Her Junior Master Gardening book gave general suggestions and tips for assembling a little world, which inspired Maria to look further into the subject, using Pinterest.
Here's Maria's supply list:
A clear container, open or lidded, depending on the plants
Pebbles, and other decorative stones
Small plants, preferably ones that are happy indoors, or in an open terrarium: Succulents are a good choice.
Any little decorative pieces to create a scene or Fairy garden look.
After school Alex, Maria and I went to a local nursery and found glass stones, organic potting soil, a small fern and a tiny cyclamen. At home we had glass containers, sand, leftover pebbles from our aquarium, bark pieces, and our paper clay mushrooms... a fun addition! Using a couple of different tutorials, Maria settled on her plan for layering her sand, pebbles, and soil. She chose a plant suited to a closed terrarium, and had a good time putting everything together, especially affixing the mushrooms and wee gnome to their mossy twig. This morning she observed that her garden already has a water cycle starting, from the condensation in the jar. This simple and charming project was irresistible... so you can understand why I joined Maria in making a second terrarium! My fern is too big to be exactly contained in the glass jar, but I think it will be happy.
Maria would like to make mini-gingerbread houses with friends for her birthday, and I am going to surprise her with a second activity I think she and her friends will enjoy... planting mini-gardens, with more paper clay mushrooms and tiny succulents!