Terrarium that is the combination of the Latin words of ‘terra’ (soil) and ‘arium’ (environment) is a glass bell that is used for keeping and observing of different plants. The discovery of botanic lover Dr. Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward who used to live in London during the 1900s has transformed into a popular craft. Ward saw that the soil left inside the bottom of a jar turned to green miraculously. Later, he achieved to keep some plants alive, which he couldn’t grow before because of the climate conditions, by setting micro ecosystems inside glass jars. Bee Design & Flower Shop is the most successful representative of this technique in İstanbul.

Back to nature concept
Founded by Gözde Vural, İrem Aker, and Zeynep Alp one year ago in Kızıltoprak, Kadıköy, Bee Design & Flower Shop has a very different design concept. The most important characteristic of the three founding partners is their creation of a dynamic synergy by combining their experiences in different sectors under the roof of Bee Design & Flower Shop. Gözde Vural is an interior architect; İrem Aker is a graphic designer; and Zeynep Alp is a successful editor. Materialized by the union of these three founding partners, Bee Design & Flower Shop offers open and closed terrarium workshops for both individual and corporate clients. Brands such as Turkcell, Garanti Bank, İKSV, Pfizer, Finansbank, and H&M show great interest in the workshops organized by Aker, Alp, and Vural.

Closed terrarium workshops began
Expressing that they are a brand that transforms nature into design, Zeynep Alp emphasizes that they sign under a different concept by carrying nature into our living spaces. They design bookmarks using dried plants and different gift ideas using natural soaps. She also highlights that they attained an original line with their terrarium workshops. Explaining a terrarium being a project to create a different ecosystem in a glass bell, Alp says, “You can grow the plants that you cannot under normal conditions in a glass bell by creating a different ecosystem. Terrarium designs with minimalist details are popular. We organize workshops for up to nine people in our studio. If more people want to enroll our workshops, we make arrangements at contracted facilities. For our corporate clients, we can arrange workshops for up to 150 people. Open terrarium works have become a process that everyone learns and experiences now. Today, closed terrarium workshops are popular. There are serious differences between open and closed terrariums. Closed terrariums don’t contain cactus. You must place moisture resistant plants inside closed terrariums. Once you close the lid of your closed terrarium, your design can live forever. You can design your ecosystem accordingly.”

Three types of soil must be used
Stating that today many people offer terrarium training but don’t share the necessary tips to keep the plants alive, Zeynep Alp explains what the open terrarium workshops contain: “Terrarium workshops take 2.5 hours. At first, we explain what it means. Later, we give information on how to plant the plants. The second phase of the workshop is where they learn how to decorate their terrariums. The participators sit around a long table full of decorative objects such as dried plants, stones, pinecones, and seashells. The third and most important phase is the maintenance. We explain how to maintain the terrariums prepared in here so they will last for a long time. Drainage should be prepared before making a terrarium. Stones are placed at the bottom of the glass bell to create air holes. Later, a mixture of three types of soil is added on top of them. We don’t use standard soil in terrariums. One measure of each peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite is used to make this mixture. Perlite observes the excess water in soil; whenever the plant needs water, perlite releases it. The plant is planted after the soil is added into the terrarium. Creating a layer for 1 cm between the plant and the soil is needed. It is necessary to place stones or sand underneath the plant to keep it moist free.”