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.
Contemporary Swiss artists Gerda Steiner and Jorg Lenzlinger hung flowers, seeds, and branches in a 17th-century church in Venice as part of the 50th Venice Biennale. They called it Falling Garden, a world in which visitors lie in repose on the mausoleum floor, while "the garden thinks for them."
Photographer Honour Hiers collects plants near her home in Western North Carolina, then presses the specimens and photographs them on a light table with 4x5 chrome film. Highlighting a plant's translucency and texture, the beautiful photographs portray familiar species in new ways. She began the Film Herbarium intending to collect all 2600 plant species in the region; she's since expanded the project to include native and non-native plants in and around the state.
The American chestnut tree has dominated Eastern forests for centuries, but it almost disappeared when a foreign blight was introduced in 1904. Scientists have been trying to breed blight-resistant trees and recently planted several at the New York Botanical Garden, just steps from the blight's origins over one hundred years ago.
No one knows exactly how many albino redwoods there are in the world, but their snow-white needles are unmistakable. These "ghosts of the forest" lack chlorophyll, and receive nutrients from a parent redwood tree.
Before there was Instagram, there was the Claude glass—a small, tinted, convex mirror that was popular in the 18th century. Toted in artists' cases and tourists' pockets, the portable mirror offered a transformed view of the scenery that became popular with wealthy British vacationers—a world viewed through a Claude glass was a journey through ephemeral snapshots of softly-rendered nostalgia.