Art & Botany: 2,000 Dandelions Suspended from a Ceiling

August 30, 2012
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When I first encountered an image of dandelion seed heads suspended from the ceiling in a small white room, I was conflicted as to whether I wanted to know more. The implausibility of the scene was part of its charm—would the logistics of the piece unravel its sublime reverie? I should introduce this piece with a spoiler then: here, we tell you how it's done.

Faux Fleur

June 27, 2012
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There are those who sniff at the idea of fake flora, and there are those who don’t. But even folks in the former camp will find that New York City-based event designer and floral stylist Livia Cetti captures something deeply real in her paper flowers and foliage. With the gesture of each plant, the nod of its head, and the swirl of its leaves, she manages to locate an essential truth about its being. “I’m not looking to copy an exact stamen or flower,” says Cetti.

Botanic Notables: Oleander

October 14, 2011
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Adored, feared, and fabled, the oleander is a deadly beauty. Drought-tolerant and easily propagated, it is commonly cultivated in gardens and public spaces in subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. And it is also considered to be one of history's deadliest plants. 

Art + Botany: Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House

May 26, 2011
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Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) are not uncommon in Southern California. The tall, elegant stalks punctuate gardens like so many exclamation points that blossom in pink, purple, and white. They love sun, don't require much water, and the large seeds easily germinate, all of which makes the perennial a popular ornamental plant in the dry, warm landscape. Hollyhocks are incredible in any garden, but perhaps their most remarkable display lies between Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard, in Los Angeles.

Botanic Superlatives: The Blackest Flower

April 01, 2011
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Petunia is the new black. Adored by designers and admired by breeders, Petunia Black Velvet is the new darling in a trend towards black-flowered plants. The cultivar dazzled last season's garden shows, and will be darkening this year's gardens. "We're always trying to push the boundaries," says Stuart Lowen, marketing manager of Ball Horticulture, who developed Petunia Black Velvet (Petunia x hybrida). "The public always want something that's a novelty.