Bringing the Outside Inside

This was originally published on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens.

I would venture a guess that most of you reading this article have found some way to bring your love of nature inside. Whether it’s flowers on the curtains, paintings of birds on the walls or a set of dishes displaying bees, I’m betting all of us have brought our gardens and favorite wildlife inside. I’m going to share my main indoor nature passion, but I want to hear what everyone else has done. Do you collect something? DIY home décor? Beetles depicted on everything? Do tell in the comments!

My passion started just over four years ago while visiting a good friend in Helsinki. A beautiful glass bird was given to me as a parting gift and I haven’t been the same since. The bird was the Red Tern, one of the Birds by Toikka series from the Finnish…

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Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens Roundup

Following are the last four of my posts on the Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens blog.


A Propagation Primer

Propagation has been on my mind lately. We recently moved into a house with a very bare yard and although I brought all of my plants from our apartment balcony, they hardly make a dent in the yard. I recently visited the local native plant sale and despite spending a hundred dollars, the plants are also not going to make much of an impact. I recently wrote aboutmethods for collecting native plants, which is a great way to acquire hard to find plants, but propagating from your own collection (or friends, family and neighbors) is another easy way to get yourself some more plants.

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The Parks of Seattle Project

tumblr_m5mpr33qGg1rwhc8xo1_1280If you haven’t been following the Parks of Seattle project, you’re missing out. Dave Battjes has decided to create a logo for each and every one of the 400 plus parks and green spaces in the city of Seattle. For almost a year, since August of 2012, Dave has produced logos in a wide variety of styles. Each completed logo is posted on his blog, Parks of Seattle where you can see them all.

It’s fascinating subject matter and Dave’s logos evoke not only a sense of each park, but an overall sense of the Pacific Northwest and Seattle. With 400 parks in one city, it’s impossible to be familiar with more than a small fraction of them and this project helps highlight the features of many parks.

I’ve been following the logos for awhile and I became curious why someone would…

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The Strahov Monastery Dendrological Library

This was originally published on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens.

The beautiful Strahov Monastery, which sits on a hill overlooking the city of Prague, was one of my favorite stops when I visited a couple of years ago. While the two ornate libraries are the main attractions (and rightly so, they’re absolutely gorgeous) there is a single bookcase which contains some fascinating books for plant-lovers and the curious. It’s easily overlooked and I suspect missed by the majority of the visitors. I nearly missed it myself until one of the docents pointed it out to me as we stood huddled in the corner by the shelf waiting for tour group mobs to disperse enough to peak inside the Theological Hall. This bookshelf contains the monastery’s dendrological collection or xyloteka, books unlike any other you’re likely to have seen. Each of the 68 volumes feature one Czech tree which was common to the area…

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Plants in Children’s Art

This was originally published on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens.

For the last post in my series of plants in the arts, we’re going to look at the importance of plants in children’s art. The rest of the series included various arts starting with Plants in Poetry, then looking at visual arts with Plants in Paintings:: Vincent van Gogh and Plants in Design.

I have a wonderful little friend in Finland who is 8 years old and quite a magnificent artist. Her name is Mia and she loves nature. Neither of her parents are nature geeks, but they do greatly encourage her interests. When I visited them a few years ago we bonded because I am a nature geek. Mia loves to spend time outside observing wildlife and rescuing worms from sidewalks after the rain. She also loves to draw and make art and spends incredible amounts of time and energy…

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Plants in Design

This was originally published on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens.

This is the third post in a short series about the importance of plants in the arts. The first post was Plants in Poetry and looked at the various ways plants were used as inspiration, symbolism, morals and as an appreciation of nature. The second was Plants in Paintings:: Vincent van Gogh which discussed the importance of plants and nature to van Gogh’s work as well as his life. In addition to poetry and paintings, plants have played a significant role in design. Following are examples of the important role plants have played in two iconic companies.

Tiffany & Co. Glass

Louis Comfort Tiffany was heavily inspired by nature and that was reflected in his work, not only in subject matter, but in the use of colors. According to the Morse Museum of American Art, his “aesthetic was…

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