There's a store about 45 minutes away from me called Terrain, and it's run by the same people who do Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. If you like that stuff (and I DO), and you are a gardener (and I AM), you, like me, would just faint dead away when you saw the things they have for sale at this place. It's like home-and-garden porn.
And they specialize in terrarium supplies, which I happen to be slightly obsessed with. See my post about Z's terrariums at her family home. She scoffed when she heard that I had PAID to attend an entire workshop on the topic, but that I did.
It was taught by Tovah Martin, who has written a coffee table book called "The New Terrarium." While she was talking I had the distinct feeling that both she and I were of a different world than the people who were about to spend over $100 on their terrariums, and how in the world did we get here? But it was fun, and I managed to spend relatively little on my two terrariums.
Her basic recipe includes stones (for drainage), charcoal (to purify the water), container mix soil, and plants. Pretty simple. And to be honest, I think the only things that are necessary are the soil and the plants. It's a widely spread myth that putting stones at the bottom of a container helps with drainage, it doesn't.
The stones, charcoal, and soil came with the registration fee, and they had some fun little pieces of nature to add to the container, which I did, liberally. But the plants and the "glass vessels" were extra, and it was easy to get carried away (my friend spent about $75 on her terrarium). I made one terrarium while I was there, and then prepared another one for home . . .
. . . because I had this special guy to put in it! It's a pitcher plant (Sarracenia sp.), native to our region, that I got from the EPA's flower show exhibit for free! They are kind of difficult to grow indoors, but I'm going to try.
So the verdict is that Terrain is amazing for inspiration, but not so amazing on the wallet. Not that I won't go back.