Terrariums: Your Secret to Finding Calm at Work

Finding moments of tranquility can be a challenge in the midst of a busy work day. However, there is a simple and effective solution that can help you create a serene oasis right at your desk – terrariums. These miniature gardens enclosed in glass containers have gained popularity not only for their aesthetic appeal but also for their ability to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.

Frog on a log terrarium

Terrariums are essentially self-sustaining ecosystems that require minimal maintenance. They typically consist of small plants, moss, rocks, and other decorative elements, all enclosed within a glass container. The enclosed environment creates a microclimate, allowing the plants to thrive with minimal watering and attention.

Succulent Terrarium with lady beetles

So, how can these tiny green havens help calm you at work? Let’s explore the benefits:

  1. Stress Reduction: Numerous studies have shown that exposure to nature can significantly reduce stress levels. The presence of plants in your workspace can evoke a sense of calmness and tranquility, helping to alleviate the pressures of a hectic workday. The act of tending to your terrarium, even for a few minutes, can provide a much-needed mental break and help you refocus.
  2. Improved Air Quality: Indoor air quality can often be compromised by pollutants and toxins, leading to fatigue and decreased productivity. Terrariums act as natural air purifiers, absorbing harmful substances and releasing fresh oxygen. Breathing cleaner air can enhance your overall well-being and contribute to a more relaxed and focused state of mind.
  3. Increased Productivity: It’s no secret that a cluttered and uninspiring workspace can hinder productivity. Terrariums, with their vibrant greenery and natural beauty, can transform a dull office environment into a visually appealing and inspiring space. The presence of nature has been linked to improved concentration, creativity, and problem-solving abilities, ultimately boosting productivity levels.
  4. Mindfulness and Mind-Body Connection: Taking care of a terrarium requires a certain level of mindfulness. As you tend to your miniature garden, you become more attuned to the present moment, allowing your mind to rest and recharge. This mindful practice can help you develop a stronger mind-body connection, leading to increased self-awareness and a greater sense of calm.
  5. Aesthetically Pleasing: Beyond their calming effects, terrariums are also visually pleasing. The lush greenery and intricate designs can add a touch of beauty and serenity to any workspace. Simply gazing at your terrarium during a stressful moment can provide an instant visual escape, transporting you to a peaceful natural setting.

Incorporating a terrarium into your work environment is a simple and cost-effective way to create a calming oasis amidst the chaos. Whether you choose to purchase a pre-made terrarium or create your own, the benefits of these miniature gardens are undeniable. So, why not bring a touch of nature to your desk and experience the calming effects of a terrarium for yourself?

Fern Terrarium

Just a quick update

Holy moly! How hectic is life at the moment. I’ve found myself with a quiet moment and enough brain power to actually write at the same time! I didn’t forget how much time babies take up but it is still a bit of a shock. Especially with Dan being away for more than half of James life so far. Having 2 older kids has made things easier and harder.

James – perfection ❤️

I have managed to get some gardening done and been able to look after my indoor plants as well. I still have an incredibly long “to-do” list but I’m slowly ticking things off. My art has suffered a little. I did manage to get a little landscape completed. Sunshine Forest – digital drawing is at the bottom of the page.

James is now a month old, almost 6 weeks. He’s been a total blessing. All the rubbish I went through to get here was worth it. Even though we’ve had a few rough nights, a trip to the hospital and an amazing amount of wee and poo. He’s made me re-evaluate everything. Figure out what and who are the most important in my life.

Some of the new editions to the garden – Vireya

Turns out, although I want to be exceptionally good at my job, I was putting too much of my energy into it. I was giving too much. Considering they would replace me in a heart beat if they wanted to.

The kids and Dan are far too important for me not to be in the moment while with them. Family time is family time, work time is work time. Boundaries need to be put in place to distinguish between the two, and being 100% focused on each at the appropriate time is essential. I also need to carve out some me time, that doesn’t consist of running errands, that I feel will take some more time to figure out.

My latest digital drawing – Sunshine Forest

Learning to balance work and life has been tricky. I haven’t mastered it yet, I’m still on maternity leave so it’ll be interesting to go back to work and see if I can manage it. I do think it’s the most important thing I need to focus on though.


Phalaenopsis Orchid Repot! How I do it.

I finally bit the bullet and repotted my lovely little Orchid. This time, I wasn’t just winging it. I thoroughly researched this particular little guy and what he needs for our climate here in Brisbane. I really love the colours of this phalaenopsis orchid and I really don’t want to lose him now. I’ve put a lot of effort into keeping him looking fabulous.

Potting media I used.

Ideally I would have waited until all the flowers had dropped off.  However I had roots growing up and out of the pot, he was so cramped in the tiny little pot he was in. The leaves were a little floppy, suggesting he wasn’t a happy little camper and they were also a little paler than I would like.

Some damaged roots.

