Iraqi Kurdistan, a region in northern Mesopotamia, is home to mountains, steppes, and pastures that were part of the Fertile Crescent: the birthplace of agriculture—and, indeed, civilization. There, ancient farmers nurtured a wealth of crops that would become staples throughout the world. Today, after years of wars and sanctions, Kurdistan is reengaging its land. As it negotiates the challenges of a new era, native plants and crops remain a defining feature of the landscape and people—how long can the agricultural heritage last?
In a small corner of western Poland, a forest of about 400 pine trees all grow with a 90 degree bend at the base of the trunks. For lack of a scientific name, the collection of curved trees is known as The Crooked Forest.
Made of New York salvages timber from old Manhattan buildings and repurposes it in this collection of handmade home furnishings. The weathered wood, finished in natural tones or primary color stains, manages to look both urban and rustic.
Corrour, a 57,000-acre estate in the Scottish Highlands, is a landscape of hills, moorland and loch so harsh that there was little point in planting a traditional garden. Instead, Jinny Blom planted thousands of trees and a mix of wildflowers, which not only reflect the estate's Victorian legacy but also thrive in the Highlands dampness.
David Trubridge, an industrial designer, writes about his unusual Dream Space sculpture. Its use is only limited by your imagination—it can serve as a trellis for vines, an outoor sleeping tent, or as a way to delineate a seating area in the garden.
In South Africa's coastal grasslands, to explore a forest is to walk along its canopy—indeed, it's the only way to observe an extraordinary group of so-called underground trees, where only the uppermost leaves and branches are visible. Tucked away and protected from so many environmental threats, they underground forests are considered all but immortal, with estimated ages of 13,000 years or more.
Sweden's Treehotel has a number of different tree houses to rent by the night and one of the coolest is the Mirror Cube, which disappears into its surroundings. A prefab version of it is now available for sale, complete with installation.