Japanese Botanical Artist Launches His Bonsai into Space

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Japanese botanical artist Makoto Azuma’s flower arrangements are, quite literally, out of this world. His beautiful plants were recently launched into outer space as a part of his latest project, ‘Exobiotonica’. The launch took place on July 15 at the Nevada Black Rock Desert, with the help of Sacramento-based independent space program, JP Aerospace.

“I wanted to see the movement and beauty of plants and flowers suspended in space,” said Azuma, who is well known in Japan for his extravagant performances involving flowers. There was this one time when he stomped on hundreds of flowers during a musical performance. Once, he stuffed flowers into glass jars and filled them with water-like sardines. He has also created office chairs and Hello Kitty dolls entirely covered in green grass.

Azuma-Makoto

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Expert Glassblower Creates Amazingly Realistic Large-Scale Glass Flowers

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Jason Gamrath is a master glassblower from Seattle. His work primarily involves creating enormous, yet incredibly life-like orchids and carnivorous flowers using his expert glass blowing techniques. Through his art, he wants to help people appreciate the minute details of the plant kingdom on a magnified level.

Jason’s glass orchids are gigantic – each one is bigger than a human head. But Jason doesn’t compromise on detailing. The colors are vivid and all the features of real flowers are accurately represented on his glass replicas. “The purpose of creating this series on a macro scale is to bring to light the beauty that exists within the micro scale of nature,” he said. He wants to force people to notice the details that they’re prone to miss while ‘walking around as a big person’.

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The Stunningly Beautiful Black Roses of Halfeti

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Turkish Halfeti Roses are incredibly rare. They are shaped just like regular roses, but their color sets them apart. These roses so black, you’d think someone spray-painted them. But that’s actually their natural color.

These stunning black roses would make excellent props in a movie about witches and black magic, or in a heavy-metal video. There’s something extremely attractive about them, in an intense sort of way.

Although they appear perfectly black, they’re actually a very deep crimson color. These flowers are seasonal – they only grow during the summer in small number, and only in the tiny Turkish village of Halfeti. Thanks to the unique soil conditions of the region, and the pH levels of the groundwater (that seeps in from the river Euphrates), the roses take on a devilish hue. They bloom dark red during the spring and fade to black during the summer months.

Halfeti-black-roses

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Mas Provencal – The Perfect Restaurant for Flower Enthusiasts

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When you first step into Mas Provencal on the outskirts of Eze Village, you’re likely to mistake it for a greenhouse. Located close to the city of Nice in southeastern France, this restaurant has way more flowers than tables.

Mas Provencal’s interior décor is pretty special, perhaps even one-of-a-kind. Almost every square inch is covered with fresh flowers – roses, orchids, ivy, glads and more. There are plants everywhere and it takes some squinting to even spot the sign board. The large amount of flora either enthralls diners, or leaves them a bit overwhelmed. One tourist called the decorations “fabulously gaudy.” I don’t think I could have put it any better.

Inside the restaurant, each table is done up with elaborate center pieces made of flowers. Exotic trees adorn the passageways and you can spot a few carnivorous plants in the crowd. Antique knick-knacks are scattered everywhere. A large glass enclosed waterfall containing ferns is also part of the décor. The best part – diners can munch on grapes and cherry tomatoes hanging from the ceiling at arm’s reach.

Mas-Provencal-restaurant

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Talented Florist Creates Blooming Dress Entirely from Flowers

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Lisa Dickinson, owner of Manchester florist Venus Flowers, and her team of four florists spent over a week planning and working on a magnificent dress made entirely of flowers. The blooming gown was worn by Boss Model Eleanor Davies during the opening of  this year’s Dig the City festival.

We’ve featured a variety of unique garments in the past, from the prom dress made of homework to the fur coat made of chest hair, but few of them were as lovely as the flower dress created by Lisa Dickinson. When the organizers of  Dig the City, Manchester’s urban gardening festival, asked her to create the unique garment, Lisa admits she felt the task daunting, but once she started planning it became fun. “The challenge was to keep the dress looking fresh for as long as possible, the trick to making the dress endure was to use flowers that wouldn’t wither and die after a few hours, so I made the full skirt of the dress out of wax flowers—which is a really tough shrub—but with delicate sprays of flower heads,” the talented florist explains.

flower-dress

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What the Quack? Australia’s Amazing Flying Duck Orchid

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Just like the Monkey Orchid we posted about a few weeks ago gets its name from its remarkable resemblance to a smiling monkey, the Flying Duck Orchid got its name for looking like a tiny duck with its head and beak held high and wings swept back.

