I love collecting beautiful, old glass, and flea markets are among the best places to find it. Take this piece of antique pharmaceutical glass I picked up at the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market here in New York.
At first, I didn't know what what it was—or what to do with it. The shape definitely reminded me of a cloche, or bell jar, the French had developed to protect early garden plants from frost. They're available at Jamali Garaden, come in all different sizes and are perfect for covering cakes or cheeses when you're entertaining as well. This piece already had a hole at the top a pharmacist had once used for pouring liquids, so I thought, what if I do a planting of some kind on the inside, then use the top for watering?
For my terrarium, I chose a fern, but an orchid would do beautifully as well, given the added humidity within the glass. After removing the fern from its original container, I opened its roots a bit, then transfered it to an old ironstone pie plate from my collection, though a terra cotta plant saucer would have worked too. Last, I covered the soil with fresh sheet moss, then added beautiful black stones I'd found at a beach up in Connecticut. I love seeing the dew collect in the glass after its watered. It always feels so fresh, don't you think?