As inspiration during the winter months while your garden sleeps and you prepare for spring, here are photos from the 2012 RHS Chelsea Garden Show's exhibit of "Artisan Retreats"—gorgeous garden sheds that bring the outside in, without even leaving the garden.
The world's largest treehouse is a 97-foot-high chapel in Crossville, Tennessee. Minister Horace Burgess began building in 1993; today, he continues to make improvements and repairs with salvage wood and repurposed materials. It's a popular place for Sunday services, weddings, and, swinging on an 80-foot tall tree.
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.
For his debut show as Dior's creative director, designer Raf Simons stitched together a setting reminiscent of the fashion house's founding themes—femininity, romance, and flowers. Once again, the house of Dior was a house of flowers.
For the last forty years, landscape architects in Brussels have installed a colorful public exhibit—an enormous carpet of begonias on the cobblestone square at Grand-Palace. This year's inaguration will be on August 15th, and the begonias will be on display through the 19th.
Tagua (pronounced tog-wah) nuts, or "ivory of the rainforest," are a vegetable-based and sustainable alternative to elephant ivory. The seeds are hard and smooth, and easily carved and dyed. They were once used for military buttons, Victorian chess pieces, and dice. Today, tagua "vegetable ivory" is a popular material for jewelry and baubles.
Turkish architect Emre Ozberk designs miniature landscapes that are meant to be pruned, weeded, and mowed. Call it armchair gardening. The earliest landscapes were rooted in his the perfectly sized food bowls of his cat, Papas, for whom the collection is named.
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."