Holy moly I’m glad I did. Once I’d pulled him out of the tiny little plastic pot I could see the problem. Some roots had rotted. He was also in only sphagnum moss with no bark. The small pot he was in did not have any aeration holes in the side.

I went to Bunnings and got a plastic pot and then a decorative outer pot. I cut ventilation and drainage in the cheap plastic clear pot so he has plenty of aeration and drainage.

After washing all the old sphagnum moss off, I cut the dead roots away with STERILE scissors (hence the isopropyl). Mixed sphagnum moss and the orchid potting mix that I had, gently tapping it in between all the roots so no major air pockets were left. I threw in a fertilising stick as well for good measure.

Then I watered him by running water from the tap all over the potting mix, trying not to get water between the leaves. And then let him drain. I need to collect rain water next time it rains, a special treat for the little fella.

Medium in his new pot.

Lastly I wiped the TOP of the leaves off. They had a bit of dust and water on them. So now he’s clean with dry leaves. This is important, you don’t want water sitting in the joints of the leaf/stem. You definitely do not want to wipe the der side of the leaves either.

His new position in our room.

I had to find a new home for him, although he was doing ok where he was. I hope his new home will have less direct sun and afternoon heat. The pending new edition to the family needs that spot for his change table so it’s best for all.

Follow me on Insta and Fb for more tips on Orchids and gardening in general in Brisbane’s north.

Remembering those we’ve loved and lost

How do you remember those who you have lost?

I’ve been struggling with this one for a while. I’m not one for visiting graves, it’s not something I’m comfortable with. Breaking down and crying while strangers could see me – heaven forbid. I want to be able to sit and think about those people we’ve lost and miss so much, in private when I want to. Not necessarily on an anniversary. Not to mention, I am not able to visit all of the graves of loved ones as they are either in another state and some in another country.

Lavish Pink Lavender – also in my front garden

A few weeks of each year are the anniversaries of several lost loved ones. Yep, one particular week has 3 significant dates and is always hard to get through. I’m not great with remembering dates, but some how my subconscious must know and those particular weeks because I’m a blubbering mess.

This year I was struggling a lot, with life and one of those weeks in particular I was having a really hard time. I actually started crying at work, for what I thought was for no reason at all. Until I realised what week it was.

I have an obsession with purples of all shades. Artwork I created to decorate my gardening journal.

One of my work colleagues, who I now consider to be a good friend noticed I was upset and asked me about it. Obviously I was highly emotional and nearly fell apart. Some of my grief was – how do I remember all these wonderful people? How do I show my respect, honour their memory if I can’t remember dates? She had a wonderful suggestion, knowing that I was slowly getting into gardening. To plant a tree for everyone I’ve lost. A tree, not just a plant, that will be there for many years to come, more than likely it will out live me.

I can’t plant one tree for everyone that we have lost, I’d need a few acres for that. So I’ve altered the idea slightly. I’ve designed our front garden to be a memorial to those we’ve lost. I’ll have a couple of out door seats and a cute little table to be able to sit surrounded by nature, and be able to remember all of those we’ve lost. I’ll cry and smile, and hopefully laugh at the memories we shared.

I’ve got a lot of work to do, I’ve only just started with one garden bed at the front. It will be a labour of love, I’ll take my time.

Melaleuca Thymifolia – native to Australia’s eastern coast.

The first plant I planted for someone. A Melaleuca Thymifolia. It’s a beautiful native bush with beautiful purple flowers. This one reminds me of my Grandma. Her favourite flower was actually an Angel Face rose (her nickname for me), which I do plan to put in if I can find one. They are super rare so I have to be patient. Grandma loved Bribie Island, she loved walking along the beach. She loved her garden, she would always tell me to go and smell the roses. She loved to read and taught me how to knit. Now, I’m teaching my daughter how to knit. We would sit together and read, I used to take her grocery shopping when I was old enough to do so. I miss her dearly. We were close. She was the first significant loss in my life when she passed.

Just having a plan to create something like this, a memorial has given me a lot of peace. Even if it does take me years to complete it. The sobering fact is, it will never truly be complete. Unfortunately their will always be new names to add. The good thing is, a garden, trees, plants the ecosystem that will be created will long out live me and be a beautiful calming place for all.

Hope or hopeless…..

This weeks blog post is late, I’ve been recovering from gastro. That was not fun being 33 weeks pregnant let me tell you! I have been thinking a lot about my post last week and how the general consensus is that this year has had a lot of downs. Trying to climb out of a slump emotionally and mentally has been really tough these last few months. I’ve been trying to figure out why most of us are feeling drained or afraid to start something. The uncertainty of current times and all the negative news within our society is surely playing a big role.

Flowers starting appear on my blueberry bush

I feel in our society, we are told to make a difference and are expected to make a big impact. I think this is far too daunting. Imagine having that on your shoulders, that’s an unbelievable amount of weight. Too much for many, this then causes the “I can’t impact the world, so there’s no point in trying” attitude, which I absolutely understand. The mentality of “Go big or go home” is frustrating. It indicates that unless the actions and impact are great then don’t bother. I certainly wouldn’t want my children to feel that if they aren’t going to change the world their lives mean nothing.

