Sunday, September 11, 2011

Terrariums are Back!

Terrariums are back, and in a big way!
Even if you consider yourself a 'brown thumb' gardener,
you can be successful with a terrarium.
Once planted, these enclosed gardens nearly take care of themselves.

When you think 'terrarium', you probably remember some dusty glass case
in the back of biology class, surviving despite attempts to sabotage it.
But do you know where they began?

The classic terrarium is housed in a 'Wardian" case, named for the 19th century amateur biologist Dr. Nathaniel Ward. Out on a woodland walk one day in 1830, he gathered a moth pupa and slipped it into a bottle he happened to be carrying. Once home, he forgot about it, only to come upon it months later. He found no butterfly, but instead, a seedling fern had sprouted. And thus began a Victorian "fad" that has survived over decades.

More importantly, this discovery allowed scientists and botanists to travel the world and successfully transport seedlings back home. Up until that time, travelers had only been successful with seeds. If you've ever tried to bring home a plant specimen from your vacation, you know how difficult that can be! The Wardian case allowed all sorts of plants to travel across the ocean safely, without exposure to salt water.

Today, the new terrarium is not limited to a classic Wardian case. Any watertight container with a cover will do. And depending on the type of plant you would like, you may even find a unique container with no cover...perfect for those plants that don't appreciate a closed, humid environment, such as succulents.

At Bloomers we now have terrariums, the perfect gift!

Next week: How to care for your terrarium.

Bloomers Floral Design
122 South Front St.

Wilmington, NC 28401


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