IMG_9668

Murals without vandalism. How do they do that?

Wandering around Pittsburgh I came upon this fabulous mural depicting cherry blossoms in bloom and a charming collection of old homes.  It was off the beaten track, enlivening not a park but the parking lot for a neighborhood restaurant. How does something so wonderful get done, anyway?  By an organization called the Sprout Fund, with […]

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?
Posted by on September 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm   This post has 19 responses.

The Parklet Craze

This year’s international Park(ing) Day falls on September 19, a mere two weeks from now. On that day, individuals, groups, and businesses in cities around the world will commandeer on-street parking spaces and convert them to temporary parklets. These people-friendly spaces might include plants, seating, bike parking, games, exercise...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on September 3, 2014 at 3:08 am   This post has 3 responses.

Ruin Garden at Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory – a Must-See?

From my recent stay in Pittsburgh I’ve shown you Randyland, which writer/adventurers Susan Reimer,  Ginny Smith,   Carrie Engel and I stumbled upon while playing hooky from hotel conference rooms. We were on our way to another destination,  installation-art gallery the Mattress Factory, which had been called a “must-see” by keynote speaker...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?
Posted by on September 2, 2014 at 3:03 pm   This post has 7 responses.

Garden as Process

Is a particular plant a weed? Is a garden a work of art? And who gets to decide? If you’ve read our recent rantings, you’ve likely noticed these questions do not have simple answers. The answers vary, depending on the gardener. Many gardeners (like me) learn their land slowly....

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?, Everybody's a Critic, Real Gardens
Posted by on July 2, 2014 at 3:09 am   This post has 21 responses.

Hot Debate Coming Up: Do Gardens Qualify as Art?

The Royal Hort Society is holding a debate I’d love to hear.  The topic is: “Are Gardens Art?” and get a load of the line-up of debaters — a critic, a designer, a plantsperson and a philosopher: Andrew Wilson (Chair of the debate panel) – Award winning Garden Designer,...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?
Posted by on June 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm   This post has 25 responses.

Chagall in the National Gallery Sculpture Garden

For decades,Washingtonians have known about a Marc Chagall mosaic in the back garden of a private residence in Georgetown and have strained to see mere glimpses of it from over the garden wall. Homeowner Evelyn Nef and her husband had been great friends with the Chagalls, who spent summers...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?
Posted by on May 23, 2014 at 8:21 am   This post has 3 responses.

A master of botanical accuracy

Just in time for local wildflower season (finally), the Burchfield Penney Art Museum is mounting a show of Charles Burchfield’s early botanical drawings. Along with them, they have the models made by another artist, Paul Marchand, who specialized in dioramas and other 3D displays for the local science museum’s...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on May 6, 2014 at 7:07 am   This post has 2 responses.

What Does YOUR Tree Say About YOU?

We are what we eat, right? What we wear says a lot about us, doesn’t it? Basically, everything we put out into the world says something about who we are, and people are reading those cues all of the time. So during this holiday season, I did a thing...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?, CRRRITIC
Posted by on December 27, 2013 at 5:23 pm   This post has 24 responses.

Wildflowers in December

A lot of us gardening addicts think we live in our own little particularized universe, isolated by our allegiance to perennials, seeds, bulbs, vines, compost, mulch, pruners, trowels, and topsoil. Nobody we know cares about gardening as much as we do. I know I feel that way. That’s why,...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?
Posted by on December 2, 2013 at 9:05 am   This post has 3 responses.

The Pentagon’s Memorial Landscape

I recently ventured to Virginia to a place I’d never been before – the Pentagon Memorial to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack.  Its design by two young architects had been selected in a heated international competition by a group that included family members of the victims, as...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?
Posted by on November 29, 2013 at 11:01 am   This post has 9 responses.

Look at My Big Rock

Not the kind that goes on your finger. We’re talking boulders here, folks. Specifically, one large boulder in the middle of a lawn. What’s up with that? What statement is it making? Is it being displayed as a natural sculpture? Is it being used to add a little textural...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?, CRRRITIC
Posted by on November 20, 2013 at 2:31 am   This post has 25 responses.

Imitation of life

This is the time when the newly emerged hostas look their freshest (“June Frost,” below)—no slug damage, leaves torn by the sprinkler, or other signs of wear yet. It’s also the weekend of our annual art festival, which brings “sunshine artists” from far and wide into my neighborhood. You’d...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?
Posted by on June 10, 2013 at 7:46 am   This post has 5 responses.

Drunken Botanist: The Video

Thanks once again to my Hollywood brother for this one, who actually managed to cast an actor to do most of the heavy lifting.

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Books, But is it Art?
Posted by on December 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm   This post has 6 responses.

Frida & Diego

At first I wasn’t sure that showing the paintings of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera together, along with all the biographical drama that comes with that, was such a great idea. I’m somewhat of a purist when it comes to looking at art—I want to be able to assess...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?
Posted by on November 5, 2012 at 9:39 am   This post has 4 responses.

Wicked Plants: The Exhibit

Walking through an exhibit made to look like an old house filled with the characters and stories and artifacts from a book I wrote…that is a weird experience. And I realize that it sounds like shameless self-promotion to talk about it, but–it must be talked about. It’s happening at...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?
Posted by on May 30, 2012 at 4:25 am   This post has 15 responses.

Weird Wonderfulness from Hendrick’s Gin

As long as we're talking about booze today, here's a strange and marvelous thing:  the people at Hendrick's Gin are injecting their usual madcap absurdity into London Cocktail Week, an event it pains me greatly to miss.  Anyway, they've created an Umbrella Emporium to pay tribute to the cocktail...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?, Garden Rant Cocktail Hour
Posted by on October 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm   This post has 6 responses.

Chicken Paintings!

Now that the book tour madness has settled down a bit, I'm hoping I'll get to pick up my paintbrush more often.   I always paint small–it's all I have time for–and the most expedient way to move them out of my attic and on to someone ele's wall seems...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?
Posted by on July 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm   This post has 6 responses.

Gourmet Restaurant for Plants

How cool and interesting and weird is this? Here's what I know about it: The Crocker Art Museum will open the world’s first photosynthetic restaurant this spring. Conceptual artist Jonathon Keats has developed a gourmet cuisine for flora by filtering and mixing different wavelengths of sunlight. Keats’ installation will...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?
Posted by on June 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm   This post has 10 responses.

Would You Kick This Out of Your Greenhouse?

Sculpture by Tess Dalhgren PHOTO BY DEREK LACTAOEN That's what happened at Humboldt State University, home to the largest undergraduate botany program in the country.  The sculpture was placed in the greenhouse as part of a campus-wide sculpture walk designed to display student art at 60 different locations around...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?
Posted by on May 11, 2011 at 5:21 am   This post has 29 responses.

One Last Fabulous Gift Idea

I've been a fan of Andie Thram's beautiful and mysterious paintings of forests for years.  She goes out into the forest to paint (and leads groups of students on outdoor art excursions a few times a year), and her work is dark and exquisite and magical and whimsical all...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?
Posted by on December 22, 2010 at 4:51 am   This post has 3 responses.
  • Follow Garden Rant

    Follow Me on Pinterest RSS