If you’ve never been to the Australian wilderness, chances are you’ve never seem a Caleana major , or Flying Duck Orchid before. That’s because despite numerous attempts to grow it anywhere else, this amazing-looking flower refuses to propagate in captivity. Apparently, that’s because its roots have a symbiotic relationship with the vegetative part of a fungus which can only be found in the wild country of eastern and southern Australia. The fungus protects the flower from infections, and without its presence, it never lasts for very long. But even if you travel to Australia to see the Flying Duck Orchid in its natural habitat, you have to look really carefully to spot it. At up to 50 centimeters in height, it’s definitely not the smallest flower in the world, but its red-and-purple coloring helps it blend so well in its wild surroundings that it becomes almost invisible.

Flying-Duck-Orchid

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The Breathtaking Flower Hill of Hokkaido

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Home to nearly one million pink shibazakura flowers, spread over an area of 100,000 square meters, on a hillside overlooking the picturesqe town of Takinoue, the Higashimokoto Flower Park is a must-see attraction for flower lovers.

There are lost of impressive tourist destinations on Japan’s Hokkaido island, but the hillside flower park overlooking the town of Takinoue stands out as the most colorful. Every year, from early May to mid June, the hill is covered with a pink carpet of Moss Phlox flowers, commonly known as shibazakura. Winding paths lead visitors from the base of the hill to the very top where they are treated to a magnificent view of the surrounding sea of flowers. Higashimokoto Park was founded in 1956, with only a box full of shibazakura seeds, but a growing number of plants have been planted every year since, and today the pink flowers cover an area of over 100,000 square meters. During the month-long blooming season, the bright pink flowers fill the air with a sweet scent that complements the amazing view. At the height of the moss phlox season, locals hold an annual festival dedicated to the flowers, featuring all kinds of themed events, and stalls selling snacks and souvenirs.

Takinoue-Flower-Park

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The Amazing Orchid That Looks Like a Monkey’s Face

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It’s not very hard to guess how the Monkey Orchid got its name, but ever since photos of it started circulating on the internet about a year ago, people have had a hard time believing such a flower actually exists.

As photoshoped as it may look, the Monkey Orchid actually exists, and yes, it really does match the grinning face of a very small monkey. The scientific name of this very rare flower is Dracula simia, with the first part hinting at the resemblance between its two long spurs to the fangs of Bram Stoker’s famous vampire count, and the second meaning “monkey” in Latin. It only grows in the mountainous regions of Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, at an elevation of between 1,000 and 2,000 meters above sea level, but there are a few lucky collectors who have managed to grow it in “captivity”. The Monkey orchid is not season specific, and in its natural habitat it can flower at any time. As if its striking resemblance to a monkey’s face wasn’t astounding enough, this flower actually smells a lot like a ripe orange, as well. Which is kind of ironic, because with a face like that you’d expect it to smell like bananas, right?

Monkey-orchid

 

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Hooker’s Lips – The World’s Most Kissable Plant

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Here’s a dumb question: if (the young) Mick Jagger was a plant, what would he be? Probably Psychotria Elata, commonly known as Hooker Lips or the Hot Lips Plant for the shape of its bright red bracts that resemble two luscious lips.

This weird plant might look like the work of a photo editing software, but I can assure you those kissable lips are all natural. Found in the tropical rain forests of Central and South American countries like Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Ecuador, the Psychotria Elatra plant has apparently evolved into its current shape to attract pollinators including hummingbirds and butterflies. Affectionately known as Hooker’s Lips, this extraordinary flower has unfortunately become endangered due to uncontrolled deforestation in the above-mentioned countries. So if you’ve ever wanted to plant a kiss on Mother Nature, find yourself a Hot Lips plant and do it while you still can. The bracts are only kissable for a short while, before they spread open to reveal the plant’s flowers.

Psychotria-elata

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The Stunningly Beautiful Porcelain Flowers of Vladimir Kanevsky

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Ukrainian-born artist Vladimir Kanevsky creates exquisitely handcrafted porcelain flowers that look perfectly natural, but never die.

From hyacinths and chrysanthemums to clematis and hollyhocks, Vladimir Kanevsky makes botanically-perfect flowers from porcelain. Inspired mostly by 17th- and 18th-century European botanical prints, but also by the glass flower collection at Harvard University’s Museum of Natural History, the talented artisan has managed to take this old craft to new heights. He not only models the delicate porcelain himself, but also does all the painstaking painting himself, often adding tiny imperfections like bent stems,spots or insect bites to make his creations look even more realistic. “He’s one of the few people I know who can almost compete with Mother Nature,” longtime collector Caroline Roehm says about Kanevsky.

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The Mind-Blowing Installations of Bloemencorso, an Annual Flower Parade in the Netherlands

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Held every year in the Dutch town of Zundert, Bloemencorso is the world’s largest flower parade made entirely by volunteers. Millions of flowers are used to decorate giant floats built from steel wire, cardboard and papier-maché.

