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Art by Florian Bong-Kil Grosse (Bare tree in a bare park among high-rise buildings)

Last week, I saw this photo at Tête, an artist-run gallery in Berlin. It’s part of an exhibition of new work by Florian Bong-Kil Grosse and Unn Fahlstrøm, on view through Sunday. Though Florian’s work in the show is not primarily about plants — it is a series of observations about the way people live in Korean cities — in several images, the photographer’s eye for plants is clear.

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Basket of wild garlic (Bärlauch) leaves on forest floor

Since spring is so early this year in Berlin, the Bärlauch (wild garlic) is already at the height of its season here. We went foraging yesterday at the Volkspark Pankow. Some Bärlauch tips I’ve posted earlier:

What spring vegetables and fruits are coming in season where you are? What are you foraging?

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Spotted this terrifying scene in a travel agent’s window while strolling around Berlin’s Schöneberg district last week. While the oblivious agent calmly sold tickets to two customers, a violent plant was attacking one of the planes parked in the window, while various carved figurines passively looked on.

Streetscape of brick buildings, one of which has tree images in its first floor windows

Is this street empty of trees or full of them? Depends on how you count ‘em.

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Berlin: False spring

Buds of purple crocus on the muddy ground

The sight of these purple crocuses, sprouting out of the grass on my street in large numbers, made me stop in my tracks. Yes, Berlin has seen much unseasonably mild weather this winter. A friend’s strawberry plants started fruiting at New Year’s. But crocuses in February seem a bit much. Will the frost return and kill them? And will they then fail to return when the real spring arrives?

Three large planters designed to look like white takeout cartons, holding green leafy plants in an airport terminal

Why do these plants appear to be planted in takeout containers? They caught my eye during a recent trip via Copenhagen’s stylish airport. At first I thought they were bamboo, and ethnic stereotyping was at work in some weird way, but they are some other tall, grassy plant which I couldn’t identify. Any ideas?

Chicken wire surrounding tiny, leafless plant and info sign in the snow

Winter may not seem like the best time to visit a botanical garden. It’s cold, the trees look stark and leafless, and the smaller plants look, well, pathetic. But as I recently saw in Lund, Sweden, a garden in winter holds other other surprises…

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