A regular at Old School Delights, I was on my way to said dining spot one evening when I spotted an inviting, warmly-lit store spilling over (literally, there were plants everywhere!) with greens. Residents of Upper Thomson will wonder, wait a minute, wasn’t this space previously occupied by a pet shop? Yes, you’re absolutely right, and welcome to the newest florist on the block–MARCHE AUX FLEUR. With my interest intrigued (see #greenurbanexperiment on Instagram), I vowed to come back once my stomach’s needs were fulfilled. A lovely conversation with Josephine, one of the shop owner’s friends, led to an invitation from MARCHE AUX FLEUR inviting me back to create my very own table-top garden. And really, I’m always open to anything DIY, so how could I refuse? Besides, I’ve always wanted to create a Pinterest/Tumblr worthy terrarium.
So I returned last Saturday evening ready to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty. Stella, the soft-spoken boss lady of MARCHE AUX FLEUR greeted me at the door and put me to work right away. As it turns out, creating a terrarium takes a fair amount of planning and vision, as well as skill. While I do have a basic knowledge of how to keep plants happy, I was happy to lead Stella take the lead on this one.
But first you will need:
- Glass container
- Potting mix
- Decorative gravel
- And of course… Patience
Once you’ve got all the above laid out on your work table, it’s time to start creating your work of green art. I call it art because it really is a fine art–all about visualizing the end product before you even begin. You’ll need to know what you want to work towards, for example; placing plants of the same type together so it’s easy on the eye, or selecting a variety of plants differing in height.
Let’s get started:
- Fill in the bottom with large pebbles. This creates good drainage and makes sure everything’s nice and dry down below. I’m referring to the roots of course, root rot can be devastating.
- Add enough soil so the roots of the plant will be sufficiently covered. In my case this was half the glass container.
- Pat down the soil firmly, but don’t over do it, you still want the soil to be nicely aerated.
- Give the soil a good spray to moisten it.
- Un-pot your chosen plants and dig a hole big enough for it so the roots will be covered. Add more soil if necessary.
- Make sure you apply enough pressure when patting down the soil over the roots, so your plant can stand independently in it’s new home. I like to use my fingers instead of a dowel because then I can really feel if the plant is stable.
- Repeat the above until all of your plants are settled in.
- Finally the step you’ve been waiting for… Decorate! Feel free to go crazy with moss, little figurines, and decorative gravel. I kept my simple with just white gravel and a cute patch of moss.
- Lastly, give it a good spray again to wash off any excess dirt and you’re done!
While Stella was wrapping my terrarium up (which I had fun popping later!), I got to talking to her about what she hopes for MARCHE AUX FLEUR following it’s opening a month ago.
I’m hoping to do more Bloom Drops in the future, we have a couple of regular customers now, but that’s something I’m very interested in working towards. I want MARCHE AUX FLEUR to be a haven for people from all walks of life to come in and have an interactive experience with terrariums and flower arrangements. Terrariums are all the rage right now, and really perfect for ultra-busy millennials who don’t have the time to babysit fussy house plants. – Stella
For the uninitiated–Bloom Drops while they might sound like something dire–actually refer to personalized flower delivery service. MARCHE AUX FLEUR will send you a weekly surprise of fresh bouquets to instantly brighten up dreary spaces for SGD20, without you even have to step out of the house. If the blossoming number of stylized Instagram flower posts are anything to go by, I’d say more and more Singaporeans are taking the time to stop and smell the roses (no pun intended!).
If you’re wondering which plants were used in my lovely terrarium, the red and green plants filling out the main heart shape are two versions of Frittonia, the bounteous green leaves overflowing the edge like a green waterfall are Pepperomia, and the tip of the heart is decorated by a little bit of ground moss, which feels like a baby mouse.
DIY terrariums start at SGD10.90 for a small pot. That’s SGD5.90 for a pot and SGD5 for plants of your choice. MARCHE AUX FLEUR is open from 11AM–8PM daily, so if you’re looking for a florist to get an unconventional bouquet for a hot date (Valentine’s just around the corner!), or if your idea of fun is bonding over dirt and greens, I totally recommend checking them out this weekend! Not convinced? While you consider, like their page on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram.
MARCHE AUX FLEUR is located at:
215P Upper Thomson Road
Tel: (65) 6481 0828
Disclosure: My DIY terrarium experience is courtesy of MARCHE AUX FLEUR. Compensation was not provided by MARCHE AUX FLEUR. The opinions expressed herein are those mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of MARCHE AUX FLEUR.