Terrarium competition - winner announced

9 August 2021
Terrarium competition - winner announced

This creation of a microworld achieved what it was meant to achieve. This piece would do well in competitions anywhere in the world.

Our June and July competition was all about terrariums. Terrariums are fascinating miniature gardens! Did you know that the very first terrarium was designed in 1842 by Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, a botanist. Theoretically speaking, the entire world is a closed terrarium in and of itself!

We are so grateful to Jeno Kapitany, co-owner of Paradisia and Collector’s Corner, for being the judge. Jeno first started Paradisia with his brothers, Attila and Tom, back in 1980. They continue to be leaders in the production of rare and unusual plants as well as providing a haven for collectors and hobby enthusiasts alike. Paradisia is the main supplier of terrariums and terrarium material in Victoria. Jeno also kindly donated the $100 gift voucher as the prize for the winning entry. Read on for Jeno’s insights and to find out the winning entry…

Terrariums are a fun and low maintenance way of growing plants that has gained a lot in popularity over the past few years.  Creating one can be as simple as putting a plant in a jar or as complicated as creating an entire scene in miniature or a work of art as is the case of one of the entrants I had the pleasure of judging in this year’s Terrarium competition. For this competition we had 8 entrants submitting 17 entries.  

Runner up – Aggie Kassay

First, I’d like to mention Aggie Kassay as the runner up. Her terrarium showed a good level of creativity and being a novice, she has done well to create her miniature gardens. Aggie notes that this was her first attempt at a Terrarium garden and now she’s hooked.



Aggie used an interesting selection of plants including: Fittonia (Forest Flame), Fittonia (Jungle Flame), Davallia (Rabbits Foot Fern), Syngonium (Sunshine Speckles) and Leucobryum (Moss). Well done Aggie.


The winner - Benett Setiar Hernandez 

Benett created an outstanding entry that fits all the criteria I consider important in the creation and longevity of a terrarium. 

Succulents are one of the most difficult of plants to use in terrariums due to their light requirements and issues with water management.  In this case Benett has done an exceptional job in creating what will probably be a long lasting and easily managed terrarium that is also a work of art.

Hernandez_Terrariums 2

It is obvious that a lot of time and effort went into its creation with very cleverly used props to help create the overall illusion.  The choice and positioning of plants, colours used and the props used all fit together extremely well and nothing is out of place.  The JellyFish creation is also a very clever addition to finish the composition.  Quite a few plants have been used in this terrarium and Benett has successfully given each their own growing space so they will not compete with each other for some time reducing the need for maintenance.

The addition of the lighting is also a very good move allowing the terrarium to take on a new dimension in the evening, this will also help with maintaining the plants.


The use of growing trays and fully openable front is a novel way of being able to manage the watering and drainage allowing all plants to be thoroughly watered and fully drained to avoid the issues normally occurring with succulents. 

smallHernandez_Terrariums 1

Keeping this outdoors and having an open front has allowed the use of direct sunlight to help keep the plants growing well and maintaining their shape.  A terrarium like this would not do well indoors for long periods unless ventilated and with heaps of artificial light.

Benett should be proud of her creation as it achieves all she has set out to create, this piece would do well in competitions anywhere in the world. 


Thank you for allowing us to enjoy the pictures of your terrarium masterpieces.

I’d also like to say thank you to all those who entered and shared their terrariums with me. Terrariums are a work in progress. The more you plant them, the more you learn about successful plant choices and ways to increase the lifespan of the plants you choose. So keep creating and enjoying the beauty of these incredible miniature gardens.



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