Careful readers will recall that my phone pole was pulled down recently, taking with it a tree, some fencing, and power, phone, cable and Internet. Well, the truck happened to be on the way to my neighbors' house; they were horrified by the turn of events. And the next day, they arrived bearing a gorgeous terrarium, similar to one I had recently ogled at their house. It was a lovely gesture, and I kept saying, Oh, you shouldn't have, but what I was really thinking was, Oh, I'm so very lucky that my phone pole came crashing down! Truly the best kind of gift is an unexpected one. The terrarium came from Winston Flowers, which has been in business since 1944 and has a gracious, old-fashioned elegance about it.
Terraria are very easy to create. I used to make them in high school, and still think of them as sort of a signature of the seventies, along with macrame. (Is that far behind?) If you become obsessed with them you'll be joining a world of terrarium nuts, like my friend Grace Bonney, who runs Design*Sponge. One of my favorite gardeners, and a colleague from House and Garden, has a beautiful blog called What Were The Skies Like, and he posts, from time to time, on what's happening under the lid of his glass jar. The thing about a terrarium is that it eventually takes on a life of its own--it, too, will yield unexpected gifts.