As a child I remember making various little terrariums in empty glass containers of all sorts. I love moss and ferns so to have a tiny world filled with just those things was wonderful. One particular terrarium I made in an old glass coffee jar had to have lived for over a decade. It sat on the ledge of my parents book shelf at about knee level, books lined up behind it and other knick knacks surrounding it. I would unscrew the brown plastic lid and peek inside noticing the long tendrils of the moss creeping up the sides of the glass. I would stick my nose in the jar and take a deep breath in smelling the earthy scent of the moss and damp soil, then it was as if I was in the middle of the forest. That smell was intoxicating. The quietness of the moss persisting in the jar almost completely ignored was intriguing. Only slight changes in the moss over the years would hint that it was still alive.

My love of nature continued into adulthood. In college when my biology professor explained about a room filled with all different types of salamanders called the "Toadery" I immediately went up to him after class to ask if I could work in there. Turns out that there was not a high demand of people wanting to chop up worms so I got the job. Months later I took over the college's greenhouse care. Instead of going home over the summer I stayed, maintained the greenhouse and cared for all science department's creatures. I was not the typical college freshman but I love exploring and learning about nature.

Years later after graduating with a degree in both Childhood and Special Education I began substitute teaching. After four years something became very clear, children and adults were very disconnected from our natural world. Children go out and play on the playground, play sports and adults might exercise outside but they were not really observing any of the fascinating details of the world around them. This was a very sad fact to me. I felt like everyone was missing so much!

One beautiful warm, sunny afternoon when sitting outside and chatting with my cousin and her daughter the tiny seed of an idea came to me. Terrariums are such a great way to engage with nature and a place for people to build terrariums would be perfect. People would be handling all kinds of natural elements, learning about plants and ecosystems, and realizing nature is fun and magical. They would be able to easily create a whole tiny world that is self sustaining, it would be a link to nature. After a couple years of sitting with the idea, thinking how to do it, finding out how to do it, working with a mentor and support from my family, I was able to start Jardin Terrariums.

In July of 2015 I opened the doors to the studio. I had worked hard to get to that point but had so much to learn still. Over the next couple years I had so many amazing interactions with my customers, learned so much from them and gained wonderful friends. I have been able to engage thousands of people of all ages with nature. All those terrariums are now out there quietly reminding those around them of the magic of nature.

A couple years later I came to a cross road. There were aspects of the business that I wanted to grow but couldn't do that if I was needing to maintain a retail storefront. After a lot of debating and talking with my mentor I decided to take a break from maintaining the retail portion and closed the storefront in February of 2018.

Since then I have been having a great time with all the variety of businesses and organizations doing terrarium building workshops. I love watching people be completely surprised by the experience. It is such a positive experience seeing people relax, learning, finding they are more creative than they thought and complementing each other.

My goal is to keep people engaging with nature. I want more and more people feeling the calmness, beauty and magic of nature, experiencing curiosities and learning how to care for and respect living things. I am striving for people to create at least 10,000 terrariums by the year 2020, my fifth year in business.  As of March 2018 I am over 3,500 terrariums! 

Thank you for your support!

Kathleen Rullo