Build Your Own Terry

Building Terries at The Mansion

Floyd and I had a great time yesterday with Jakatae, RJ, and Rob, who came to my studio to build terrariums. We spent some time looking at the plants I collect and grow as we discussed design considerations such as lighting, which affects the plants you can select, proportion of elements, and ease of care. Then, on to the fun stuff: getting hands in the dirt!  Take a look at their cool creations:


Rob had fun with his Day of the Dead skull, combining it with peacock fern selaginella and a tillandsia filifolia. The combination of colors and textures came together nicely, I think.

Rob brought a Totoro figurine his niece gave him, a sea turtle, and an alabaster horse. At first, we weren’t sure how to bring these talismans together, but I think it turned out pretty cool. He chose to use a variety of mosses, and a slip of a lemon button fern which will grown to fill the space and eventually will need some trimming



Jakatae selected a pink veined fittonia and a delicate begonia capanensis which will have lovely yellow flowers when it gets established to accent the fertility maiden she brought with her.

I’ll be at Urban Earth on Saturday February 3,  2018, at 1 pm to build a cool terrarium and tell you about the art and science behind making a terry to enjoy for many years.  I’m bringing plants and kits for sale, plus will have a lovely assortment of terries on display for sale the month of February at Urban Earth, just in time for Valentines!

Give me a call at 901-828-3685 or send a message below with any questions.



Floyd says hey!  Follow this website for info in plants and upcoming events, find us on Facebook, and @memphisplantlady on Instagram


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Events Sales and Open House Events

A Few of the Terries for December 17 Open House

Here are some of the little jewels I’ve been working on this year.  Come meet them at my Open House on December 17, from noon to 4 pm, at 700 North Belvedere.  Call me at 901-828-3685 with any questions.  Ya’ll come!  


Interesting Tidbits

Jewel Orchid Joyous February Bloomer

I know, it’s March 1, but this beauty has been blooming since early February and still going gangbusters.  It blooms once a year, always early February.

The blooms last a month or more.  No scent that I’ve noticed.

The show starts in December as the buds begin to develop, growing plump and elongating as the weeks pass until one morning, poof, the first flower has unfurled.

Unlike the epiphytes more commonly seen in stores everywhere, this is a terrestrial.  I found it as a two or three inch baby by itself in a display of succulents in a nursery down in Kenner, Louisiana, and knew it was special. Kind of gangly, pink veined purple leaves, what’s not to love?

Have a great March, Spring is busting out all over, hooray!

Peace and Love – Nancy

Large Custom Projects

Sara Beth’s New Green Mansion

Sara Beth bought a Wardian case while visiting in St. Louis, and brought it by to see if I could plant it for her.

  I’ve looked at these miniature ornamental iron and glass contraptions many times, but never planted one as they are for some reason designed more for showing with artificial plants (ack!) than actually for planting.  The glass panes were not sealed, and the metal tray in the bottom rattled around unsecured, with a gap between the sides of the tray and frame.  I got my good friend Donn to seal it all very neatly with aquarium safe silicone sealer, then headed East to plant the little guy.

Sara Beth has a perfect little nook for the terrarium, with a large south facing window and plantation shutters to filter the brighter beams

So I gathered my rocks, gravel, activated carbon, sphagnum moss and, of course,

 My special terrarium soil mix.  I like to mix soil in this enamel washpan my friend, Alisa, gave me years ago.

I propagate most of my plants in little mini greenhouses like this box of espicia, peacock fern, and ficus pumila.

 I like using selaginella in terries, and this variety grows tall enough to fill the tall case.   Two little fittonia huddle in the corner.

It wil take a few months for everyone to settle and start really filling the space,  but I think it turned out pretty nice.

Two kinds of hemographis reptans, peacock fern, selaginella cypress moss, espicia, ficus pumila, feather moss

I think they will be very happy together for many years to come.

One main reason I am in this business is to share the joy of living with plants.  Please send me a note if you want to learn more, or to set up a consultation to get your own Green Mansion.

Peace and love – Nancy