When we realized that we’d be doing a post so close to Halloween we decided to look for inspiration beyond a cleverly carved squash. We wanted to assemble an arrangement that embraced the darker, more macabre side of the holiday. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the terror-ium!
Right up the road from San Francisco, looks to be merely a little greenhouse off the main drag. Upon closer inspection we found the equivalent to a botanical bestiary: hundreds of little meat eaters all under one glassed roof. The grounds of this carnivorous plant farm are more like a B-movie set than greenhouse, decked out with plastic creepy-crawlies and vivisected vegetation. But don’t let the campy decor fool: proprietor Peter D’Amato is a serious guy. He’s a walking, talking encyclopedia of carnivorous knowledge, having written several voluminous books on the subject. He guided us through the selection of our plants and gave us all the information we needed to successfully raise our little ankle-biters for years to come.
CLICK HERE for the rest of Studio Choo’s Terror-ium post after the jump!
For our terror-ium we used four plants from California Carnivores: Pygmy Sundew, D. Capensis Narrow, S. Dana’s Delight, and Dionaea (Venus flytrap). Every continent except Antarctica has native carnivorous plants. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t grow exclusively in tropical areas. All of the plants we purchased can be raised anywhere with the right tools, and some even like the cold of winter so they can go into their required dormant period. They dine on small bugs and can usually find their own meals if left outside under proper conditions.
** We chose to remove our plants from their containers for a short-term presentation, This is NOT advised if you’re trying to grow carnivorous plants properly. This arrangement works for temporary display purposes, but to properly raise carnivorous plants each needs to be grown individually under specific conditions.
If you don’t want to use carnivorous plants this project could also be made equally creepy by using black or blood red flowers and foliage. We selected a unique glass bubble vase and started our terror-ium by adding a layer of wet dirt into the bottom. If you are planting for longer term you’ll want to put a layer of gravel and some charcoal on the bottom for drainage before you add the soil. The assembly process is pretty simple- we added in our largest plant first and built up around it with different types of small mosses and swampy grasses. We continued adding in plants until we had a full arrangement, including some swampy grasses peeking out to entice bugs inside this cozy lair.
Placing the terror-ium on a hallway table or other high-traffic area during a Halloween get-together will be sure to “wow” your guests. Just make sure that after the party has ended you get these fellows into a proper home where they can plant some roots, because you don’t want to see them when they’re angry.