This is from a book I read called Tuinieren Door de Jaren Heen (I can’t find the English title for this! ) by A. Huxley and M. Michael.
In England between 1695 and 1699 there was a tax on glass objects. In 1746 it was re-instated, but at that time mostly for glass plates and windows. In 1810 the tax on windows was raised, and in 1812 the tax for all glass objects was raised so much that production began to slow down. Then the tax was slowly lowered again, until the entire tax ended in 1845. because of the rarity of large parts of glass and the high price of it, it was really in demand with the upper classes, who showed off their riches by building enormous glass greenhouses and winter gardens, which were greenhouses that looked like gardens and would protect plants and flowers from cold weather, so you could enjoy them even in winter.
Undoubtedly, the removal of the glass tax had something to do with the building of the Crystal Palace in 1851, which was at the time the largest glass construction ever build.
Dahlia’s were a very popular flower in the nineteenth century:, from 1813 on it was the most important flower for distributors, in 1830 there were 1500 varieties. Of course this fragile flower had to be preserved carefully, so protective cases were invented to protect the flowers from rain. Often these were very luxurious and decorated cases which could be placed over the flower.
Many other flowers got cases as well, or were protected by glass cases. The Victorians liked showy, fragile flowers like Dahlia’s and Lillies, flowers that required a lot of care and money to display to the best of their ability.
Here are a bunch of pictures from the book! Victorian lawnmowing:
A greenhouse or large case build against the window, which was very fashionable
A Wardian case, in which ferns were grown, and which was kept for decoration.