Human Flower Project


Thursday, July 05, 2012

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?

The gardens at Buckingham Palace

You may not be royalty, but you too can grow poppies (even we have managed that). Nobody curtsey for you recently? Stand tall, and grow the same upright ginger as blooms at Buckingham Palace.

The BBC reports that 11 plant varieties from among the more than 350 flowers that grow there can be yours.

During the Hampton Court Flower Show, running until Sunday, the seed will be for sale at the Plant Heritage Seed Shop, for a minimum £1 donation to “the charity.” (which we take to mean Plant Heritage, not the British monarchy, which seems to be solvent).

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Posted by Julie on 07/05 at 02:34 PM
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Thursday, February 02, 2012

HFQ #11: A Freight Forwarder?

Transporting plants internationally takes special expertise. Can anyone help this farmer in Austria find a “travel agent” for sweet potato slips?


Do you know of a reliable freight forwarder with experience handling plants?

A reader in Austria writes:

“We are a family farm in Austria, trying to import young specialty plants from the U.S. for a farm-trial this year (ipomoea batatas ‘slips’; 2 or 3 palletts (450kg each), in May 2012, to be specific).

“The nursery in the US producing them for us has no experience in overseas shipping and could not find any freight forwarder willing to take on the shipment… they all claim they categorically “don’t do plants,” the nursery tells us. Neither have I found any freight forwarder this side of the Atlantic interested/willing to do this, much to my chagrin.

“Therefore, may I ask if you could maybe recommend a freight forwarder, specializing in plant-transport? Or, would you happen to know a possible source/weblink for such freight


“Thank you so very much, any help is very appreciated.”

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Posted by Julie on 02/02 at 11:42 AM
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Unforeseen: Yahoo Falls

Plantsmen Allen Bush and Paul Cappiello, hunting for pink muhly grass, fall down a rabbit hole of botanical wonders in McCreary County, Kentucky.


Silene rotundifolia blooming near Yahoo Falls

McCreary County, Kentucky, November 2011

Photo: Allen Bush

By Allen Bush

I had no idea what was in store last spring, when Paul Cappiello began talking about an autumn day-trip to Eastern Kentucky. Paul is the Executive Director of Yew Dell Gardens in Crestwood, Kentucky. The premise – or the excuse for a fun walk in the woods - seemed simple enough: try to find cold-hardy native stands of the pink muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris. They were there, somewhere in the Cumberland Mountains; we knew that.  Julian Campbell had said so. And Julian knows where just about every native plant is, in every nook and cranny across the state. He had found pink muhly seedlings in Rowan County earlier in the year.

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Posted by Julie on 12/15 at 11:45 AM
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Friday, December 09, 2011

Thread-Brazen: Ooty’s Garden

Mumbai writer Lubna Kably discovers a garden in Tamil Nadu that stays in bloom year round. Thank you, Lubna!


Embroidered “houseplants”, including Begonia Rex,

Thread Garden in Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India

Photo: Shomita Mukherjee

By Lubna Kably

Ooty, known as the Queen of the Hills, lies in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu and is rich in flora. Wild flowers sprout along walking tracks, tea gardens flourish on the slopes, a myriad varieties of trees especially the eucalyptus tower overhead. Yet, bang opposite a well known tourist landmark – the Lake—lies the Thread Garden.

It took twelve years and a dedicated team of 50 trained workers to create this garden, using a ‘self invented’ technology of four dimensional hand woven embroidery.

“This unique art of creating natural looking plants and flowers makes use of self developed techniques under the ‘Hand-wound Embroidery system’ without needles or machinery with specially selected and developed materials. All parts of a plant such as flower petals, leaves and stems are fully wound with thread using a shaped canvas bases inside for flowers and leaves and steel and copper wires for stems with keen concentration coupled with patience, keeping a machine made perfection, avoiding any overlapping or knots or gaps between the windings.”

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Posted by Julie on 12/09 at 01:44 PM
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