I stumbled upon this Wall Street Journal article about people coming back to their workplace after a year and a half of abandonment. There are some funny discoveries, including an unpruned aloe plant that resembles something from Little Shop of Horrors. I have often thought about how these spaces have been frozen in time, yet have also changed due to the uncanny combination of abandonment, neglect and lack of maintenance. For those of you who have gone back to your work place, what kind of things have you unearthed?

The book "Boys with Plants." Cover photo shows a smiling man surrounded by houseplants.

Ran across the book version of the Instagram account @boyswithplants last week (both projects by Scott Cain of Perth, Australia), in the very lovely queer bookstore Prinz Eisenherz in Berlin-Schöneberg. Recommended for anyone who likes cute plants and cute boys. Here’s the book website. Enjoy!

One Field, One T-shirt

Takahiro Hasegawa

One Field, One T-shirt is a project by Takahiro Hasegawa, an experimental designer and member of the Practice Held in Common program (formerly known as Fashion Held in Common) in the Netherlands. For this project, he planted a field of flax in order to produce one t-shirt. Due to COVID-19, the project is on hiatus. Documentation of his process can be viewed in a video here and an interview was recently published on Instagram.

Hello Readers,

It’s been a while since there has been a post. Hope all of you are keeping safe and healthy. Leslie sent me this wonderful article about Barcelona Opera’s reopening. Hope this will bring some joy and delight to your day.

Emilio Morenatti/AP

Tim Knowles’ Tree Drawings

Tim Knowles’ Tree Drawings employ the talents of nature.

Tim Knowles “Tree Drawing – Acer Olivaceum #1,” 2011 from bitforms gallery.


A tree floats in Brooklyn

Last fall, I stumbled upon this tree, which looks like it’s hovering above the sidewalk at first glance. Does anyone know what kind of tree it is?



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Closer view for identification purposes

Red Hook’s creeper

As a California native, I grew up with an abundance of parks, hiking trails and large areas of nature within a short walking distance. That is why I was surprised that the artificial foliage and plants of New York have been catching my attention. The city’s greenery cannot compare with California’s vegetation, but I am interested in how urban dwellers find comfort and privacy in a bustling city where space is limited and its supply is competitive.

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Yayoi Kusama’s artwork is joyous, full of polka dots and mirrored rooms. But I didn’t know she had anything to do with urban plants until writer Celeste Ng tweeted about seeing “these trees, dolled up in their polka-dot finest in honor of a Yayoi Kusama exhibit” at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Grove of trees with their trunks wrapped in red material with white polka dots. Part of a Yayoi Kusama exhibit in Cleveland. Photo courtesy of Celeste Ng.Tree with its trunk wrapped in red material with white polka dots. Part of a Yayoi Kusama exhibit in Cleveland. Photo courtesy of Celeste Ng.

Celeste Ng kindly gave us permission to share her photos on our humble blog. Thank you, Celeste! Readers, please check out her Twitter: @pronounced_ing and her latest novel, Little Fires Everywhere.

High winds are prevailing in southern California and the Central Coast, reports my mother in her first, eyewitness contribution to Urban Plant Research. In Santa Barbara County, she can hardly venture outside because of winds over 25 miles per hour. She also read that over in Victorville, which lies between Los Angeles and the Mojave Desert, the wind has residents trapped inside for another reason: it has swept mountains of tumbleweeds against their houses, blocking doors and windows! Check out these Google Image search results she sent over:

Screenshot of Google Image search results for "victorville ca + tumbleweed". Each photo in the search results shows high piles of tumbleweeds in the town streets or against houses.

We here at Urban Plant Research have long been interested in tumbleweeds and urban tumbleweeds (tumbling, windblown plastic bags). Are their tumbleweeds where you live?