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A selection of extraordinary Christmas trees throughout the world—most are local traditions, many are breaking records, and one appears to break through a suburban roof.  

 

We talk with photographer Michel Tcherevkoff about his collection of imagined floral shoes, Shoe Fleur.
The patio in the Barcelona apartment of economist Peter Fehlbaum mixes modernist touches with a healthy dose of quirk. We show you how to get a similar look for your home and garden. 
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In Tarrytown, New York, Lyndhurst, the former estate of Jay Gould (and the setting for two Dark Shadows movies), has a lovely rose garden that is maintained by the Garden Club of Irvington-on-Hudson. A look at some of the 500 roses that grow in this unusually designed garden, now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The world's oldest seed bank is near St. Petersburg, Russia. Originally planted by an early 20th century botanist who collected in five continents over 20 years, it's believed that 90% of its seeds can be found no where else. Today, its fate is in jeopardy. 
Photographer Diana Scherer grew plants in vases for six months, then photographed the flower and its network of supporting roots. 
A bold lance-leaved form in rich, saturated red rimmed with green, ‘Red Ruffles’ forms a compact mound of numerous, 1-foot wavy-edged leaves. Another University of Florida cultivar emerging from the Gulf Coast Research Center in Wimauma, bred to be tougher than its frilly good looks would belie, tolerating more sun and lower temperatures than most caladiums.
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Many botanical gardens and even city parks show off plantings of mums in the fall, so be sure to check on locations close to home. Some places go above and beyond to create eye-popping displays, such as the chrysanthemum festivals at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania (Nov 1-21), Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Theodore, Alabama (Nov 12-25), and the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon (Oct 9-17). The National Chrysanthemum Society also hosts an annual show (this year at Sherman Library and Gardens, Corona del Mar, California, Oct 30-31), and local chapters put on smaller shows across the country; visit mums.org to learn more. But if your love of mums can lure you across the Atlantic, then the Chrysanthema Lahr festival in Lahr, Germany, is a can’t-miss event, held from Oct 16-Nov 7 this year.
Spectacular greenhouses and an authentic six-acre Victorian walled garden are just some of the sights that you can still visit today as examples of Victorian gardening.
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