Posts Tagged ‘leaves


Botanical Beauties: More Etsy gifts for gardeners and plant lovers

Missed our first botanical beauty bounty? Gaze upon the goodies here!


Botanical Beauties: Etsy gifts for gardeners and plant lovers


Leaves 001: Linking out to the plant web world

Alaskan summer

Algae garden

Tamarillo & Vanilla Jam

Sunblock prints

NZ winter fungi

Thread Cakes

So this looks pretty, but does it work…

Hopefully, if you click on the images above you should be taken off to the far-flung reaches of the interweb to find moments of botanical splendour.

I’ve been playing with the code for this for ages and there’s something glitchy in the software. If the links aren’t working above, I have included them below. It would be a shame to miss out.

Alaskan Summers are real pretty.

The International Garden Festival is on and features a striking algae garden.

Lynda Hallinan’s Winter Tamarillo and Vanilla Jam looks yum.

Sunblock prints look to be quite the thing this year.

Look at New Zealand’s very pretty winter fungi, thanks to Te Papa.

Completely not plant-related but really quite phenomenal…Have you heard of ThreadCakes?


Seeds of Delight

Golan Levin and Kyle McDonald have been unwrapping flowers – taking images and stretching them out flat using panoramic software. The results are gorgeous, you can see them all on Flickr. And to celebrate such loveliness I’ve used the images as the icons below. Many delights to be found amidst the links below.

Talking Plants talks plants really well. He’s covered two of my long-held suspicions lately. Firstly,  Organic isn’t always the enviro-friendly option – sprays that are supposedly ‘natural’ aren’t always better than manmade chemicals. Everything is toxic in the right concentration. (Article on derris dust).  Secondly, we’re just sex slaves to orchids.

John Folsom makes beautiful mixed-media images and his exhibition Lure of the Low Country features intoxicating images with plenty of trees. Other pictorialised plants I’ve fallen for lately include Dan McCarthy’s screenprint and Luigi Benedicenti’s hyper-real plant products.

The beautiful people at have been busy putting together a series of cute, little how-to cards. Steal ’em, print ’em, share ’em! So far released: Kale Pesto Recipe, How To Save Tomato Seeds, How To Make A Self-watering Container. They’ve also got seed packet templates and adorable labels on the goodies page.

Canada’s University of Guelph is offering Certificates in Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Horticulture.  Each programme consists of four online core courses and one online elective. “Learn the strategies that allow your urban space… to become a destination for the growth of plant material that is both sustainable and productive.”

Confused by Biodynamics? Don’t be – a good little intro video via Pete @ Ooooby. Holistic sustainable organic agriculture and horticulture – really, should there be any other kind? Often dismissed for being a bit ‘out-there’, most of the practices are based on sound farming principles developed over 100s of years. More at Biodynamics NZ.

Press release by the International Blackcurrant Association working to make Ribes nigrum the next superfood. There are plenty of good things to say about blackcurrants and I don’t mind them being said – but I do so dislike this horrible ‘Could-do’ marketing employed by the natural health industry. I reckon I’m about a berry-width away from despising the term ‘functional food.’

Looking for more plant-related link love? Check out past editions of Seeds of delight.


Seeds of Delight

Oh to be completely enrobed in plants – lovely dreaminess a la ~WWWest at deviantArt.
That’s how I would love to be right now – focusing on all my plant projects. But I’ve been a little bit lost lately in the detritus of living. Working, commuting and dishes are tolls that need to be paid before I can get lost in my world of plantage. There’s just so much to do that it’s all become a bit overwhelming, where not a lot of anything has been getting done.  I have a mass of half-finished posts and so many other things to tell you about. And luckily enough I might just get the chance I need to finish up a lot of loose ends given it’s another wet and windy weekend.

A coupla weeks ago I attended the geekstravaganza that is Webstock – not a lot of plants round there. Found a brilliant series that amused me no end and hopefully proving I’m not a complete geek, backing plants to win the HowPlantsWork showdown – Which Is More Intelligent? An iPhone or a Plant?

It’s a garden in a book! What a great idea! I shall now be scouring book fairs trying to find appropriate titles for gifts. Maybe an apple seedling in Snow White, lettuce in Watership Down, a truffula tree in Dr Seuss, thale cress in botany textbooks, cactus in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas…

I just can’t leaf these alone – I want I want I want. They’re cute and child-like – just like me. Leaf ties by Lufdesign and leaf sticky notes just make me smile and want to play. There’ll be leaf litter all over the house. But they have practical purposes too and they’re just so gosh darn beautifully designed.

