One of the big complaints I hear from plant owners is that it can be a challenge to remember to water their plants, and with some plants, all it takes is one missed watering and it’s gone (especially with pickier plants like orchids). We had to quit buying plants for my mother because of this – we nicknamed her the ‘serial plant killer’.

Luckily, even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can still enjoy the benefits of having indoor plants. It just takes a little more creativity up front. David Latimer, an English native, has kept the same plant alive in an enclosed ecosystem since 1972.

The spiderwort sprout Mr. Latimer used was given enough water to foster its own ecosystem, and with sunshine pouring through its glass case, it has no trouble composting and creating carbon dioxide. It’s a fascinating study of how the Earth works, and would be an excellent project for a science classroom, a family gardening experiment, or even as a gift to your favorite botanist.

If you’d like to learn more and perhaps build your own sealed bottle garden, you can get inspired by searching out and reading about David Latimer.