A 5 litre clear plastic drinks bottle.
A small amount of gravel, moss, leaf mould (or woodland soil) and some bits of charcoal. Charcoal prevents the soil mixture from becoming sour.
Gardening 'tools', consisting of 4 pieces of bamboo cane, about 30 cm long. Use thin wire or a rubber band to attach a teaspoon to the first bamboo, to make a trowel; a cork to the second bamboo to make a tamper; a small blade to the third bamboo for cutting; and cotton wool or a piece of sponge to the fourth bamboo to make a cleaner.
Native woodland plants such as violets, very small ferns or primroses. Avoid taking plants from the wild. Order them from a specialist nursery or get them from an established wild garden.
Mossy sticks or stones for effect.
Do not put the lid on the bottle, as gases tend to build up inside a closed bottle.
Do not allow the leaf mould to dry out.
Place the bottle garden in a shady area of the classroom for observation.
Cut off leaves with the blade as they decay, and remove.
Elsie Proctor: Looking at Nature. A. and C. Black 1969
Anne Swithinbank: House Plants . Gardeners' World - October 1996
Young Gardeners' World Page . Gardeners' World, July 1995
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