The Evolution Of The Garden Cloche

One of the most beautiful accessories to my indoor garden is my collection of cloches and glass domes.  I house my most delicate humidity loving ferns under these beautifully curved transparent works of art, perhaps in much the same way the Victorians may have done during that era.  Cloches have a magical way of tending to make any ordinarily mundane item housed underneath, surprising stupendous.

The ancient cloche is borne of the Italians, but is most closely associated as traditionally derived from the French.  The cloche is easily recognizable as a solid curved piece of glass having a knob on top.  The form closely resembles a bell.  Coincidentally, the word cloche is roughly translated from French to mean bell.  In fact, the English appropriated this beautiful artifact in their Medieval gardens, and began referring to the cloche as the bell jar.
The Victorians used cloches, and Wardian cases as well, to display a wide variety of ferns indoors.  Ferns were, and are today, ideally suited to be housed under a cloche, but other plants are equally suited to the controlled microenvironment these beautiful glass beauties provide.  A few plants to consider for the cloche are begonias, tillandsias, and african violets to name a few.
The timeless elegance of this simple form still resonates as a thing of beauty today.  The cloche has taken on many shapes and sizes, but in all embodiments, the cloche has a way of turning the ordinary into something extraordinary.  Surely I’m not the only one intrigued by this stunningly simple form?

One Comment to “The Evolution Of The Garden Cloche”

  1. Your cloche is beautiful. I’ve never kept plants indoors but this is something new for me to collect. Thanks for posting!

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