• The Plant Den

Submerged Plants; a 2021 plant trend with 16th century origins.

We love it when we're given the opportunity to contemplate plants in an entirely new way, and plant experts and innovators Lee and Jeong, founders of Slow Pharmacy in Seoul have allowed us to do just that with their stunning range of submerged plants.

Each plant cutting is carefully selected, dried and immersed in oil within a magnifying glass vial; a perfectly preserved and uniquely beautiful botanical specimen.

But what might be surprising is that this preservation isn't so much a pioneering technique as a repurposed art; that of the Herbarium.

A Herbarium (plural: Herbaria) is the name given for a collection of preserved plant specimens. These may be dried and mounted onto paper, or immersed in preserving liquid in glass vials.

The earliest Herbaria were created in Italy during the Renaissance by Luca Ghini. (Who was also responsible for founding the first botanical garden in Pisa in 1543) Many Herbaria were established during the so-called Age of Exploration, when sea-faring European nations explored regions across the globe, and naturalists embarking upon government funded expeditions to catalogue the natural world, amassed vast botanical collections. These expeditions continued throughout the 18th and early 19th century, and since it was nearly impossible to keep plants alive during the long return sea journey, seeds and portions of dried specimens were selected for the voyage.

The efforts to collect, conserve and classify these specimens for the purposes of taxonomy and medicine also became a rich man's way of displaying wealth. However by the mid 19th century, Botany was a popular pastime among all classes, with individuals meeting during their free time to discuss plants and to trade specimens.

We love that Slow Pharmacy and their methods for perfectly preserving nature link us back to the efforts of those early Botanists.

And we look forward to curating our very own botanical collection!