Introduction: A Garden Inside a Ball - Christmas Time

Picture of A Garden Inside a Ball - Christmas Time

How to create a garden inside a plastic trasparent Christmas tree ball

Step 1: What You Need

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what you need:
- soil
- a small plant  of slow growth (fittonia, Adiantum capillus-veneris etc.)
- moss
- an electric screwdriver
- a plastic trasparent Christmas tree ball (15 cm ø)
- newspapers
- expanded clay
- a CD-Rom or something similar
- transparent adhesive tape

Step 2: Drill the Hemispheres

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drill the hemispheres with the electric screwdriver (slow speed)

Step 3: The Paper

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crumple paper

Step 4: Fill It

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Fill half the hemisfphere with the paper

Step 5: Insert Cd

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insert a CD into the empty space

Step 6: Soil

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Fill partially with soil

Step 7: Expanded Clay

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and partially with expanded clay - remove the cd

Step 8: Space for Plant!

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create a space for a plant

Step 9: Compact the Soil

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compact the soil

Step 10: Remove the Paper

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remove the paper

Step 11: Clean

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clean the parts to be jointed

Step 12: Add Moss

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add moss

Step 13: Add Plant

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add plant

Step 14: Join the Hemispheres

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join the hemispheres

Step 15: Tap the Ball to Compact the Soil

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tap the ball to compact the soil

Step 16: Scotch Tape

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Apply a transparent piece of tape under the base

Step 17: Water

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Water the inside

Step 18: The Final Result

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the final result

original post on Florablog

Step 19: A Garden Inside a Ball - One Year Later


bing2garcia (author)2014-08-20

There is really no need to place a hole in the hemispheres prior to making the terrarium. Terrariums are self-contained environments. If the soil was watered prior to the terrarium's sealing, the plant will produce its own moisture and carbon dioxide to sustain itself. The holes in the container will prevent your terrarium from being self-supporting and will require the owner to constantly water it especially during the dry days.

Everfalling (author)2009-12-27

isn't there the risk that the plant grows beyond the capacity of the ball?

sgsidekick (author)Everfalling2009-12-27

That's probably why it says to pick a SMALL plant of SLOW it doesn't outgrow the sphere for a long time.  Given enough time, most plants (not all), will eventually outgrow their containers.

Optimus (author)sgsidekick2009-12-28

like a small cactus...?

florablog (author)Optimus2009-12-28

is an excellent alternative like a small cactus (or another succulent plants): replace soil with sand and no high umidity.

ArcticChill (author)florablog2010-03-06

 Perfect for bonsai trees, they most never grow past how you get them.

Bad Maxx (author)ArcticChill2010-10-25

I'm seriously wondering what kind of Bonsai you are used to? My Bonsai with one exception (I have 7 most of which I have had for 10+ years) would out grow that ball in short order. I have to trim both foliage and roots *constantly to maintain the bonsai effect. That said it wouldn't be any more work to do one in the ball!
The one exception is my South American Fig, it is one extremely slow grower!!

*by constantly I am not being literal. Some need much more than others but on average at least once a month I'm hacking one end or the other. (average, as in sometimes I do three in a two week stretch and may go 3 month with out doing any)

de_llamaman (author)ArcticChill2010-03-20

The Bonsai Ball. catchy :P

AngryRedhead (author)Optimus2009-12-28
Cacti need fast draining soil, and when watered, they need to be flooded and then left without water until the soil is completely dry.  Also a lot of cacti don't do particularly well indoors, and they're somewhat sensitive to humidity and rot easily.  You'll be fooling with that ball constantly with the water regime that cacti need, and considering how un-fun it is to mess with most cacti, you won't be all that happy.  You could *maybe* use aloes and some other succulents (e.g., graptopetalum) that are more tolerant of water on their roots and humidity, but their growth habit probably won't be very attractive due to indoor light.  Best to stick the classic terrarium plants and just figure it won't be a forever-type situation just like with any terrarium.
florablog (author)Everfalling2009-12-28

yes 're right, sooner or later will happen, like a small pot for a so much growth plant

eulaliaaaa! (author)2010-10-19

That is AWESOME!

moc123 (author)2010-09-23

how long have they lasted so far?

xinematik (author)2010-03-31

This is great, i think that i'm gonna do a few ones to hang in the wall line :D

kira kappuke-ki (author)2010-01-24

thats so cool. i love it!

