Some of the most wonderful discoveries came bay way of happy mishaps. That is the case with the Wardian Case.
In the 1800’s London physician Nathaniel B. Ward pursued a passion for collecting insects and plants. One such plant was the fern. These ferns were susceptible to the harsh conditions of the polluted air in London due to industrialization.
On one excursion, it is recorded that Nathaniel Ward collected the chrysalis of a moth and placed it along with soil, fern spores and grass in a sealed glass.
Six months later, Nathaniel Ward discovered that the fern and the grass had thrived growing within this enclosed container.
Intrigued, Nathaniel experimented with sealed and glazed containers and ultimately designed several with specific instruction as to material – such as wood that would resist mold and decay as well as metals that would not rust.
This discovery transformed the transportation of exotic plant materials by ship all over the world. Whereas plants would suffer and perish under harsh sea conditions – under glass and over time using Wardian cases – plant material would thrive and survive their journey.
Today, we can be thankful for the Wardian case in bringing to us the wide variety of indoor plants we enjoy as well as bringing exotic plants historic garden.
|Planting a Wardian Case by Martha Stewart|
Wardian cases became the rage in the Victorian era where homeowners were now able to grow their beloved ferns as well as develop an adoration for growing orchids. Many styles were typified by their fancy ornamentation.
The precursor to terrariums and landscaping in miniature, Wardian cases are a boon to gardeners ,who during the winter months, yearn to watch the beauty of the growth and blossom of their plants – to bring indoors and to prolong their gardening experience.
Along with teatime – caring for one’s indoor plants – reading is a marvelous winter pastime. I am thrilled to share that I have been asked to review the book, Agony of the Leaves by Laura Childs.
A fan of mysteries, I was intrigued by the combination of tea, tea houses, recipes and the South referenced in these books. Laura has written a series of Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries and Cackleberry Club Mysteries.
I am using my beautiful botanical Kent Pottery teapot
and my Lenox Rose teacup.
My book arrived today, so with a lovely cup of Tazo Refresh tea, a warm cozy chair and blanket – I plan an enjoyable afternoon loosing myself in this book. I will share with you very soon more about Laura, her books and my review of Agony of the Leaves.