Perfect for both plant experts and those who can’t manage to keep a simple cactus alive, Chan from Sap Plants has started hosting regular terrarium workshops across Nottingham. Crafting a plant landscape enclosed in a glass container, the creative experience is a perfect wellness activity. Ahead of her next workshop, we catch up with Chan to talk about keeping plants alive, wellbeing and what to expect from the classes…
Chan, a self-described plant enthusiast, founded Sap Plants after her own collection grew exponentially and she learnt the different ways of owning plants. She taught herself how to make terrariums and gifted them to family and friends one Christmas. After that, she realised how much she’d want to share her love of making them with others - and Sap was born.
It took a lot of trial and error but her method of making terrariums has gone unchanged. She uses a mixture of key ‘ingredients’ and decorative aspects. Talking through how they’re made in the workshops, she explains how each layer serves a purpose, such as the sprinkling of white stones acting as a drainage system. The main plant she uses are fittonias, which are known for being veiny-looking and make up the most colourful aspect of the terrarium. However, as she explains, people decorate their plant havens in different ways - although the plants are mainly all the same, she has had some people include Lego figures or pebbles to add a personal touch inside.
Throughout the workshops, you can expect to join a community or ‘society’ of plant lovers and learn about terrariums or different plants together. Chan explains how the sessions can be individual as well as communal, including quieter times while working on the more difficult aspects, and then laughing while struggling to pot the seedlings in the soil.
It can be a very mindful hour, she continues, adding that “you’re truly at one with the plants” - a sole focus on the terrarium provides a healthy focus and distraction away from other aspects of life. And creating and caring for these plants can seriously increase your mental wellbeing - science has found that having house plants, especially for people who work from home, can consistently relax and calm levels of stress and anxiety.
Science has found that having house plants can consistently relax and calm levels of stress and anxiety
Saying this, many people (myself included) do have an issue with keeping plants alive, and thanks to either watering it too little or far too much, struggle to maintain that inside green space. However, as Chan explains, by having a terrarium or specific types of plants, this issue can be overcome. Terrariums, for example, are a self-sufficient environment as each aspect of it creates a climate where the plant can survive without someone watering it. Other house plants including pothos plants and peace lilies are perfect within the climate of Nottingham houses, and for someone like me, she says they’re “pretty indestructible” if you care for it to some extent. That extent being sunlight and watering once a month, which doesn’t sound too hard!
A society as much as a session, Chan’s terrarium workshops are perfect for like-minded individuals with the common interest of plants and wellbeing. As is noticeable on Sap Plants website, the society aspect is relevant in their merchandise too. Chan tells me that the idea came from other plant groups such as the British Cactus and Succulent Society, but she developed hers to be centred around, and originate from, more than just that - becoming inspired by the seventies and the specific album Plantasia, which had a different song for separate house plants.
So, if owning plants seems a bit daunting, and you’re not sure where to start, join a Sap Plants workshop and indulge yourself in the experience and environment of making terrariums with a group of like-minded people - and introduce some greenery into your home that’s tough for even the least adept gardeners to kill!
You can book a ticket for the terrarium workshop on Sap Plant’s website
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