Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex

Wardian Cases and Traveller’s Palms

Last week set a new record for restlessness… Thanks to all who came for the walk around the Long Man from Wilmington on Saturday afternoon and to Adrian Phillips who took the time to come for a walk for an article in West Sussex on Saturday morning.

The week leading up to this was spent exploring Cornwall with Zoe from the BBC. We found many familiar friends in the techniques we uncovered in Cornwall, but also a handful of totally new ones too. Our rarest discovery was at the private Tregothnan Estate and not strictly anything to do with natural navigation at all.

Tregothnan is home to what is believed to be the world’s only original Wardian case. These cases were designed by Dr. Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward around 1829 to allow plants that were being transported at sea, from Imperial posts in places like Australia, India and China, to benefit from the sun on the decks of the ship, without their perishing from the salt water.

We sat around the case in this photo, whilst enjoying a cup of Tregothnan tea with the Estate manager, before exploring the truly extraordinary gardens in search of the elusive Traveller’s Palm – Ravenala madagascariensis… Famed for its propensity for aligning West-East!