A flower's demise is a slow process—unless you're photographer Jon Shireman, in which case it happens with a quick pivot and a smash. He immerses his flowers to stiffen them, then flings them against a hard surface. The shattered remains are beautiful.
To look at a history of botanic illustration is to look at the changing significance of a plant over time. A new exhibit at Lotusland, in Montecito, California, does just this. Historic prints document these transitional periods—of plant as medical specimen, to exotic beauty, to garden delight—in a show titled "The Plant Hunters: Botanical Illustrations from the 16th to 19th Centuries," which runs through November 2.
On the streets in East London, Steve Wheen may be better known as the Pothole Gardener. He creates miniature landscapes in the city's neglected corners that encourage passersby to think about their environments, all of them: the green, the grey, the built, and the natural. His work has inspired miniature gardens throughout the world, and is now compiled in a book.
British landscape designer Sir Humphry Repton mastered the art of the sell. His signature "Red Books," so-called for their signature moroccan leather binding, conveyed proposals to clients with detailed 'before' and 'after' sketches.
American artist Jonathon Keats designed a Photosynthetic Restaurant, where plants are nourished with cocktails of individual wavelengths. Acrylic filters control the sunlight that reaches the plants, offering a tasting menu designed to enhance a plant's energy and experience. Menu options include traditional, avant-garde, and spicy.
Bavarian artist Nils-Udo is known for his site-specific installations built in situ with local, natural materials—leaves, berries, hay, bamboo, flowers. His signature form is the Nest, which he has installed in locations around the world.
Xavier Dumont's resin & metal work is a lovely compromise between the controlled design of a grafted espalier and the natural contours of a twig, and it engenders appreciation for the beauty of both. The French sculptor's furniture pieces are on display in London and New York.