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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?

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Tiny vine growing in the middle metal steps. By Martin Hill.

On the metal stairs at the Berlin-Karlshorst train station, between the S-Bahn and regional train platforms, our faithful correspondent Martin Hill “tripped over” this specimen on his way to work. (more…)

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Huge rectangular shrub with basketball hoop embedded in it.

If you like oddities in urban space, plant-related or otherwise, @jesmcdowell‘s photos are for you. One of the funniest folks I know on Instagram, whom I’ve been following for almost four years now.

This is but one of Jes’s kooky finds. If anyone has an idea how this basketball hoop plant was grown/constructed, I could really use some theories.

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Flowers grow from thin gap between building and sidewalk. Plants grow from thin gap between building and sidewalk.

Hollyhocks and few other plants are thriving in the tiny gap between the buildings and sidewalks of Denver (though a few look like they’ve been pruned).

Min Li Chan of San Francisco send this photo-report from her travels to the RiNo arts district, which she described as “an industrial area turned hipster art neighborhood, not unlike Williamsburg five years ago.” Perhaps we should compare Brooklyn plants to Denver plants?

Thank you to Min Li for stopping to observe some urban plants and share them with us!

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Old piano covered with living plants

 

This old piano, exploding with ivy and potted flowers, stands on a sidewalk in Brighton and Hove, UK. A passing urban plant aficionado shared it with us, asking to remain unnamed. Thank you, friend!

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Slatted wooden window with large green leaf poking in from the outside.

A large green organism reached through a bathroom window in Kauai today, startling Urban Plant Research contributor Marko Förstel. The scientist, who is visiting Kauai for an academic conference, quickly snapped a picture to share with us. Further inspection revealed that the green being was a banana tree. Thank you, Marko, for sharing this cheeky Kauai resident. Bathroom visitors, beware!

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Many discarded Christmas trees lined up along the curb.

“How did my seven-unit building produce ten dumped trees? Don’t ‘miracle of Christmas’ me, Brooklyn, you’ve got some explaining to do,” says playwright and keen-eyed New Yorker Mike Lew.

Any theories?

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