Ward was a physician by trade, but his passion was for plants. He usually
spent his mornings gardening or studying plants before visiting patients. His
personal herbarium numbered 25,000 different specimens.
Dr. Ward built
in his backyard a wall made of rock and covered it with ferns and mosses from
the neighborhood London woods. He was disappointed to find that after a short
while the plants were dying. He discoverd that it was the pollution from the
nearby factories causing him to lose his beloved plants.
Then quite by
accident, he discovered what was originally called the fern case (wardian case)
and is now so well known as the terrarium. While studying a moth cocoon in a
covered jar, he noticed that a small fern had begun to grow in the bottom.
Unlike his other ferns, this one was very healthy. Thus the wardian case was
discovery, horticulturists used wardian cases to bring exotic tropical plants
from faraway lands. The casees protected the plants from the harsh salt air and
changing climatic conditions during the sea voyage. In addition, many people
used them to show off their collectibles. Wardian Cases were a perfect accent to
any parlor and still are today. H.POTTER'S wardian cases can be used today to
protect plants from the dry heat and air conditioning in a home. In addition,
plants that are normally hard to care for require less attention and watering.