Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Wednesday Lagniappe: I Covet.
This is a Wardian case, filled with small orchids, miniature ferns and mosses, on display in the library at Lewis Ginter Botanical gardens in Richmond, VA. My title says it all, I covert a Wardian case! In the 19th century, botanists were unable to transport certain plants long distances, especially tropical ones that required humidity and climate control, like orchids. Or at least they were unable to ship them and have them arrive alive. Nathaniel Ward invited the Wardian case in 1829 in London. This invention marked the start of modern horticulture (with its good and bad consequences). Wardian cases became a feature of drawing rooms during this era.