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The New Terrarium: Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature Hardcover – February 24, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

TOVAH MARTIN is one of this country’s best-known garden writers and lecturers. She is the author of Tasha Tudor’s Garden, Tasha Tudor’s Heirloom Crafts, Garden Whimsy, A Time to Blossom, Heirloom Flowers, and View from a Sketchbook. A guest and contributor to the PBS television series Cultivating Life, she is also a contributor to Country Home, La Vie Claire, Nature’s Garden, Country Gardens, Garden Design, and Horticulture as well as many other publications. She lives in Roxbury, Connecticut.

Photographer KINDRA CLINEFF specializes in editorial, lifestyle, and travel photography. She regularly produces feature assignments for Nature’s Garden, Country Living, Coastal Living, and Yankee Magazine, and her images have appeared in numerous books and calendars. She lives in Topsfield, Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (February 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307407314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307407313
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I bought this book eagerly as it was well advertised as a sensational and new outlook on terrariums. However, I was sadly disappointed. The writing style - while easy to read - kept repeating the same things several times. A significant chunk of the introduction to terrariums could been hacked to make the prose less repetitive. Instead, I would have appreciated more details on the types of plants that can be used in terrariums. The pictures in this book are numerous but the imagination behind the terrariums is lacking. A considerable number of the photos simply depict potted plants contained in glass. I have done a fair amount of research on terrariums and the pictures on the web are far more creative and inspiring. In short, I recommend that anyone looking for information on on terrariums simply stick to the internet. Several sites carry good information on making terrariums and the 'Terrarium' flickr group will provide more inspiring photos than this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I must add my voice to those who found the content in this book lacking: what could have easily been expressed in one sentence was painfully stretched out across 2 or 3 pages of text. It reads as if a teacher were explaining an utterly simple concept to a very slow student - which is frustrating if you're anybody except the very slow student.
I usually consider the internet to be a good starting point to get a few ideas about a subject and that when you want to go into any depth books are typically more concise, contain more information, and are more accurate. In this case I found the opposite to be true. The book's cover is enticing but there's really very little behind it except filler and fluff.
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Format: Hardcover
I checked this new book out from my library to see if I wanted to buy it later on down the road, and I do! The book is beautifully photographed, and it contains very useful information. When I am ready to to start making my terrariums, I will purchase the book. I particularly like the section on appropriate plants-this way I won't have to go to the nursery and wander around like a dumb-dumb! Terrariums are the new hot thing in crafting...so I plan to get started soon.
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Format: Hardcover
Subtitle should be: Now you, too, can put a glass cloche over an already-potted plant!

I gave this book three stars because in aspects it deserves one star and in other aspects it deserves 3. Obviously, I was feeling generous.

One star aspects:
The terrariums themselves. You know, THOSE THINGS FOR WHICH THE BOOK IS NAMED. I don't know, maybe you've chanced to notice the cover. Perhaps you've said to yourself, "huh, that looks pretty much like a normally potted orchid placed in a glass apothecary jar." I said to myself the same, but thought perhaps the more elaborate/interesting/inspiring terrariums would be inside the book...like maybe Tovah wanted to keep the cover simple; uncluttered. But apparently Tovah truly believes that inspiring terrariums are potted plants neatly placed in glass container. Or--to get really creative!--an airplant in a martini glass on a bedside table.

Three star aspects:
There is some good information, such as a lengthy list of plants that work well in terrariums (and sometimes she even specifies closed or open terrariums, which is helpful), and some pretty good assembly instructions (though you can find equally good instructions on the internet)

Unfortunately for Tovah, when I first got the book I happened to open right to the section on where to place your terrarium so it receives adequate light to grow. Then I saw these sentences: "The suggestions here are aimed at terrariums with plants. If your case is filled with nonplant treasures from the forest--in other words, inanimate objects--then it's not necessary to concern yourself with the details of positioning in relation to light sources, and so on."
"What a fascinating and insightful tidbit of information, Tovah!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read a book called "Terrarium Craft" before this one, and although it had many creative designs in it, it suffered from numerous flaws – namely an over-reliance on succulents planted in sand instead of "real" terrarium plants. This book, although much better in some ways, has flaws of a different sort.

First off, the good parts. This book has a lot of excellent information in it – from an exhaustive description of terrarium vessels to a really solid section on care and maintenance, this book is a wealth of great, practical information. I also really liked the section on the history of terrariums, which was very fascinating, and it must be said that the list of good plant species to choose from is really invaluable. Indeed, most of the information is great...that is, if you can stand to read it.

This brings us to the bad...the author is really fond of verbose, overly wordy sentences and also of repeating the same ideas ad nauseam. I nearly tore my (already short) hair out when trying to get through her introduction section where she makes the case (over and over again) for why everyone in the world would benefit from having terrariums. She even goes so far as to imply that terrariums may cure depression and increase your boob size (joking about that one!) and that there is literally no one who wouldn't benefit from having a terrarium. Yes, lady, we get it – terrariums are cool. You don't have to sell it to us – we already bought the book so we clearly already like the idea of terrariums! I nearly quit reading after the introduction, but thankfully I soldiered on. Once you get past that part, well, things are still entirely too wordy, but at least the information becomes relevant and useful.
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