Interior landscaping has become increasingly popular in homes, corporate spaces and mixed-use settings for quite literally ‘breathing life’ into them. We turn to terrariums for their low maintenance advantages, beautiful aesthetic and of course, their practicality.
For all those with a penchant for all things flora, there’s a man on a mission in Cape Town and we turn to him for all the answers on all things green and glass.
Denny Mo, a designer of many disciplines, is a hard man to sum up in just a few words. Part extrovert, super creative, and a meticulous businessman, he still finds time to painstakingly create living works of art, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
Born in Hong Kong, and perhaps growing up in this metropolis of skyscrapers and little green space, meant that Denny’s green fingers were itching from an early age. “It was through one of my home experiments that I discovered the art of terrariums, which was a flourishing pastime in the 18th century”.
What initially just began as a hobby a few years ago, has blossomed into a bespoke brand, Angles and Earth, and online store, in his now-home, South Africa.
Being self-professed obsessed with nature, Denny set out with the goal to revolutionise the art of glass and create glass structures that were suitable to “house” landscapes.
His Earth & Angles terrariums are authentically organic, with every piece of glass cut and soldered together by hand. His team carefully plant each hand-picked plant, with the studio based in Khayelitsha, as part of Denny’s vision to empower and uplift local talent.
When asked what makes them different as a brand, Denny is quick to answer, “Handmade right here in South Africa” – it’s also the opening line on their website and sums up his philosophy.
“No machine can plant terrariums as well as a human can, or cut glass like our glassmaker can.”
These terrariums are also earth-friendly and every material used to make them as well as all the other homeware items that form part of the range, are made from natural forming elements, like glass and lead, that can decompose and return to the earth.
These low-maintenance, space-saving wonders can create micro environments to zhoosh up any aesthetic – be it office, hotel or home. Serving as a reminder to breathe a little deeper every time you walk past.
On the topic of hotels, this is something that Denny has found to be a big part of his ever-evolving business. Now with the Protea and Radisson groups behind him, as well as Delaire Graff, the selling of terrariums is combined with his new service which doubles up as a monthly hospitality contract to also come and maintain them.
Generally, these terrariums can last up to six months, depending on the landscape you choose and a lot of hotels and groups have cottoned onto this; what with their lower cost, “green” attributes and with less wastage associated with other bouquets that die after a few days and need constant replenishing.
Newsworthy additions to this industrial engineer’s ever-long “creations list” are the recently launched propagation kits and he now even boasts a new first in a self-watering/ self-feeding, entirely automated terrarium.
This automated version is also no longer dependent on its placement in relation to the sun, thanks to a series of electronics installed on the top of the terrarium. Ideal for the likes of people like me, who would need an app to remind them when last you’d watered and to save you the stress of panicked phone calls to friends and relatives during your next escape.
Denny Mo truly is the ultimate creative who effortlessly breathes a little sprig of beauty and magic into any space. Support his pursuits to find ways to be more green in your everyday life while also investing in the most beautiful, handcrafted form of living art.