Planting flowers in glass boxes

Thanks to the skillful hands of Hoang Anh from Hanoi, flowers are blooming in glass boxes with moss, and painted like a miniature, natural flower forest.

Hoang Anh is interested in studying flowers.  He used to study Terrariums, a miniature ecosystem that simulates the natural habitat in a glass box, and discovered that the Wardian Case was the origin of the Terrarium.

He took classes in the art of flower arranging and got information from a French friend. Since then, Hoang Anh has spent much time learning about the Wardian Case.  

He said, “The more I learn about this art, the more I love it. Plugging or planting flowers in glass cabinets is an extremely wonderful experience.”

Considering a suitable layout for a piece. Photo: Khanh Long/VNP

Depending on the demands of a customer, Hoanh Anh selects suitable style for each work. Photo: Khanh Long/VNP
Considering a suitable concept for a work. Photo: Khanh Long/VNP
Hoang Anh’s working space at No.2 Dinh Liet street, Hanoi. Photo: Khanh Long/VNP

After more than one year of studying, Hoang Anh began creating Wardian Case works. He designed the hardware such as a glass cage with wood and iron, using flowers, moss and wood materials inside to create an artwork that looks like a flower forest.

According to Hoang Anh,  each Wardian Case is like a work of art that has its own distinct feature from ordinary flower vases. If a popular flower arrangement is to intentionally arrange a certain shape, the Wardian Case creates the feeling of flowers growing in nature.

The process to create a complete Wardian Case is not simple. It takes a lot of time to design and make a glass box. Depending on the demands of a customer, Hoanh Anh selects wood or iron to make the box. Each box is designed with different shapes and sizes that matches the living space of the customer.

Flowers are also selected using a customer’s style. He uses at least eight varieties of flowers, combined with moss and leaves in a normal piece. For large-sized Wardian Cases, Hoang Anh has to use 20-50 types of flowers. 

The lifespan of a Wardian Case lasts from five to seven days, depending on many factors such as temperature, wind, and water.  

He says that the beauty of a Wardian Case is in the moment when the viewer is touched by the beauty of each flower and blade of grass. The price of each work is estimated by the spiritual value it brings to the user. 

Unique works of Wardian Case by Hoang Anh. Photo: Hoang Anh's Files 

Currently Hoang Anh has product lines including, Wardian Alfred (wooden cabinet), Wardian Offa (chalet), Wardian Egbert (metal castle), Wardian Aethelwult (premium metal castle) and Wardian Little Prince (mini castle).

As a pioneer of the Wardian Case in Vietnam, Hoang Anh has opened training classes for flower lovers, spreading this art to more people.

Story: Ngan Ha - Photos: Khanh Long & Files – Translated by Nguyen Tuoi

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