What is a Terrarium?
The closed Terrarium is a furnishing element made up of plants inside a transparent glass container.
Plants that prefer humid environments are those best suited for Terrariums. The compositions are completed by inert elements that help to personalise the miniature landscapes: pebbles, stones, sand or bark. Moss can also be used to enrich the Terrarium ecosystem, helping to generate a full, living environment.
Do you know how the Terrarium was born? To find out, we have to go back in time to the discovery of the Americas. With the opening of the new sea routes and the increase in new forms of trade, the desire to import plants from the new continent grew.
Long sea crossings were fraught with problems for these plants and few species survived the journey. We have all heard of the Mutiny on the Bounty, but not everyone knows that it was caused by the rationing of water due to the need to constantly water the plants carried on board to prevent them from dying!
It was in 1829 that Englishman Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward invented the Terrarium, quite by chance. Reports say that the Terrarium originated like this: One summer evening, Ward found a moth chrysalis. He placed inside a jar after lining the base with a layer of soil. Then he closed the jar and got ready to witness the birth of the adult moth a few days later.
What happened next completely astounded him: there was no moth inside the jar, but a formation of mould, with a Fern growing in the middle.
Ward realised that, in a sealed environment or, to be more precise, a sealed container made of glass, a plant was capable of conducting its life cycle in complete autonomy.
Wardian Cases were the first Terrarium’s in history: hermetically sealed containers in which plants were able to survive for a long time, requiring very little attention. Subsequently, exotic plants would appear frequently in Europe, kept in the forerunners of the Terrarium, invented by Ward.
The Terrarium today: the Flor Maison proposal
Flor Maison’s Terrariums embrace the heritage of the Wardian Cases and, above all, the desire that motivated Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward: to protect plants and give many people the opportunity to admire their beauty. We add a touch of territory to this recipe: we have a collection of Terrariums that pay tribute to the Langhe, the land where we live. With the selection of soils, aggregates and specific plants, we design miniature landscapes inside jars, evoking the lines, colours and suggestions of the panoramas that surround us.
A Terrarium is a distillate of nature, space and beauty: a tiny and almost entirely self-sufficient ecosystem to preserve and care for. A little miracle of nature: the only furnishing item that lives and breathes!