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Terrarium fascination is and has been at fever pitch with no signs of waning in the plant world.
I see it in the classes I teach at Sprout, while my floral classes dwindle with a few students, the terrarium classes are jam packed. Classes and questions constantly being added and answered.
I totally see the appeal and satisfaction one feels getting together for a plant party and creating an enclosed world of ones very own.
I especially think terrariums attract a NY'ers sensibilities, easy to maintain, (practically neglectful) small, a perfect green environment one can longingly peer into like the dollhouse a child wishes to call home.
Since I completed my decorative arts midterm today I got to thinking... 
Myself and the other pained students are not the only ones who are going to learn this stuff.
So, may I please expound a singular decorative art thought as I hope it relates nicely to terrarium fever?
It was called the Kunstkammer, setting: Netherlands, date: 17th century
This was an age of exploration and discovery particularly for the affluent Dutch. (Don't get this confused with tulip mania, that was a century later) A fascination with the natural world and widespread interest in observing the strange natural beauty through scientific instruments: 
precise renderings of flora and fauna:

and a desire to collect the exotic and unusual:

 * Nautilus Cup By: Jan Jacobsz van Royestein ca 1596

The goal of ones collection was to contain a microcosm of all that existed in the universe. The idea that God had placed man at the center of the world and had provided him with the means to achieve universal knowledge. All of this fascination lead to the study of natural magic, but by the mid-18th century scholars further classified the natural, human and spiritual wonders. Thus creating our separation of the arts and sciences. 

Back to my point...In a world of chaos isn't a terrarium a perfect way to gain control? While none of us would admit such delusions of grandeur as the 17th C. Dutch it sure is nice to have our own microcosm of a most perfect world. 

By: yours truly

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