The Netherlands is inextricably linked to tulips, but at the annual Bloemencorso flower parade, it’s all about dahlias, as these are the only flowers used to decorate giant floats made of steel wire, cardboard and papier-maché. Every year, members of 20 hamlets from the tiny town of Zundert (population 20,000) work hard to win the title of most beautiful flower float in show. Preparations begin months before the big event, as the older members of the hamlets are tasked with  planting and growing the colorful dahlias needed to cover the larger-than-life installations. Although Bloemencorso takes place on the first Sunday in September, tents are set up around town in May and June, and from then on, members of the competing hamlets start working on their masterpieces. They discuss design ideas and building techniques, but it’s the three days before the big event that are the most stressful. Because the flowers have to be fresh, contestants can only start applying the dahlias on the Thursday before Bloemencorso. If need be, hamlets will work night and day putting needles through the flowers, and sticking them in just the right spots on the cardboard body of their mobile installations. But all the effort pays off once these mind-blowing creations make their way through the streets of Zundert leaving crowds of spectators in awe.

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Stunning Photos from the World’s Most Amazing Suburban Family Garden

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Located in the small backyard of a family-owned property in Wallsall, England, is one of the most incredible-looking gardens in the world. The Four Seasons Garden may not be as large as other famous English gardens you may have visited, but it certainly makes up in beauty and charm.

There are hundreds, probably thousands of breathtaking gardens all over Europe, but most of them were designed and looked-after by teams of professional gardeners, at a considerable cost. The Four Seasons Garden, created by self-taught gardeners Tony and Marie Newton, started out as a hobby, but slowly grew into one of the most popular suburban  gardens in Britain. 20 years ago, the couple from West Midlands decided to transform their traditional garden into a stunning display of creative gardening. Tony hated weeding, but loved building things, while his wife Marie just loved plants, so together they set out to create Four Seasons, their version of the ideal backyard garden.

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Gardener Claims Viagra Makes Plants Perkier

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Celebrity TV Gardner David Domoney has made a startling revelation. The drug that has helped so many men spruce up their love-life apparently works wonders for flowers as well. And only 1/50th of a regular sized pill of Viagra is all that’s required.

Cut flowers that are placed in a vase end up wilting in no time at all. But now with Viagra, the life and freshness of flowers can actually be doubled. Although men might not find this piece of information very amusing, I’m sure there are plenty of women out there who would love to try out this simple, yet excellent tip. According to Domoney, “you only need a tiny amount of Viagra to stiffen things up nicely.” By ‘things’, I’m assuming he means the flowers.

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The Dissected Flowers of Fong Qi Wei

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Singaporean photographer Fong Qi Wei likes to pick apart flowers by hand and rearrange them on blank a canvas, creating incredible works of art.

In a series entitled “Exploded Flowers” 33-year-old Fong Qi Wei disassembles popular flowers like the rose, lotus or orchid, carefully rearranges  their components on a blank white canvas and then takes photos of them. The results are totally different than the flowers themselves, but just as beautiful and impressive. ” “Each of the images are done in one sitting, simply because flowers are amongst the most perishable things – so I cannot leave it half finished and work on it the next day as some petals may have wilted or dried up by then. I find that there is always a surprising amount of detail which we do not usually notice in flowers.” the artist says about his exploded flowers.

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The Incredible Flower and Sand Carpets of La Otorava

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In the Spanish town of La Otorava, Tenerife, the festival of Corpus Christi Festival is celebrated by lining the streets with beautiful themed carpets made from flower petals and colored volcanic sand.

Featuring some of the most fragrant art displays in the world, the feast of Corpus Christi attracts thousands of visitors from all around the world, eager to see what the skilled alfombras (carpet makers) come up with every year. In the Canary islands, Corpus Christi has been celebrated for the last 300 years, but the first person to ever create a flower carpet is believed to be Leonor de Castillo Monteverde, who in 1847 decided it would be a good idea to decorate the road in front of her house with flower petals, for the procession to walk over. It measured only three square meters, but made a strong impact on the community, and eventually became a local tradition. In the 164 years since then , La Otrava flower and sand carpets have only been suspended twice, in 1891 and 1897.

The tradition of making large carpets with scented flower petals and volcanic sand from the foothills of Mount Teide has come a long way since its humble beginnings and the artworks are becoming more spectacular with each passing year. Several days before the celebration, local families and even design companies draw the carpets on paper, and on the big day, men and children draw the outline on the streets, while women fill the designs with various flower petals. All the locals get involved in this beautiful celebration and create a truly pleasant atmosphere.

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