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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 well as design professionals, and it’s […]

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Posted by on December 22, 2010 at 4:51 am   This post has 3 responses.

Paula Hayes’ astonishingly beautiful terrariums

 “It’s only very partially an object. It’s mostly a verb.” That’s how Paula Hayes defines a terrarium, as you’ll see and hear in the video above. Hayes is known for a variety of botanical art endeavors, including landscapes and living sculptures that can take the form of necklaces, planters,...

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Posted by on December 5, 2010 at 5:00 am   This post has 3 responses.

Our Clever Readers and the Gifty Things They Make.

As promised, here's a round-up of some of the very cool things you people make and sell and would like to share right now, during the holiday shopping frenzy.  You are all so clever and creative that we just can't stand it.  While self-promotion can be a little weird,...

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Posted by on December 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm   This post has 16 responses.

Calling All CraftyPersons

So there's been a discussion on Facebook with a certain artistic garden writer about how she really must make her beautiful artwork available for sale as holiday cards. She's promised us that she will, and that got me thinking:  Who else makes cool stuff that holiday shoppers might want...

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Posted by on November 17, 2010 at 9:21 am   This post has 24 responses.

Getting Serious About Photography at the San Francisco Botanical Garden

Everybody's got a fancy camera.  But we still take shitty pictures of the garden. I'm not talking about those beguiling close-ups of the dew on a rose that we can all grab with our macro lenses.  And I'm not talking about decent, straightforward, representational photos of beautiful places. I'm...

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Posted by on September 15, 2010 at 5:01 am   This post has 15 responses.

Couldn’t resist

Oh, I suppose it is possible to go too far with this stuff. Though an element of awe creeps in when the idea is taken to its limits. Our guest ranter inspired me to once again post my very favorite gnome image (above, from the Motherland—Dunster, GB), as well...

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Posted by on September 9, 2010 at 7:36 pm   This post has 18 responses.

A gardener’s art project

Browsing the LATimes yesterday, I found Deborah Netburn’s article on Botanical Serigraphs: The Gene Bauer Collection. Gene Bauer is a California gardener and naturalist who planted almost a million daffodil bulbs behind her property and was the native flora chairwoman of California Garden Clubs, Inc. during the 70s. As chair, her...

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Posted by on February 23, 2010 at 4:59 am   This post has 10 responses.

How to pet your toad

Via a site you are all probably familiar with, Icanhazcheezburger. I have always longed for a toad and maybe a couple of newts for my pond area, but they don't seem to hang out here naturally, and if I bought them from the pet store, then I would have...

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Posted by on January 26, 2010 at 5:26 am   This post has 12 responses.

A Cover Is Born

I love this behind-the-scenes post about the process of choosing a cover for Debra Lee Baldwin's new book. Check it out at Gardening Gone Wild, and while you're there, have a look at Saxon Holt's beautiful images of bare branches against a winter sky.

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Posted by on January 20, 2010 at 6:11 am   This post has one response.

The Best Cover of 2009?

Wow.  Wicked Plants is up for Amazon.com's Best Cover of the Year.  After an initial round of voting, it's made its way into the top ten.  If you've got a minute, I'd appreciate your vote–and tell your friends! Go here to vote.

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Posted by on December 9, 2009 at 8:02 am   This post has 7 responses.
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