For those with a lot of time and/or a lot of watermelons on their hands, here’s an impressive little video on watermelon carving. Maybe something to try over a long hot summer holiday. Other examples of what can be done skillfully with a watermelon, knife and whole lotta patience here, here and more video here.

Ahh, the super cute Madame Fancy Pants. While their move to Cuba St means I rarely get there, their blog has been full of lovely botanically-inspired items of late: these Rachel Carley plates will be perfect for afternoon teas in the garden; a handy ring reminder to eat my apple a day; pretty butterflies – perfect methinks for a sister’s birthday.

When I finally get around to building my secret lair, from which I shall hatch devious plots and grow amazing tomatoes, it shall have a green tunnel – just like this one. I’m thinking Frank Gehry should design the rest of it in copper and bronze. While I realise I may at that point have difficulty keeping it a secret lair, wouldn’t it be freakin’ fabulous?

Got time for more plant-related link love? Check out past editions of Seeds of delight.


Seeds of Delight – Arbor Day Edition

June 5 is Arbor Day. Thousands of trees will be planted worldwide. People will revel in a feel-good moment. And most of those trees won’t make it to maturity because one day simply isn’t enough to ‘appreciate’ trees. We can’t just plant them and forget about them – they need to be cared for, weeded and nurtured.

Arbor Day feels completely wrong to me – like a memorial day for trees. We rely on them every day of our lives for food, air and shelter and in return, we give them one day to tokenisticly stick one in the ground. It should be Arbor Day every day!

Anyway, don’t let my curmudgeonly rant stop you from enjoying this veritable forest of tree-related links. Main image by Godfrey Stephens at Lloyd’s Blog – I want a tree like that!

The aesthetic values of trees alone make them an incredibly valuable asset. Let’s get warmed up with 50 beautiful tree photos. There’s a nice countdown of the 10 most magnificent trees in the world. Or those with melancholic tree leanings can check out the beautiful Lonely Tree blog. Enter the matrix in the Duplicative Forest.

A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year. They help cleanse the air by intercepting airborne particles, reducing heat and absorbing air pollutants. A healthy acre of trees can store 2.6 tons of carbon a year. If the tree falls – we all fall.

Interesting tree facts: 270000 trees are used each day for toilet paper alone. 90% of a tree’s nutrition comes from the atmosphere and only 10% from the soil. The world’s oldest living tree lives in Sweden and is 9500 years old. Trees don’t die of old age – insects, vandalism, weather

TED conferences turn academics and researchers into global sensations, given a voice to change the world – brought to your computer screen. Nalini Nadkarni spoke about saving the forest canopy, prisoners growing moss and ‘Treetop Barbies’. Richard Preston talked about the enormous trees of the US Pacific Northwest.

New Zealand has over 600 native trees and shrubs. And they’re amazing: the Christmas pohutukawa; the gorgeous kākā beak; the sunshine flowers of the kōwhai; the healing mānuka; the mighty tōtara; resplendent kahikatea; our ancient kauri; and our beloved silver fern.

One of trees greatest gifts to mankind has been housing. But it’s tree houses that truly get me excited. And there are amazing examples all over the place. On your next holiday – consider treehouse accommodation. Three of my favourites: the Minister’s rambling tree house, the tree castle at Alnwick Gardens and the Yellow Treehouse Restaurant.


Seeds of Delight: 28 May

It feels like it’s been raining here forever. Well, a week feels like forever when you’re couped up inside. And what happens when I’m couped up inside? I spend far too much time trawling the fertile fields of the internet looking for a little nutrition and a whole lotta pretty. Our beautiful main image of kale comes courtesy of Debbie G.

In a staggering feat of organisation, some 150,000 plants were ‘installed’ on Paris’ Champs-Elysees in one night, creating 1.2 kilometres of urban farm. Young French farmers wanted to impress on the public and government, the efforts required to produce what goes on the table. See the slideshow, watch the video – be dazzled by the brilliance!

I have been known to rabbit on about how plants can save the world. Well, there’s a very good post on plants purifying water at Talking Plants. Read the study on using prickly pear cactus Opuntia ficus-indica to purify water by removing sediment and bacteria here. Read botanical information about prickly pear & info on the other values of the plant here.

There’s a food fight gearing up over at Seed Magazine – what’s looking like an intense debate on the future of food, sustainable agriculture and organic and industrialised models. Political scientist Robert Paarlberg goes head-to-head with ecologist Dr. Michael Jahi Chappell. Introductions and Round 1.

Emily Harris is working to bring rooftop food gardens to Auckland city. Steinlager is doing a promotion and giving way $100,000 in funding to someone’s ‘grand vision’. I think Emily deserves the bulk of it. Watch her video here and join the Facebook page for Urban Pantry. Now sign up and give this woman some love!

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