Editor’s Note: When The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire opens this Friday, early reviews say the dramatic and subversive storyline will not disappoint its ravenous fans. In anticipation, we pulled this article from our archives as a horticultural hat tip to Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games trilogy.
“Plants are tricky. Many are edible, but one false mouthful and your dead” —The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
British fashion photographer David Sims focuses his lens on the beauty in imperfections. Some of his most iconic work—a portfolio that is said to have set the tone of late 1990s fashion photography—captures the incongruous chink in a flawless image. Models with knotted hair, a wrinkled shirt, asymmetrical blush or a cowlick—through Sims's perfect lens, with Sims's perfect light, it all looks, yes, perfect. You wouldn't imagine it any other way.
Snowdrops inspire such obsession that enthusiasts of the flowers have their own appellation: galanthophiles, a term that derives from the genus name galanthus. One of nature’s most exquisite compositions, snowdrops bloom from melting snow cover just as winter ends. Their delicate white flowers hang down from crisp green stalks as their petals elegantly fight gravity to open and display their extraordinary markings. The 19 species have distinctive shapes, and collectors are fervent in documenting the plant’s various incarnations.
Gene Bauer, 85, is well-known for her daffodils in the San Bernadino Mountains–a garden of close to a million yellow blooms. Until recently, she opened the garden to a curious public who would travel to see her labor of love. In the 1970s, however, one didn't need to travel to experience Bauer's passion for flowers. Instead, it would arrive by mail, as a small silk-screened booklet that depicted one of Bauer's favorite California plants.
This Sunday and Monday, June 26 and June 27, the Hunt Institute will be having a free open house, with talks and tours focused on the "Flora's Lexicon" exhibit.
With its flourishing book industry and emphasis on natural history, the Age of Enlightenment introduced new ways of bringing science and culture to curious audiences. One of its most remarkable inventions was the xylotheque. From the Greek words xylos, 'wood,' and theque, 'repository,' a xylotheque is, literally a "library of wood"—however, something is lost in this translation.
Our marigolds and poppies do not ask the existential queries "Why am I here?" or "How did I get here?" And for that we love them. However, if they begin to inquire, here are some short answers.