Posts Tagged ‘flower’

Ivy-leaved toadflax growing out of a crack in a stone wall

Our friend Martin Hill is a Lichtenberg native, so we were glad he came out to our urban plants discussion at the Lichtenberg Studios last month with his wife Steffi. Over the weekend, they sent in their first contribution to the project: a small plant growing out of a crack in an ancient stone wall in the small Bavarian town of Pappenheim. It looks like an ivy-leaved toadflax, aka Kenilworth ivy, to me — Zimbelkraut or Zimbel-Mauerkraut in German — which often makes its home in stony gaps and cracks.

Photograph courtesy of Martin Hill.

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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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Off doing country village plant research for awhile. Found a sunflower in the snow. Wishing happy holidays to people and plants everywhere!

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Chalk drawing of flower on asphalt

Sometimes plants erupt right out of solid pavement, as we have documented in the past (Sara’s feather-weed stem and my asphalt-defying plant). This blue-headed beauty appeared at the Alamo Elementary School in San Francisco this Tuesday, where it was documented by Drew, who goes by @artnok_a on Instagram. Thanks for sharing this beautiful urban plant, Drew!

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Dark painting of flowers and insects

Continuing our look at plants on the ground, let’s look a bit further back into art history then we usually do here at UPR. In the 17th century, Dutch painter Otto Marseus von Schrieck wasn’t exactly doing urban plant research already, but he was doing something very new, which was to take the close-up, observant approach of the still life painter and direct it outside, and downwards, to create nature studies that were carefully arranged but were set on the dark, damp stage of the forest floor, as in the above Still Life with Amphibians and Insects (Herzog-Anton-Ulrich-Museum, Braunschweig). The result is called sottobosco painting (after the Italian for “undergrowth”), or in German, Waldstilleben (forest still life). And it’s mesmerizing.


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Japanese driveway with potted plants

UPR reader Marko sent in this lovely photograph of a plant-filled driveway in Japan. I love the neat row of window-boxes lined up along the ground, with one color of flower in each one. Cheers to determined gardeners unfazed by a total lack of soil in their environment! Apropos, I’ll be featuring more container gardens here soon. If you know of any good ones, please  send pictures or tell us about them below.

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Photographed by Marko Förstel

Marko, who last sent us some great plants from Aarhus, Denmark, is currently working in a lab in Hamburg where he has had to spend the first days of spring working 12-hour (or longer) shifts indoors.

He writes: “I attached a picture of flowers which made me feel good
after 13h playing with knobs and cables. I went out just to have a cigarette and the air was so cold and fresh and springy. And those cute little guys were glittering in the dew. I was reminded of your nice blog and how important those small flowers are…”

I am glad that our blog has other people looking more closely at their green neighbors! I like this picture a lot. Neither Marko nor I are sure these are actually flowers; they look weirdly mushroom like. Or maybe they are part of some kind of moss. Maybe one of our readers knows more.

Also, if any other readers have plants to share, please do.

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Juncker's Hotel Garni

18 July 2008 (observed) / 9 September 2008 (photographed)
Grünbergerstraße 21, Friedrichshain, Berlin

This is a small hotel I always enjoy walking past. To think of a hotel owner taking the time to cultivate such bodacious balconies makes me happy.

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