Archives for the month of: May, 2013

Friends are constantly sending me bits and pieces about gardens and flowers, so I figured it was time to give some a chance to guest post on the blog. So that brings us to our first ever guest post by the lovely Olivia Hantken. Liv works at innovative design and film collective Collider, and has a key eye for aesthetics. Please welcome her to The Secret Garden!

Frozen Flowers by Olivia Hantken

Frozen FlowersTomorrow is the first day of winter, but in Sydney it’s feeling more like spring. Our gardens will be happy at least, and far happier than in Kiev, Ukraine, where winter can mean a freezing over of everything green.

Earlier this year the Ukranian’s embraced this notion and held their first frozen flower exhibition The Flowers of the Snow Queen.  Inspired by Hans Christan Andersen’s children’s tale The Snow Queen, the event symbolises the coming together of summer and winter / warmth and cold.

Frozen FlowersThe frozen artworks were created over seven days using 250 litres of distilled water repeatedly poured over the arrangements to create layers of ice.

Frozen FlowersNot related to this exhibition, but beautiful nonetheless are these pictures of flowers dripping in ice.

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This one acre, family owned botanical garden and cactarium in Palm Springs is filled with 3000 varieties of desert plants. I would love to visit on my next trip to the States.

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More info on the garden here.

This growing light fixture is designed by Ryan Taylor of multidisciplinary studio O\I. It usually sets you back $448 (Canadian) but they have 15% off until May 31st. Get it here.

Babylon LightBabylon LightBabylon LightBabylon LightBabylon LightThanks to Mel for sharing!

Every May the Chelsea Flower Show sees the Royal Chelsea Hospital grounds turned into an array of flower and garden exhibits. This year, the 100th year of the festival, best in show was won by Australian Phillip Johnson.

Brent Elliot has released a book of archival images to celebrate the centenary. Below are some images from his book (available here) along with images from this years festival (via RHS Image).

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Who Wore It Better is a blog curated by Alison Feldish and Derek Frech which compares similar artworks. Click on the image to view its creator.

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Henry Darger is an artist and writer with an unusual story. He was orphaned and institutionalised as a young child and spent his adult life living as a recluse in Chicago. It was only after his death that Darger’s landlord discovered an epic 15,145 page narrative titled The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion.

The story follows seven young girls as they fight against a variety of sadistic adults while being protected by a slew of fantastical animals. The writings are accompanied by several hundred drawings and watercolour paintings. Some of the images are calm and filled with flowers. Others a violent and tortured. It’s an incredible juxtaposition between innocence and extreme brutality, and gives us a glimpse into the mind of this mysterious man.

Henry DargerHenry DargerHenry DargerHenry DargerHenry DargerHenry DargerHenry DargerJessica Yu made a film about Darger and his work The Realms of the Unreal (2004).

Artist and ceramicist Kim Jaeger has been creating these super cute ‘potheads’ since 2011.

PotheadsHistoria Films (a collaboration between photographer Mike Smith and blogger Laura Quattrocelli) have made a little film about Jaeger’s work. You can also check out an interview with her on The Design Files.


My mother has a vase at home which reminds me of these potheads. It’s by Arab Australian artist Salwa El-Shaikh.

Salwa El-ShaikhPhotograph by Sophia Kaplan.

A collection of enviable (and plant filled) interiors from the Vanishing Elephant blog along with my favourite pieces from their latest collection.

InteriorsVanishing ElephantInteriorsInteriorsInteriorsInteriorsVanishing ElephantInteriorsVanishing Elephant 1InteriorsInteriorsDownload the first issue of the Vanishing Elephant Journal here and buy their clothes here.

This so called ‘Green Box’ is situated in the Raethian Alps, Switzerland. It was created by architects Act Romegialli from a disused garage. The building houses a simple kitchen and entertaining space along with a spot for its owners gardening tools. The vegetation that covers the structure is largely deciduous – honeysuckle, russian vine, hop and golden clematis. While the base is surrounded by evergreens like valerian, cosmos, gem marigolds, and zinnias which provide a year-round variety of flowers.

Green BoxGreen BoxGreen Boxgreenbox08greenbox06Green Boxgreenbox04greenbox03greenbox10greenbox11All photographs by Marcello Mariana.

I love the plants (and clothes, and styling) in this lookbook for (now defunct) English brand Aubin & Wills’ spring 2012 collection. The photographs feature Blur’s bass guitarist Alex James and Romanian/ Canadian model Irina Lazereanu.

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All images and video from Aubin & Wills.

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