The first time I saw them I thought, “that looks very nice in photos but it can’t be real; the plant must rot due to excess water. Also, tin soldering isn’t necessarily watertight.”
The objects might not be watertight for many reasons: the water seeps between the glass and the copper band, there might be a bubble in the soldering that goes by unseen to the naked eye.
As it happens, Susana Sanchez needed a regiment of glass cubes for a wedding, to use them as flower vases. Although we knew that some might lose some water we went ahead. I did nothing special; the copper strips were folded on and assembled as usual and it turned out that none of the cubes, a total of 60 units, leaked water.
I then remembered the hydroponic flower pots that I had seen and loved, so I decided to make some for myself; for my cacti and succulents that were hiding, forgotten in a corner of the patio…
A lot of the new things that I make are objects that I’ve seen and liked. I make and test them before putting them up for sale: it is my own quality control 🙂
The cubes I had seen had a metal structure soldered on for holding the plant but when I took my plants out of the earth I saw the roots weren’t going to fit in the grid’s squares so I decided to design an alternate system that had to meet two requirements:
1. That it should be possible to remove the container because in the end water also leaves dirty marks.
2. That it should be possible to open so as to place the plant without damaging the roots.
I figured that making it round was more natural for holding the plant, as the stem is usually shaped that way.
I placed the plants and filled the glass cubes with tap water, which is what everybody has at home. In theory one should control the water’s pH, as Jose M Blas recommended but I’m not one for controlling things too much, to be honest… ;D
The water’s pH is related to its composition, which varies from one place to another. Here in Málaga (Spain) the water has quite a lot of lime scale.
The thing is, after a month the roots had grown and the plants too: this was more evident in the Gasteria (photo above the text) than in the Acanthocalycium (the spiky one, to be clear).
The water stays clear quite a few days; I only changed it a couple of times in a month because as I couldn’t remove the earth completely the water would turn a yellowish brown but not smell bad.
The top part of the terrarium is optional: it serves as a protection and support for the taller, narrower plants. It is also an aesthetic accessory if one wants to give the combination of one or several terrariums a more architectural style.
It also serves to create vertical compositions if you don’t have much space…
The design can be adapted to any geometric form that can be shaped with flat glass; they could be made with a hexagonal base instead of a square one, for example.
If you’ve liked them and want your own, you can buy them here.
They are available in silver, black and copper finishes.
If you have any doubts, write a comment or an e-mail.
Thank you for reading me. See you in the next post!