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Heidi Shaffer, Published April 19 2012

Scenery greenery: Terrariums bring bit of outdoors to your table top

If you go

What: DIY terrarium workshop

When: 2 p.m. on May 5

Where: Station House Community Room, 916 Main Ave., Fargo (near the Red Raven).

Info: Register at www.stationhousestudios.org/workshops. Supplies provided; $30 or $15 for members. For information about other upcoming workshops, visit StationHouseStudios.org.

Online: Watch Station House’s video tutorial at http://vimeo.com/36645097

FARGO - An escape into a lush green world is what many of us need this time of year – even if it’s a miniature one.

Do-it-yourselfers and indoor gardeners are putting a modern twist on indoor terrariums, little landscapes that bring a piece of the outdoors to your tabletop.

While terrariums themselves tend to be tiny, the trend is huge, says Chelsea Thorson, a Fargo jewelry maker who is involved in the national DIY scene through indie craft shows, including one of the largest, Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco.

The globe-housed planters’ popularity is probably thanks to their whimsical possibilities and relatively uncomplicated assemble and care requirements, Thorson said. “Anybody can do this – you don’t need to call yourself an artist,” she says.

Landscapes can range from dessert scenes, complete with cacti and sand, to mossy meadows or succulent forests. More complex systems can even incorporate small animals like frogs and snails.

“It’s just making little worlds in a contained sphere,” Thorson says.

Terrariums were everywhere this year at Renegade, and continue to appear frequently in popular design blogs and magazines, Thorson says. Inspired, she and her fellow artists at Fargo’s Station House Studios decided to feature the mini landscapes in their first DIY workshop earlier this year.

The artists’ co-op, which focuses on teaching arts and crafts, will hold their second terrarium tutorial on May 5. Other upcoming workshops include indoor composting, cupcake decorating and tiny cactus gardens.

All classes are open to the public and taught by artists and crafters in their specific fields. “Anyone with an idea can come to us and propose a workshop,” Thorson says.

While terrariums are popping up everywhere these days, the concept has seen several resurgences in popularity, dating back to Victorian times, when well-to-do English women filled their time with sewing, crafts and gardening, according to a recent post on Design*Sponge, a popular online design blog. Victorian women’s obsession with ferns helped propel the art of the terrarium.

The 1970s brought a terrarium revival, when they became fixtures in the dad’s den, next to the Chia Pet and lava lamp.

Today, terrariums are found inside necklace charms, fishbowls, holiday ornaments and even glass doorknobs.

Thorson shared some tips for one of the simpler terrarium types: succulents, seen at left.