Anna Laurent

Anna Laurent
Polyptoton de Flores 1
In the late 1500s, the illustrator Johann Theodor de Bry produced a rare series of six still-life floral prints, titled Polyptoton de Flores (The Variance of Flowers). The captions are scripted in Latin hexameter, and derive their lessons from various phases of a plant's life cycle. Read More »
Tree of Tenere
The loneliest tree in the world was a solitary acacia in a remote land. It was the only tree in a 400 kilometer radius. Standing alone in the vast Saharan expanse, l'Arbre du Ténéré (the Tree of Ténéré), was modest in size—three meters tall—but its mere survival was both remarkable, and invaluable to desert travelers. Read More »
A fine specimen in a long line of great American roadside attractions, the Tree Circus is a curious orchard that included a birdcage, ladder, spirals, a telephone booth, and a staircase, all fashioned from the pliable branches of birch, ash, elms, and weeping willows. Started in the 1950s... Read More »
The first nursery catalog—in the 17th century—was a artistic masterpiece and a marketing strategy. It sold, of course, tulip bulbs, and helped contribute to the economic bubble of tulip mania.  Read More »
completed tree lamp
Anna Laurent gives step-by-step instructions for how to turn found wood into a magnificent floor lamp that's easy, inexpensive, and super stylish. Read More »
Desert Rhubarb
Among the valleys and foothills in Israel's Negev desert is a plant that can water itself, in a manner of speaking. The desert rhubarb (Rheum palaestinum) is the only known desert-dwelling species to have evolved a self-irrigating mechanism.   Read More »
Faberge - 3
Royal courts have often been trend-setters and the Russian court was no exception. Anna Laurent takes a look at some of the most elaborate Fabergé Eggs in her column, looking into some of the prettiest (and fanciest) eggs, which were decorated with botanical motifs, symbolizing the start of spring. Read More »
In 2008, a rare and unusual palm was discovered in remote Madagascar. Hailed as the most important new species of its kind, the tree made headline news—not for its notable survival, but for its spectacular demise. If the Tahina spectabilis had an epitaph, it would read "The gigantic palm that flowered itself to death." Read More »
Books made from trees? Yes, and these are no ordinary volumes: Bound in the bark of their respective tree, covered with moses and lichens, and filled with pages fabricated from the tree's leaves, these book are a very literal representation of their subjects. Read More »
mother of thousands
Keeping a close eye on her developing progeny, this Kalanchoe succulent, nicknamed "the mother-of-thousands" is as prolific as it is maternal—hundreds of tiny plants actually grow on the mother's arms. When released, each plantlet falls to the ground to take root on its own—now the next "mother" in the lineage, never too far from home. Read More »
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