Registered nurse and terrarium enthusiast Froilan Aloro, as if following the footsteps of Nathaniel Ward, used his curiosity as fuel and began building and studying terrariums at the height of the pandemic in July 2020.
Terrariums have been around since the 1800s with Ward credited for making the first one ever. He came upon his discovery by accident, after trying to learn about the growth of a certain type of moth in a jar with some decomposed leaves and fern. Much to his surprise, the plants in the jar were thriving as days passed without additional care. Thus, the terrarium was born.
Because of the pandemic, terrariums are making a comeback. A small but passionate community of terrarium and moss enthusiasts continue to keep the hobby alive, Aloro is among one of those who pursued it with a passion.
Finding it difficult to source moss locally, and most especially in urban areas, Aloro did some research and discovered that it can be found if you know how to look. He began foraging for moss, particularly in street sides and pavements, to remain conscientious of taking from native flora and fauna in greener parts of the city.
TerraPlantae is born
Aloro’s interest in terrarium and mossarium building led him to decide to share it via his own brand of terrarium building kits, TerraPlantae.
“I started with creating my first prototype project, then I did a deep dive research and found out that the terrarium business locally is fairly young. I saw the opportunity that there might be an industry there, although niche. Drawing from my hobby, my motivation really was to build a business around it by sharing the experience of building terrariums,” Aloro said.
He is making sure that the terrarium community stays and grows. Currently, there is an active Facebook group and following for terrarium (Terrarium Philippines) and moss (Moss Philippines) enthusiasts spearheaded by TerraPlantae both with a consistently growing number of members. In these groups, members and those interested in starting their own terrariums have their own space where they can freely ask questions, share and inspire others to build their own eco-jars.
Pushing local communities further, TerraPlantae has also launched its own website, HowToMakeTerrarium.com, to encourage more people to get into the terrarium craze, linking them to beginner kits and supplies needed to get started.
“TerraPlantae’s official website, HowToMakeTerrarium.com, is currently the only local online terrarium guide for beginners and even intermediate terrarium builders. Aside from the moss and fern propagation and supplies, TerraPlantae offers kits and glass enclosures, all of which were sourced both locally and globally with sources coming from China and Malaysia,” Aloro said.
The website also features masterpieces done by terrarium artists all over the globe to give recognition to the craftsmanship of the different terrarium builds.
Why terrariums are
Terrariums are a great way to add the beauty of nature into your home. They are great ornaments and learning tools for children.
“TerraPlantae is currently the only one with kids and beginners’ kits which is a great way to reach out to our younger generation and bring them closer to nature in the confines of their homes,” said Aloro.
With all the ecological changes, terrariums are the perfect study to understand the workings of the environment.
Terrariums are able to visually explain what it means to appreciate natural resources while also adding another layer of aesthetic value into your home.