Posts Tagged ‘links


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 – 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!


Friday Seeds of Delight: 21 May (on a Saturday)

Well, this may be a bit late, but hey, it’s pretty! The weather on Friday was so gray, drizzly and miserable… thus the need for the beautiful autumnal colours above. Of course, this is a very rare sight in New Zealand as we don’t have a lot of deciduous trees. We do a lot of green in this country, red is reserved for Christmas. (Image link via Studio G)

Designer Natasha Vermeulen has graciously gifted this gorgeous graphic for you to print/share/post online in support of the New Zealand anti-mining protests. (More info on that here). Thanks to Endemic World for bringing the love to town. Make sure you go and buy something pretty from them.

I’m in awe… Upside down trees… I want some. This is a stunning idea, accidentally discovered by an Alaskan landscape designer. Studio G pointed this one out, they’re one of my favouritist blogs right now because Rochelle posts the most wonderful things. Go peek at her inspiration boards.

I don’t know about you, but attractive is not one of the words springing to mind when slime mold is mentioned. But, it should. Professor John Bonner certainly thought they were interesting, studying them for 70 years and noting their primitive intelligence and ability for self-sacrifice. They can even waltz.

Because it is YouTube’s fifth birthday, we might as well celebrate with another video link. A nicely-done piece of animation that the kids will probably love but might freak out a few parents. The plants have eyes! Will you ever look at your garden the same way again? And another pretty piece by the same people.

A simple yet genius solution to one of the world’s biggest problems: sanitation. Peepoo bags are hygienic, biodegradable, single-use bags that don’t require water. They are lined with urea to fast and safe degradation, can be easily distributed, collected and used as fertiliser for growing food.

And a cute little project for those colder evenings – how about building a terrarium? You can create your own little garden in in a glass jar, or maybe a bottle or even a light bulb. May be best attempted by those with a little more patience than I have.


Friday Seeds of Delight: 14 May

So it is my firm intention that every Friday I post some of the fascinating little gems of info, photos and links that have delighted me that week, discovered in the wonderful garden of knowledge that is the internet.

For those lucky enough to own a digital SLR and love getting all macro, but can’t afford the equipment, the Flickr blog introduces a reverse lens technique. Links through to gorgeous examples and a quick overview to get you started.

In the wake of Mother’s Day, Pruned reflects on the world cut-flower trade, doing an excellent summary on Kenya and it’s ‘conflict flowers’ in relation to horticultural haemorrhaging in the shadow of Eyjafjallajökull.

Speaking of unspeakable volcanoes, it will be interesting to see how food supplies, ingredients and medicinal herbs will be affected by this event. Ohhh – but watch this video and have you seen these glorious images? takes a look at the aesthetics and tastiness of the tamarillo, and provides an excellent link through to a report on nutritional composition and benefits of New Zealand tamarillos.

Veg.itecture introduces us to the Bolton eco-house in the UK (via World Architecture News), which from the air looks like a pretty little flower. Also check out the post on the Lincoln Center green wall.

And you’ve gotta see Vincent Callebaut’s dreamy, jewelled airship-cities powered by seaweed. The Belgian architect also does a lovely line of Dragonfly Vertical Farms. Makes me want to live in the future!

Main image by Flickr user Holger Hill.


O is for Oranges, Oil and Organic Chemistry

Fascinated as I am with the industrial uses of plants and how they can be used to do almost everything, I don’t write a lot about these things simply because my scientific knowledge isn’t really… And I’d hate to get it wrong. But in moments like this, I can point you to people who are way cleverer than me.

Heather is way cleverer than me. She’s an industrial chemist and blogger at Oil is for… The blog is a really informative look at what oil can actually be used for and how we can put it to better use than simply burning it.

Recently, Heather took a look at bubblewrap and how poly lactic acid (PLA) bubblewrap can be made from starchy crops such as silverbeet and corn. There’s also a bit of disturbing news for pineapple lump lovers such as myself.

What really grabbed me was Oranges are for oil. It quickly looks at some of the industrial uses of orange waste from juice production:
— vitamin A,
— paint ingredients,
— gelling agents,
— cellulose for cellophane and fuel,
— synthetic rubber,
— food oil,
— activated charcoal.

Another one for the feedreader, folks! Oil is for…
(via StarCooked)

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