Everyday Gardeners

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Finished product of the biOrb

Country Gardens apprentice, Bailey McGrath, provides a guest post:

My adventure as an editorial apprentice for Meredith Corporation Special Interest Media began just over a month ago. With a working background in plant pathology, I am excited to continue to work with the beauty of nature, while fulfilling my true passion of writing. I have the privilege of going to school at Iowa State University full-time and coming down to Des Moines three days a week to learn from an incredible group of people.

As a new member of the gardens team, I have already learned so much about the gardening world. As a true test of my green thumb, I was given my first hands-on gardening project. I got to bring a tropical feel to my desk with the biOrbAIR terrarium.

I started by going to our local Earl May Nursery and Garden Center and searching for some tropical plants with our assistant editor, Risa Quade. There are slim pickings this time of year, but we managed to walk out with a few pretty plants, including goldfish plant, which bring orange blooms in the shape of goldfish.

I picked several plants for my mini rainforest, including goldfish plant.

When I got back to the office, it was time to put the biObAIR together. It was a pretty simple process. The kit comes with its own compost and special formulated water for the misting system. All I had to supply were plants and decorative rocks, which were easy to pick with the help of the planting guide.

The total process took me around two hours. I made quite the mess—spilling water and compost all over my cubicle—but I enjoyed every minute of it.

The directions made it a super easy step-by-step process.

After assembling the base, scooping in compost, arranging tiny tropical plants, and filling the misting reservoir, the time finally came to plug the miniature rainforest in. The LED lights kicked on, and the mist began to swirl down upon the plants. It was kind of mesmerizing. I wasn’t the only one fascinated by the rainforest-in-a-bubble. It has been quite a hit around the office.

The biObAIR goes through a 24-hour cycle, simulating a sunrise, 12 hours of daylight followed by dusk and 11 hours of night. It’s a perfect way to host a taste of summer throughout winter and allows tropical plant species to thrive. It runs at $599.99 and can be purchased via the biOrb website: http://biorb-store.com.

With little maintenance, the terrarium should bring me warmth during the freezing winter season.


I’ll admit that I’m not a big fan of wearing gloves in the garden. I know I should to protect my hands from blisters, cuts, etc., but I’ve never really gotten in the habit.

blogglove1But this year I received a couple of samples that intrigued me. The first is the West Country Landscape glove. It caught my attention because it’s partially made from recycled soda bottles and also features Kevlar, which I recognize from television as being a product that some police body armor is made from. If it can stop a bullet, I’d think it could keep me from getting blisters. And it did.

bloggloves2The second glove I’ve only just received (this photo actually shows them sitting on my desk here at BHG headquarters). It’s the Cool Mud glove. I find this one fascinating because it contains an aloe additive and is supposed to moisturize my hands as I work in it. As gross as my hands can get after spending a day planting, pruning, and various other landscape tasks, I welcome the opportunity to keep them somewhat soft and clean.

I’d love to hear from you… Do you wear gloves while gardening? If so, do you have a favorite kind? Share your comments here!

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