This is not to say people can’t make a huge impact. Nor that they shouldn’t try. Anyone can make a big difference, if they find the right power within themselves. What I am saying is, changing one life is just as important as changing the world. If one thing you do changes one persons life for the better, then that should also be celebrated as a big win. Not on social media for the likes, congratulate yourself. Smile and remember that feeling. If you are the person who was helped, thank them. You don’t have to praise them to the world, but a simple heartfelt thank you goes a long way.

Monochrome evening sky – created with Procreate

We should be passing this knowledge down to our kids. So they don’t feel like they are starting from scratch. They certainly have much more to contend with than we did as kids. The skills they need are slightly different. We need to teach them to care and be kind to themselves first. Than to do small things to help others. The small things make a huge difference. If they already have some of these skills under their belt before they are thrown out into the world, maybe it won’t be so daunting to reach a little bigger each time.

How we teach our kiddos this when we too are probably overwhelmed and buried under the recent stresses of the year I don’t know. I guess talking to them about how we are feeling, seeing if they’ll talk to us about their feelings would be a good step. I know we can’t unload everything on them, they are only little and they shouldn’t be dealing with our problems. But letting them know we can get a bit scared and anxious too, will let them know that they are not alone.

Changing the world isn’t a one person job, you need a team, to surround yourself with people you can trust, who have the same will and desire to do good. Together we can all make a difference, whether it be small or large it doesn’t matter. It’s the intention and emotion (love and gratitude) behind the actions that count

The first raspberries from our bush this year ❤️❤️

Triggered – Already?

Continuing on from my last post and my comment about being triggered at some point. It didn’t take long before it happened. After talking to work colleagues it seems it’s still happening. I felt myself starting to become angry. Me standing up did nothing to help anyone. I had to stop myself getting upset. I took a deep breath in and released all that emotion out. Am I little annoyed nothing is going to change? Absolutely. If I could go back, would I choose not to say anything, knowing that it wouldn’t help? Absolutely not. I may have altered how I said enough, but I would still say it.

New growth on my philodendron – beautiful

It’s not always rainbows and butterflies when healing, we have set backs, often. The only way to move forward is to acknowledge the trigger, figure out why it was so strong and then learn from it. I’ve decided I need to try and remove myself from the situation for a while. So enough writing about toxic work places, at least until I can keep the emotion out of it.

I was talking to one of my favourite people this week. Her thoughts – everyone is having a rubbish year. Everyone she knows seems to be struggling one way or another. Whether that’s in their relationship, financially, at work, emotionally, physically and every other aspect life has. I certainly agree, the signs of this year have been weird from and for all. People seem hesitant to start anything, reluctant to move forward in their life. I think we all need to be kinder to ourselves and loved ones, this year in particular as all this uncertainty is causing all of us so much worry or anxiety.

Raspberry Trellis made by me – ignore the weeds, they are a work in progress.

This is not to say people aren’t still kicking goals. Many friends and family members are kicking huge goals in their career or personal lives, but they seem to be doing this in spite of many more obstacles which seem to be in their way. These people are an inspiration to me, although I’m in a resting phase of my life, they show me that we as humans can be pretty impressive. Do things that are extraordinary, even while things seem against you. I know when I’m ready, I will be able to do the same. It’s in us all, we just need to know, believe or have faith in our abilities.

While I’m in my resting phase, I’m enjoying my maternity leave. For those of you that have been reading and watching, you would have seen me create a few bits and bobs and potter around in the garden. I’m trying very hard to unwind from a fast pace work environment. My mind wants to do a lot more than my body is able to at the moment. Slowly I think I’m getting there. I have an enormous To Do list, with a couple of little projects that may be coming to fruition soon so that will be a little bit exciting. I can’t help myself, I like being on the go. I like creating and dreaming up new ideas.

While pottering in the garden, I’ve been able allow my mind to be quiet. The downside is, a lot of the work I’ve got still to do in our garden is pretty labour intensive. I’ve worn myself out on a number of occasions. Feeling good while I’m working but hitting the wall once I come inside and sit down. I literally have to time myself so I don’t over do it. I wore myself out so much Monday, I was up at the hospital on Tuesday making sure Bub was ok. All is well in case you are wondering. Even trying to relax is difficult for me.

An apple I drew this week – I’m working on realism… not sure I got there.

This week I’ve managed to do a mountain of washing, put a raspberry trellis up, plant some ground cover, weed some more of my little garden, been on 2 day trips to various garden centres and had coffee with a very special lady and bubba. I’ve also been reading, drawing and cleaning. I still find that I’m chastising myself because I haven’t done enough this week. Sometimes personal growth is one step forward and two steps back. I’ll get there in the end, I guess that’s all that matters.