Category Archives: science

growing a planet

Have you noticed how plants really seem to be having their moment on design blogs? Seems like there’s not a photoshoot now without a potted plant lurking somewhere in the frame. Well, plants are getting their due from mainstream science, … Continue reading

Posted in Cinema Botanica, science | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

postscript to Natural Discourse; Flora & Fauna

It’s been such a pleasure to see what shape and expression each successive Natural Discourse has taken. Developed by Shirley Watts and Mary Anne Friel for the Berkeley Botanic Garden, a group of artists were invited to make site-specific work … Continue reading

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“Emergency Prescriptions Kept Up One’s Sleeve.”

Congratulations, Artemisia annua (Sweet Annie, Sweet Wormwood), on your recent Nobel Prize in the sciences. photo found here And congratulations as well to Dr. Tu, who solved the problem of increasingly drug-resistant malaria with artemisinin extracted from Artemisia annua. Dr. … Continue reading

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Natural Discourse: Flora & Fauna; A Day at the Natural History Museum 10/17/15

From the Natural Discourse event registration page: “Natural Discourse has been invited to explore the Natural History Museum! The Museum opens its doors for a day-long conversation about gardens, art, science, and collections. Natural Discourse is an ongoing series of … Continue reading

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Natural Discourse: Light & Image 2014, an epilogue

Ever wonder when our buildings are going to have the photosensitivity and photoreactivity of plants? Dale Clifford, with his focus on biomimetics applied to architecture, is on the case, investigating the possibility of designing a photoreactive brick inspired by the … Continue reading

Posted in agaves, woody lilies, artists, Department of Instruction, MB Maher, photography, science, succulents | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Natural Discourse at Los Angeles Co. Arboretum 10/18/14

The drive will be considerably shorter for me to this year’s Natural Discourse, which will be held close to home at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden: “A symposium presented by the Garden Conservancy and the Arboretum that … Continue reading

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on the tour; chasing variegated chimeras

A garden I visited on Saturday decidedly belonged to a devotee of the variegated leaf. (It takes one to know one.) The infatuation wasn’t apparent at first glance. This was a mature garden, well-treed, bambooed and shrubbed. But after every … Continue reading

Posted in driveby gardens, garden visit, Plant Portraits, science | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

weeds find a way

This charming children’s book I was sent to review months ago has reacquainted me with the transformative power of weeds. This is a wonderful subject for a children’s book. Weeds are often a child’s first gateway to the natural world. … Continue reading

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compound interest

Image found here I don’t have a lot of botanical vocabulary at my fingertips anymore, but I do know a compound leaf when I see one*, since I’ve always had a pronounced weakness for them. If you’ve got a potted … Continue reading

Posted in design, Plant Portraits, science, shop talk | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Natural Discourse: Culture & Cultivation 10/10/13

What to make of this impulse to create gardens? Most of my ruminations are done leaning on a shovel, or moving a pot inches to the left and wondering why in the world it matters. One of the few constants … Continue reading

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