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Archive for the ‘Projects from others’ Category

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.

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Music for Plants

In 1976, Canadian-born composer Mort Garson released an album called Mother Earth’s Plantasia to be played for growing plants. Maybe your spider plant been looking a bit gloomy lately. Perhaps, you can cheer it up with “Symphony for a Spider Plant” or other songs on this album. The compositions are playful and delightful but the album makes me curious about the topic of music’s influence on plants. A quick search led me to a few articles about theories and studies on this subject, such as this one. I wonder how the growth of urban plants compares to the growth of plants in their natural habitats.

Garson’s plant-based opus looks to be out of print but I was able to find a fun track entitled “Swinging’ Spathiphyllums” below. Hope you can enjoy this with your plants at home!

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You’re invited to the Tiny Haus at the Prinzessinnengarten, Berlin’s coolest community garden (where you can drink beer between trees), for an exhibition this Saturday and Sunday, 2-5pm (September 3-4). Drawings and herbarium specimens will fill the room, made by students from the past two Botanical Drawing Workshops taught by my friend and fellow urban plant lover, Mira O’Brien.

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Oahu-based public artist Gaye Chan once told me and Marko that we were part of her lost tribe. If by that she means we are into Free Stores, foraging free food, and eating weeds, then yes, we are! (more…)

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Rustic lei made of German wildflowers and plants.

Sorry so silent! I’ve been busy arranging flowers in Honolulu, Beacon (where another Urban Plant Researcher recently wed!) and the German countryside, sometimes into bouquets and more often into lei.

Mahalo to the Hui Hana Lei Ladies who taught me to make haku lei in my last month in Hawaii. If you’re on Oahu, please visit their annual lei-making class this Thursday. I just posted about my experience making lei with the lei ladies, and more about their class, here on my other blog, Local Color.

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Giant poplar tree in a graveyard in Berlin, Friedrichshain from Monumentaltrees.com.

Do you like big, old trees? Well, you can find 22,446 big and old trees (with more posted every day) on the amazing international Monumental Trees website. My colleague, the writer and literary translator Isabel Cole, posted some great Berlin trees from the site today, and I knew I had to share this resource with you. monumentaltrees.com

Above: a giant black poplar in a graveyard in Berlin-Friedrichshain at Landsberger Allee and Friedenstraße. This graveyard used to be my backyard.

Have fun combing the website for big trees in your area, or making a virtual world tour of momentous trees. Do post the link below if you find any special specimens.

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A bush resembling a reclining person. Photo by Florian Bong-Kil Grosse.

“When I think about my first impressions of Korea, I see before all else overpopulated, hectic, noisy cities, modest, traditional architecture side by side with the ubiquitous functional yet disconsolate prefabricated housing blocks; I see Buddhist pagodas hemmed in by 8 lane traffic arteries…” writes Florian Bong-Kil Grosse about his new book of photography, Hanguk. This thoughtful, plant-appreciating Berlin artist shared some photos on this blog last year, and now we’d like to share his new publication and other recent work.

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