Crepes (author)2010-01-15

This is a great idea. Good use of recycling products. A lot of light can reach the roots, very smart. I think I will start vegetables in early spring inside the ball then transplant them. Thank you for the idea!

porcupinemamma (author)2010-01-09

BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!! :0)

pyra_builder_1337 (author)2009-12-30

thisgave me the great idea of and air plant in a ball

k1717 (author)2009-12-28

im not much of a p[lant person but i have to say that really cool

Caffeinomane (author)2009-12-28

That is an awesome idea! Thank you for sharing it.

Veramente un'ottima idea :)

florablog (author)Caffeinomane2009-12-28

grazie mille! ;-)

spylock (author)2009-12-27

Where would I get a ball like that,I have a smaller one but its to small for that,also would a hamster ball work?Its a very good idea,and Im gonna try it.

luma (author)2009-12-27

Great idea! Why not keep the horizontal seam, forget the tape altogether, & hang it with a plant hanger? You know, something like the macrame hangers of years ago but much simpler- like 3 cords tied together.

the rural independent (author)2009-12-27

This is a great idea and a great set of instructions.

I am looking for ideas on how to make this either easy to separate and re-assemble or to add an entry door of some sort.

If this can be done, then it might make a great kitchen herb gadget.

Any ideas/suggestions?


adam 101 (author)2009-12-22

Why is step ten linking to the intro and not step ten?

AngryRedhead (author)2009-12-21
That's a lot of work for something that could have been easily modified.

-Cut off the hanger.
-Orient the ornament so that the seam runs horizontally rather than vertically.
-Drill 3 holes in the the new upper hemisphere with 1 hole in the center.
-Knot the ends of a ribbon and pull the ribbon loop through the middle hole.
-Pot up the lower hemisphere.
-Put the upper hemisphere back on.

One pitfall with either design:  You'll probably have to remove the tape and upper hemisphere somewhat often to remove excess condensation on the inside of the orb, but if you can re-orient the seam, it'll be a lot easier than having to completely disassemble the whole thing and put it all back together again.

You could also buy a kit on Etsy or an empty glass orb terrarium.
hishealer (author)AngryRedhead2009-12-22

Condensation on the inside is kind of the point of the terrarium, isn't it?  So you don't have to keep the plant watered nearly as much.

AngryRedhead (author)hishealer2009-12-22
Condensation is bad if only because it obscures the view which sorta nullifies the point of having a pretty terrarium, a magical world under glass where dinosaurs and gnomes interact freely and without prejudice.  You want an acclimated terrarium that no longer forms condensation but is still moist which is why, if you're doing a jar terrarium, you have to frequently remove the lid to allow some evaporation, put it back on, repeat until condensation no longer forms, or you have to wipe down the inside walls of the container.  A little condensation is fine and normal, but it'll bug the hell out of some people and isn't exactly ideal.  I still tend to get a lot of condensation inside my terrariums which is why I'm avoiding the plunge into terrariums with a "ship in a bottle" level of tediousness and care.
hishealer (author)AngryRedhead2009-12-22

I do see what you mean.  A lot would cause mold and mildew anyway.

dinosaurs and gnomes interacting freely?

It must be because I'm in the south but I havent seen any dinosaurs and gnomes interacting freely before.  They mostly like to keep to themselves.

hishealer (author)thematthatter2009-12-22

I personally haven't seen any social dinosaurs recently either. ;p  Maybe the gnomes just don't like the way they play... with their food.

 The problem with making the ball with the seam horizontally oriented is that you then have the weight of the water, soil, plant, and plastic hemisphere pulling straight down on that seam, which in turn basically pulls on the tape. Scotch tape can only hold that weight for so long, and when it loses adhesion, you've turned your garden-in-a-ball into a nice little soil bomb.

Very true.  If you use scotch tape, it will fall apart horribly and make a terrific mess, which is why I'd recommend using clear electrical tape, clear carpet tape and a ribbon, or some other high adhesion tape that's either clear or decorative.  You don't have to add a lot of water, and you can use a lightweight potting mix and a little carbon to keep the weight minimal.

The alternative to both would be to cut a very large hole, like with a glass globe terrarium, and glue the hemispheres together.  Flipping the ornament so the seam ran horizontally would make the initial planting easier, but depending on the size of the hole, you could avoid pre-planting before modding the ornament altogether.
mbudde (author)2009-12-21

That looks really cool. Where would one obtain a plastic ball such as the one that you use?

hishealer (author)mbudde2009-12-22

Or crafting stores.  I have seen these at Michael's in years past.

florablog (author)mbudde2009-12-21

should not be a problem, search it in stores specializing in Christmas decorations

Cthulku (author)2009-12-21

I love it! Wish I saw it a few weeks ago, these would have made excellent xmas gifts.

la-main (author)2009-12-21

Nice instructable man !   Not very useful a plant in a ball but it looks nice.

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