Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Makeshift Wardian Case

My mind is never idle, not even in sleep I'm a dreamer. This is not always a good thing. When I shop I look for gardening items  that are inexpensive and resemble displays that inspire me from flowers shows, nurseries or in magazines. With the approach of fall and the end of vacation, I am now rushing to preparing my plants for winter and using some of the purchase made but never used. I love wardian cases but they are so...expensive. I bought my version of one from Ross. Have you ever shopped at Ross? I don't go there for discount designer clothing but for the home section. They have unique gardening products that would be so much higher in a nursery.

It's important to get what ever item you want that day because it won't be there when you go back. I decided to put 3 orchids inside. I have another large one but it's too big. I repotted it because the roots were growing out of the bottom of the container. Lets see how they do in a closed humid environment. Since it wasn't actually a conservatory which is entirely closed I improvised and covered the top with cut taped down plastic. It'll be interesting to watch and see if I have better success with them. 

In my initial post I titled it makeshift conservatory, sorry. My makeshift container is more like a wood Wardian case. Wardian cases are named after 19th century physician and botanist Nathaniel Ward. It's a enclosed glass case that he found improved the survival rate of tropical plants while being transported from their native lands to Europe (Better Home and Gardens Orchid Gardening, 2011). It's an earlier version of the terrarium. 

For a liner I used the top of a seed starting tray. A perfect fit. A gem I recently learned this past year and something I try to put into practice every day is to shop in your house and see what you can use before buying anything. Some things can be multipurpose.  I found pebbles, the liner, and some accessories from the flower show last March that were just sitting. No new purchases needed! Pebbles added and water just enough to cover the bottom to create a humid environment for the orchids.
Sat on plant stand also purchased from Ross a long time ago.

The grates in the top was covered in stiff plastic to create a closed environment.

Just enough room. Maybe room for one more small one.
I think it came out real good. I'd like some moss, maybe later. I have some in the house but I really would have to pull out more than I want to have to put away to get to it. So for now, I like it. Why did I wait so long to do one?

My next small project. I've had this for a while also. Big enough for one small humidity loving plant. I'll buy 1 small plant for this.

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