A curmudgeonly traveler, Marianne North went around the world—twice! alone!—during the Victorian era, armed with a parasol and an easel, determined to paint as many of the world's plants as possible. The result, some 800 paintings of flora, many of which were unknown to European audiences, are on display at Kew Gardens, and her travel writings have been gathered in a new book, Abundant Beauty. We take a look at the life of this remarkable woman.
Photographer Lori Nix builds a post-apocalyptic city, in which human inhabitants have retreated, and nature has begun to creep in. We ask the artist about the plants that are reclaiming these transformed urban spaces.
British artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey use grass to make pictures—"living" photographs. Wielding the traditional tools of the artist and the gardener to harness a plant's natural photosynthesis, the artists' process is a nice synthesis of art and science.
Passion flowers are blooming! A genus of about 500 species of vines (and the occasional shrub), Passiflora flowers are distinguished by a characteristic design of radiating filaments and multi-leveled structure. They've long fascinated botanists, gardeners, and even theologians. We've designed a brief primer of several common features—the flower's morphology, and how it gave the plant its name.
Glass gem corn was bred years ago by a part-Cherokee farmer and master seed-saver. Yes, it's real, and, as an heirloom, its seeds will grow true. Today, glass gem corn seeds are saved at Seeds Trust, who anticipate more available next month. Glass gem is an extreme iteration of corn's natural tendency towards different-colored kernels, as each kernel has its unique genetic set for color and size.