Planting a ‘forest’ of flowers in a glass box


HanoiInstead of plugging into the vase, the flowers are stretched, blooming in the glass cabinet with moss, imitation paint… like a miniature flower forest.

Tran Hoang Anh, 35 years old, lives in Thanh Xuan district, started playing Wardian Case (flowers in glass boxes) more than a year ago. He used to learn about the Terrarium hobby – a miniature ecosystem that simulates the natural habitat in a glass jar, and discovered that the Wardian Case is the origin of the Terrarium.

Tran Hoang Anh, opened a flower shop in Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi. He is the first and only person in Vietnam who is currently pursuing the art of Wardian Case.

The modern-style terrarium was invented in 1827 by Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, an English physician with a passion for botany. In the 19th century, this hobby was only available to the English nobility.

“The deeper I explore, the more fascinated I become with this art form. Planting or planting flowers in glass cabinets is an extremely attractive experience,” Hoang Anh shared. In Vietnam, he was the first to pursue and implement this idea.

Hoang Anh spent the whole year 2021 researching and creating Wardian Case works from hardware (glass cage with wood, iron) to using flowers, combining moss and wood materials inside to exude quality. fairy” as desired.

Each Wardian Case is like a work of art that has its own distinct character from ordinary flower vases. If the popular flower arrangement is to intentionally arrange a certain shape, the Wardian Case creates the feeling of flowers growing in nature. That is also the garden style that Hoang Anh pursues and shows in all products.

For large-sized Wardian Case works, Hoang Anh has to use 20-50 types of flowers on the same product.

For large-sized Wardian Case works, Hoang Anh has to use 20-50 types of flowers on the same product.

The process to create a complete Wardian Case involves three steps. The first step is the hardware. The first version is usually made from metal, then depending on the preferences of the customer, the material is changed to wood or high-grade crafted metal…

The next stage, depending on the player’s choice to choose the type of flower as well as the color of the flower arranged inside. Flowers are plugged into specialized foam to stay fresh for 4-5 days. Next is to decorate with more lights to complete the product.

In addition to using imported flowers, Hoang Anh also has versions using Vietnamese flowers, suitable for playing during the traditional Tet holiday such as dahlia, violet, white chrysanthemum…

For each work, he usually uses at least eight types of flowers, leaves, moss for the smallest sample. For large samples, 20 or even 50 types of flowers must be used. Including the frame, it took him 10 days on average to complete.

Currently with Wardian, Hoang Anh has the following product lines: Wardian Alfred (wooden cabinet); Wardian Offa (chalet); Wardian Egbert (metal castle); Wardian Aethelwult (premium metal castle); Wardian Little Prince (mini castle).

The lifespan of a Wardian Case depends on many factors such as temperature, wind, and water intake. “There are flowers that will wilt after two to three days, even a day,” Hoang Anh shared. However, according to him, the beauty of flowers does not lie in how long the flowers last, but in the moment when the viewer is touched by the beauty of each flower and blade of grass.

Hoang Anh said, Wardian Case is about creativity and florists are also inclined to feel artistic, so each product is priced by the value it brings to the florist. The price accordingly ranges from a few million to several tens of millions of dong, depending on the version.

Hoang Anh has never called Wardian Case buyers as customers, but considers them as friends who love flowers together. “Thanks to them, I am not only a florist but also an art creator, living with my passion,” he said.

Hai Hien
Photo: Character provided

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