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Preview: Human Flower Project

Human Flower Project

Published: 2013-03-30T22:52:02+00:00


Unless Change Is a Language


Mandorla: Intersecting Worlds


​With a tragedy in Russia, mourners and their florists turn to an old figure of Eastern Orthodox iconography, shaped like a seed.

Flower Pot Holes


​Here’s a fine Yankee take on Gandhigiri – the practice of meeting conflict with flowers.

After a beaver dam broke near Mill Creek Road in Orrington, Maine, the county sent in heavy equipment to tear up pavement in preparation for repairs. Mill Creek Road was due for resurfacing too and as long as the equipment was in the vicinity, the county authorities opted to have it torn up also. So residents along the lane have been dodging major potholes since March.

Recently, someone found a beautiful way to draw attention to the damaged road, meanwhile pointing out the biggest potholes for drivers. They planted flowers in the chunk-holes.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Jesse Schwarcz, whose parents, Mary Ann and Arthur, live on the road. “It gets so tiring to drive through those potholes and hit the bottom of every single one and swerve all the biggest ones. If they’re not going to grade the road and keep it maintained, then we can at least enjoy the flowers.”

Thanks to Alex Barber of the Bangor Daily News for the report.

(image) Potholes on Mill Creek Road in Orrington, Maine, have been planted with flowers by an anonymous garden enthusiast. Photo: Gabor Degre, Bangor Daily News

Royalish Flower Seed


​Seed from some of the plants grown at Buckingham Palace are now on sale, but will their royal connections get them across international borders?

Planting the Flag


​To honor local Marine Jean Villanueva, the Murrieta, California, Fire Department planted an American flag flower bed in his family’s yard, just in time for Villanueva’s homecoming from Afghanistan.

Todd Bradstreet of the Murrieta FD initiated Project Greenthumb to help with yard work at the homes of residents with family members away in military service. Villanueva’s wife, Jodie, signed up for the program and got lots more than she was expecting: lawn mowing, some landscaping, and then this patriotic raised garden with “stripes” of red and white petunias.


Marine Cpl. Jean Villanueva,wife Jodie, and their daughter Leilah, enjoy sit in the yard that Project Greenthumb tended in Villanueva’s absence. Photo: Bill Wechter

A Gentle Correction


About 10 days ago, we cited a New York Times article​ explaining why Burma’s human rights leader wears flowers in her hair. She kindly corrected us both, us all.

Conceptual Gardening


With design, aesthetics and ecological concerns leading the way, symbolism isn’t much of a force in contemporary gardening. But we offer two examples where concept dominates, one noble, the other daffy.

Topped with Flowers of Ash


The National Endowment for the Arts has named basketmaker Molly Neptune Parker among this year’s National Heritage Fellows, a program modeled on Japan’s longstanding recognition of “National Treasures.” We were especially drawn to Parker’s “flower” topped baskets, a design she learned from her mother and grandmother, traditional Passamquoddy basketmakers all. But like all great folkartsts Molly Neptune Parker has pushed forward the Native American tradition in which she was raised, the better to honor a legacy.

(image) Two of Molly Neptune Parker’s baskets, topped with “flowers” made of ash splints. Photo: National Endowment for the Arts

Sustained by a Father’s Flowers


Aung San Suu Kyi’s signature flowers, reaching back to childhood in Burma, arrived with her in Oslo.

Bees Lead


A new study by a group of scientists working in Australia has concluded that in the co-evolution of bees and flowers, bees—not flowers—lead the way. Basing their work on earlier research that theorized Australia’s first flowers were relatively colorless, the scientists then examined the color spectrum most easily perceived by honeybees and bumblebees. The native flowers examined tended to be of colors that bees find easiest to detect.

“We collected spectral data from 111 Australian native flowers and tested signal appearance considering the colour discrimination capabilities of potentially important pollinators.” Their findings regarding color were consistent with those reached in North American studies. “Subsequent mapping of Australian flower reflectances into a bee colour space reveals a very similar distribution of flower colour evolution to the Northern Hemisphere. Thus, flowering plants in Australia are likely to have independently evolved spectral signals that maximize colour discrimination by” bee pollinators.

Bees, by the way, “have trichromatic colour vision based on ultraviolet- (UV), blue- and green-sensitive photoreceptors.” Their “best discrimination” is for blue wavelengths (close to 400 and 500 nm). The scientists write, “behavioural experiments on free-flying honeybees have confirmed this theory.”

You can find the complete paper here.


How bee vision would see a flower, one that looks yellow to human eyes

Photo: Phys