1510 SE 44th Ave. #101
Portland, OR 97215
Spring Shop Hours:
Tuesday Through Saturday — 11 am to 6 pm
Sunday & Monday — Closed to Enjoy Church
& Family Life
Welcome to Our "True Terrarium" Shop!
Introducing Your Ultimate Success With Beautiful Plants
Our best customers are usually the folks who thought they had a “black thumb.” They have been frustrated in the past by purchasing tropical plants that looked great when they bought them, but which then quickly faded. The culprit may have been too much water, or too little water, too much light, or too little light, too much humidity, or too little humidity, too much feeding or too little feeding. You get the idea. And if that's not enough, there is the invasion of common houseplant pests and plant diseases. These challenges are real.
Our terrariums solve ALL these problems a once. In fact, (as we teach in our terrarium classes), the original terrarium was invented in the early 1800s specifically to keep tropical plants from dying during long and hazardous ocean voyages. If terrariums could allow those delicate plants to survive crossing vast oceans in all kinds of weather, they can certainly protect the plants from the dry air caused by modern heating and air-conditioning in your home or workplace. Terrariums work.
Our second best customers are people who love plants, but who are currently busy enjoying some other aspects of their lives. They travel a lot, often for weeks at a time. They exercise daily, walk their pets, cook mainly for dinner parties and eat out quite a bit. It's because they make good money, usually in creative or high tech careers that demand a lot of their time. They often live in small studio apartments or lofts with very limited space. It's no wonder they want to enjoy beautiful plants with a small "footprint" and without the hassle of having to take care of them. I understand.
Our terrariums solve all these problems as well. Our totally sealed terrariums never need to be watered. Our apothecary jar terrariums only need to have their self-watering cycle recharged every 3 months. And, by bringing your terrarium back to our shop once in a while for a tune up, we can provide free maintenance to keep your terrarium healthy and happy for years to come (Though occasional tips for doing a great job are appreciated by my two sons). All you have to do is enjoy it.
Our next best customers are people who love to give extraordinary gifts. They like the idea that no two terrariums are ever exactly the same. The diversity of style and price is vast. And because every terrarium planting is also guaranteed, they can give any terrarium in our shop, knowing that the recipient is never going to be disappointed, not now, not ever. Our free maintenance is one gift that really does keep on giving.
Nearly all of our best customers are also people who are looking for a wonderful experience with plants. They want to know more about them and how they grow and how the terrarium effect actually works and how to design and build and maintain a true terrarium. That's why they often take our Build Your Own Terrarium Class over and over again. (It's just $60 per person the first time around, and then FREE after that as often as you like. Alumni simply pay for whatever they choose plant.)
These are also the folks who most often enjoy owning and caring for our cute little poison dart frogs. Note: Our frogs are NOT actually poisonous, though they would be if they were living out in the jungle and eating the bugs that carry the toxins. Ours are all raised in captivity on harmless fruit flies.
The neat thing is, our terrarium containers are so attractive, they allow hobbyists to bring their backroom delights out into the front room to be admired by friends and enjoyed more by their owners. Our terrariums make a very pleasant and easy way to commune with nature all the time.
So, as you can see, our terrariums really do solve all the problems, ease all the fears and take away all the pain and frustration people generally have about growing tropical plants in their homes. Our clean, pest-free, self watering, scientifically-designed and properly-planted, tightly-sealed terrariums can easily overcome all the challenges people face with live plants. And what's more, they deliver all these advantages in one very affordable purchase. So much joy for so little expense. Oh, and they also deliver these benefits for years and years to come, with just a little bit of routine maintenance, (which we also happen to provide, free of charge). Finally, you're going to succeed, and we guarantee it.
Give the "Gift That Keeps On Growing."
There is something here for everyone, from our tiniest terrarium vials to our popular desktop terrariums and right on up to our replicas of the classic Wardian Case terrarium. Just drop by and pick out the perfect gifts for every occasion. Or, buy two seats in our Plant Your Own Terrarium class and DO SOMETHING TOGETHER! Sometimes that's the best gift of all.
If you can't come in to pick the gift out yourself, just click the button below and we will send an Email Gift Card, with a note from you, to whomever you choose. It's good toward any terrarium, or terrarium class you choose. And, it's both quick and easy.
Please note: We cannot ship PLANTED terrariums at this time. Customers must come to our shop in Portland to pick up any terrariums they have ordered or reserved online.
Some of our terrariums are "Frequent Flyers." Our small and medium size terrariums travel well as a carry-on through the airlines within the contiguous United States. Be sure and ask us about what we would recommend for air travelers.
The Wardian Case: King of Terrariums
Dr. Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward discovered the terrarium effect in 1827. Soon after he invented the Waardian Case as a means of transporting delicate plants across the vast oceans. (I tell the whole story during each terrarium class.) That's why, on the highest end of our line, we design and build extraordinary custom replicas of the original Wardian Terrarium Case design. They provide healthy homes, not only for larger tropical plants, but also for our cute little poison dart frogs.
Now you can have a beautiful rain forest in your own home or workplace, and succeed in keeping even otherwise difficult plants — like miniature blooming plants, exotic tropical vines, forest-floor ferns and lush jungle mosses — alive and well.
We have standard sizes in the shop, but we can also build these fine wood and glass cases to fit your interests, your space, your style and to some degree, your budget. They aren't cheap, but you really get your money's worth with a Wardian Case.
Our Poison Dart Frogs are not really poisonous. Just really cute.
If you look closely into some of our terrariums you will see our tiny Poison Dart Frogs looking back at you through the forest mist. These exotic tropical frogs are actually harmless when they have been raised in captivity on flightless fruit flies, far away from their jungle diet of poisonous ants that would produce the toxins in their skin. They normally live for 10 to 15 years with simple care. We have quite a few and we sell them, along with their food, as a colorful addition to our larger terrariums (e.g. the luxury condominiums of frogdom).
What is the Connection With Theodore Roosevelt?
The namesake of our terrarium shop is Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, from 1900 to 1908.
The connection with our shop two-fold.
First, as a young man, Roosevelt and his younger brother Elliot turned their bedroom into a full-scale natural history museum. In the mid 1870s, that would have included. not only rocks and minerals, fossils, pressed plant specimens and taxidermy. but also live plants and small amphibians in what people at that time called a Wardian Case. These large terrarium cabinets were a ubiquitous piece of furniture in upper classes households right up to 1910, and Roosevelt, being an avid enthusiast in all things natural and scientific, would certainly have had at least one. So, the odds are very high that Roosevelt was into terrariums as a necessary part of his "museum." He was an amazing man. Here is a sample of the kinds of things he was known to say:
Roosevelt would have a lot to say about our political situation today. Here is a sample of the kind of things he had to say:
The second connection with Roosevelt and our terrarium shop is that I serve audiences large and small by speaking in character as Theodore Roosevelt. I do this routinely for schools, libraries, youth groups, scout troops and various business and education conferences. But what I really enjoy most is helping out at fund raisers for conservation, hunting and good citizenship groups that Roosevelt would want to support.
If you, or anyone your know, would like to host An Hour with Theodore Roosevelt, for educational purposes or as a fund raiser, (in either my Presidential, or my African Safari period attire), please contact me here at the shop and I will try to work your event into my schedule. My fees are very reasonable, and I would be deeeelighted to serve you in any way I can.