There are many types of terrariums. But berry bowls are a peculiarly New England item I learned about while living in Maine as a young man. Using a glass bowl, or snifter glass, you fill the bowl with mosses, partridge berries, teaberry ( Gaultheria procumbens), and perhaps other woodland plants. They were something green and growing brought into the house during the winter. A berry bowl was a reminder of summertime and the woods. It was traditional to make them for the ill and housebound.
Last year I was seeking a different approach to berry bowls. So I decided to push the envelope just a bit and add an extra touch. I’ve been fascinated with carnivorous plants for several years and loved the bogs in Northern Maine where pitcher plants, Jack in the pulpit plants, and sundews thrived. So adding the carnivorous plants as centerpieces to my berry bowls seemed logical.
Here are this year’s berry bowls with pitcher plants, partridge berries, teaberry, and several mosses. The bowls appreciate a sunny but cool window; they only need water to moisten things.
My berry bowls remind me of the New England woods and are a touchstone to my past. Some of my earliest memories of Maine were going into the woods foraging for the makings of berry bowls with my friends.
I buy the carnivorous plants from a nursery and procure the mosses, teaberry, and partridge berries from the small bog I’ve created near my pond. If you wish to make a berry bowl, please consider that our native wetlands are delicate and threatened environments. Rather than injure them, consider buying your plants from nurseries.