ISSUE 34  |  Last Gasp of Summer 2016

Studio Visit: Gardening Under Glass with Emma Sibley of London Terrariums

August 29, 2016 2:00 AM

BY Michelle Slatalla

As a child, London Terrariums founder Emma Sibley liked to design dollhouse-sized landscapes, arranging tiny rocks to form ponds and paving paths with pebbles.

In a Bermondsey studio where a hobby has grown into a business, Sibley creates terrariums (often with foraged local finds) for private clients, as well as for local restaurants and shops.

“We made our first terrarium using what we could source from our immediate surroundings; stones from our driveways, moss from the garage roof, cuttings from our house plants and hand-made tools from wine corks and garden sticks.” she says.

Photography by Al Hartley courtesy of London Terrariums.

london-terrariums-gardenista-55

Above: Sibley and London Terrariums co-founder Tom Murphy moved the workshop into the studio last autumn.

london-terrariums-glass-jar-jugardenistaPrivate-Orders_4

Above: A Demijohn terrarium ($80) comes in a bottle sourced from a UK supplier. “Originally used for brewing beer and wine making, the Demijohn is the perfect vessel for a terrarium,” Sibley says. “Both its iconic silhouette and ‘ship-in-a- bottle’ novelty make the Demijohn a beautiful living ornament in any home.”

terrarium-Demijohn-plants-gardenista

Above: Plants in the Demijohn include variegated Ficus pumila, Fittonia albivenis, variegated Hedra helix, and Leucobryum glaucum (cushion moss).

london_terrariums_materials_dupplies_diy_gardenista169

Above: One of Sibley’s favorite sources for plants and supplies is the New Covent Garden Flower Market.

london_terrariums_plants_shelves_gardenista_Contact

Above: Sibley favors leafy trailing plants and vines over succulents.

london-terrariums-Boiling-Flask-gardenista

Above: A Boiling Flask Terrarium on a concrete base handmade by artist,Emily Iremonger is £150.

london_terrariums_plants_materials_gardenista_355

Above: Tools of the trade.

london_terrariums_brush_gardenistaIMG_2284

Above: Sibley’s collection of handmade tools includes a cotton reel and a cork stuck to the end of a stick and corncob skewers.

london_terrariums_materials_supplies_moss_gardenista_183

Above: A handmade soil scooper.

london_terrariums_studio_gardenista_2016_03_10_YMC_London_Terrariums_30730

Above: Sibley assembles a terrarium in a re=purposed glass bottle.

london_terrariums_window_shelf_gardenista_166

Above: To attend an upcoming workshop, see the calendar at London Terrariums Workshops.

For more of our favorite terrariums, see Clear Choice: A Glass Globe Terrarium by Designer Richard Clarkson.