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Posts Tagged ‘art’

Orchid with roots completing wrapping a palm tree

So this is what can happen when orchids aren’t confined to a pot. At the home where I recently stayed in Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, the palm tree in the front yard was completely wrapped in the roots of these orchid plants.

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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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Display of handmade cutting boards made of salvaged Hawaiian hardwood, by Foundwood

Amazing how much you can learn about mango trees at the Kaka‘ako Farmers Market here in Honolulu. While vegetable shopping this morning, I stopped to chat with Jen Homcy about Foundwood, her woodworking company that creates cutting boards out of reclaimed local hardwood. She took the time to share some knowledge about the wood she uses, including how the curl gets in the curly mango.

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Many agave blossoms towering over home garden in Kaimuki, Honolulu, Hawaii.

All over Honolulu, the Dr. Seuss-esque towers of agave flowers have been catching my eye. The spiky, seafoam-green plants are popular for home gardens here. A little research on Wikipedia suggests that this is the Mexican species Agave attenuata, which, thanks to the shape of its inflorescence, is also called foxtail, lion’s tail or swan’s neck. It is a different species that is used for tequila, the blue agave, also know as, what else, Agave tequilana.

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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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Lucky bamboo New Year's decorations on sale at Longs Drugs

Aloha and Happy New Year from Honolulu. I was tickled to find these lucky bamboo and pine arrangements at my neighborhood Longs Drugs. In Japanese tradition, they are placed at the entrances to the home during the New Year’s festivities. Looks like this practice has taken root here, like many other Japanese traditions.

On that topic, I’ve started a new design studio here in Honolulu, with a new website:
localcolorhawaii.com

My first post of the year over there is also about a Japanese New Year’s tradition: mochi soup! Please take a look and if you like what you read, I’d be honored if you’d follow my Local Color blog too.

Wishing you a wonderful, leafy, green 2015!

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Outdoor bronze bust of Queen Luise decorated with berries and seeds.

A report from Berlin, the former headquarters of Urban Plant Research. While I’ve been busy getting oriented amongst the tropical flora of Hawaii, my friend Dorothee of Lilienfeld sent in this report from the grounds of Schloss Charlottenburg. She found the station of Queen Luise thus decorated. She notes that the pearl earrings are made of snowberries. These are also known as “Knallerbsen,” the German term for the small novelty explosives now in English as bang-snaps or poppers. Was it the Queen’s birthday? Or did the fall abundance of horse chestnuts and berries inspire an impromptu decorating session? I don’t know, but I am charmed.

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Reading up on the new flora and environs at the public library. Stay tuned for more soon!

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Very green overgrown playground with barely visible swing set.

Lichtenberg native Martin Hill writes that he just rediscovered this playground in his district on the corner of Friedenhorster Straße and Splanemannstraße. He explains that it dates back to East German days and is now beautifully overgrown — once in awhile, the plants will be cut back, only to be forgotten and left to cover the area once again. Once again, thanks for a lovely contribution, Martin!

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Small plant growing out of crack in a driveway under a boom barrier in Berlin-Mitte.

At the Ewerk, an electrical substation turned techno club turned upscale event location in Berlin-Mitte, Martin Hill found this plant playing bouncer in the driveway, right below the red-and-white striped barrier. Thank you, Martin!

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