“And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain…” The gardening toolbag is now cleared out, with everything explained but these two items. And that’s where it gets weird. Er.
The first one is self-explanatory. Back in the late Nineties, the pet supply company Zoo Med offered a series of terrarium cleaning and sanitizing solutions, and the only one still produced is Wipe Out 1. That works beautifully, because that’s the only one I still need to use. This stays on hand not just for cleaning terrarium glass, but also for sanitizing terrarium tools, minimizing the risk of spreading potentially harmful bacteria or molds to new plants. One good spray usually does it, especially for wood or stone where you don’t really know where it came from, and you don’t want it spreading something potentially nasty.
And then there’s the cork. Yes, it’s a standard champagne cork. Old-time terrarium designers swear by the merits of a cork on a long stick or skewer for tamping down soil in a narrow-mouth container, and it also works very well for evening out soil in very small spaces. However, my real reason is that, by having her ask “A cork? A cork in your toolbag?”, I got the Czarina to paraphrase a public service ad from 1975 that still sticks in my head after all these years: