! It’s an insatiable hunger because most of my finds over the years succumb to the wrath of our 5 house cats.
Inside The Greenhouse, I spotted so many of my favourites… Delicate calathea ornata, frosted eucalyptus, boisterous monstera. Everywhere the eye could reach, a plant or fantastic creation was to be discovered.
If you’ve read my botanical interiors post recently, you’ll be wanting to get to The Greenhouse ASAP – It is truly a horticultural & botanical WONDER.
Annie the shopkeeper is the sort of person you meet and just know from their energy that it’s going to be a fun few hours. I blooming love when I meet someone who is so contagiously passionate about what they do. The positive vibes were unreal and the exact same can be said for Chloë of The Copper Cacti; A fantastic lady who I’m CERTAIN is the most clued-up person on cacti & succulents I will ever meet. The pair ensured we were all so welcome, feeling safe and able to just get our heads into a creative mode for the next hour or two.
We were super fortunate that our group of fellow terrarium workshop participants were all really lovely people. Amidst the corona craziness, I’ve been trying to stay safe at all times, as both an asthmatic and a serial worrier.
By the time we’d all settled in and the cheeky quips were flowing, everyone in the room definitely felt more like friends rather than strangers who just all happened to like plants.
The Terrarium Workshop
Chloë came fully prepped for the Corona Craziness and everyone had a personal pot of tools and utensils. Everything had been sterilised ahead of our arrival and there were some fetching gloves too!
We started off by loading our goldfish-bowl style vessels with a special, soily mixture ideal for our soon-to-be residents.
The tiiiiiiiny paintbrushes were, OF COURSE, to rid the side of the vessel and our plants of any stray specks of soil.
Picking Out The Chosen Ones
You know I’m just the most indecisive person.
As standard, deciding on which plants I’d go ahead with planting was a real tough choice.
I settled on a mix of 3 cacti and 1 succulent… Keep scrolling to see how they looked in situ!
Plants In & Ready To Decorate
Gently eked from their pots and roots oh-so finely disrupted, we potted our plants into little finger-space gaps in the soil.
My bad boys were in place! The 3 cacti were all super diverse, with a range of heights and spikey appendages. If I remember rightly, the final addition to my terrarium is a jade succulent.
We all had a lot of questions during this part of the terrarium workshop and Chloë was fantastic at answering everyone’s queries.
Ready for the next stage, we started to carefully add a layer of pebble shingle around our plants. That helped to ‘cement’ them in place lightly. I expect it’ll also be useful when it comes to watering the terrariums as the water should trickle through the stoney layers as opposed to bogging up the soil.
Chloë really kindly supplied everyone with her care guide of how to correctly water and tend to our plants: Water sparingly every 2 weeks, misting the more delicate plants, even giving air plants a bath – How fun!
Everyone went on to add larger stones and exciting items to their terrariums; with lots to choose from including moss of 2 varieties and shell fragments.
In true Grace style, I kept mine relatively minimal as you saw on my Instagram…
The Shop Itself
The Greenhouse was such a fantastic setting for a terrarium workshop! It was VERY tempting to end our evening with some additional plants to bring home. But, we resisted and walked out with our carefully curated ‘gardens in a bowl’. The shop also had so many fantastic curiosities to be discovered.
There were plenty of unusual planters, homeware finds and planty paraphernalia. Holly & I also spotted tiny macramé earrings made by one of the other participants from our terrarium workshop session.
Whilst we were there, Annie was excitedly showing us her newest wholesale buys which would soon be gracing the shelves including some square plant pots in a fabulously retro, burnt umber shade.
A few photos are below for you to peruse…
If you’re based in Essex or London, I totally recommend nipping to Brentwood and discovering The Greenhouse for yourself. Follow Annie & the planty gang on Instagram to keep in the loop for all the fab workshops they have coming up. A little sneak peek: Candle-making, succulent wreaths, macramé, plant care, and of course the terrarium workshop that Holly and I absolutely loved!
Both The Greenhouse and The Copper Cacti currently sell their wares in Chelmsford’s Pop-Up Club along Bond Street and the high street market every month. Be sure to ‘pop’ in there as it’s a wonderful celebration of so many different local creators. I posted a few snaps of it on Instagram recently, so click here to see those!
Has my post got you planning a trip to The Greenhouse in Brentwood? Maybe you fancy giving their terrarium workshop a go? Any curious questions, just drop me a message or a comment!