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Archive for the ‘Berlin plants’ Category

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While walking nearby the Lichtenberg S-Bahn station today we wondered at the abundance and variety of wild blooms and came home with a notebook full of pressed plant specimens. We’ve been seeing this common daisy blanketing green spaces (both planned and rogue) throughout the borough.

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Wild plant cuttings in jars of water on a windowsill

Berlin is in full bloom. Spring started early this year, so now, in mid-May, we are finding the city’s green spaces and empty lots covered in foliage, wildflowers and interesting weeds. On yesterday’s walks (to forage elderflowers near the residency studio, and later exploring Karlshorst with its allotment gardens and green spaces around the racetrack), we found ourselves interested in the specific plants we encountered, and collected some specimens.

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We made our first urban plant expedition in Lichtenberg today. Yesterday, Sara and I moved into the Lichtenberg Studios in Berlin where we are in residence this week. Our first order of business today was to explore the neighborhood on foot and see what kind of plants, parks, flower shops, green spaces and other urban nature we might find. Here are some of the things we saw, smelled, observed, tasted…

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A round window in a red wall frames plants and a building facade

In just a couple days, Sara will arrive in Berlin on for our one-week residency in Lichtenberg. This morning, I picked up the studio keys and took the opportunity to scout out the area for interesting plants. Here are a few things I saw. It looks like we’ll find plenty to explore! So stop by the blog: we’ll be posting about what we find, and where we’ll be working in public spaces around the district.

Also, an interesting Part 2 has just been added to our event next Friday…

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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.

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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?

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Large houseplant behind a storefront window

Standing on the snowy sidewalk in Berlin-Friedrichshain this morning, I saw a large, many-handed plant waving at me from Royal, the corner bar across the street from the Rudolfsplatz park. This bar only opens around dinnertime, so during the day, the many plants are the only living things around.
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