Archives for category: Nature

These magical flowers known officially as Diphylleia Grayi, turn translucent when wet.

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To celebrate 200 years of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney the garden has released a limited number of giclee prints of rare botanical illustrations from the herbariums archives. They are available for purchase here. Below are some examples of the special works on offer.

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Fire Tree by Margaret Flockton

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Punica SP by John Miller

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Christmas Bells by Margaret Flockton

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Thysanotus Junceus by Joseph Lycett

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Opuntia SP by Margaret Flockton

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Flannel Flower by Margaret Flockton

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Acacia Formosa by Margaret Flockton

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Marumia Mascosa by Carl Ludwig Blume

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Pyrus SP by John Miller

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Opuntia SP by Margaret Flockton

 

In late June James and I took a train down to Lyon, hired a car and cruised across the alps to Piedmont arriving at dusk to an amazing little farm by the name of Finocchio Verde.

We found our hosts Mario and Isa along with another WWOOFer Marco milking the sheep and goats in the barn, next to a mama giving birth to a little lamb. We wandered around the beautiful property pointing out to each other all the edible things along with the melange of animals. Keeping the goats and sheep company were donkeys, endless cats and kittens that seemed to share mothers jumping from one teet to the next, two dogs one just a puppy and a few grubby pigs at the bottom of the vegetable garden. That night we were fed one of many amazing meals and returned to our room through a path of fireflies.

Our mornings were spent doing hard labour – erecting temporary fences, clearing stinging nettle and tending to the vines. We stopped when it got too hot and made our way inside to help prepare lunch. Most everything we ate was grown on the farm. We would go to the garden to collect asparagus, beans, lettuce, artichoke, purslane, herbs, capers, peppers, and the very first tomatoes of the season.

After siesta we would wander the property looking for wild fruit. Next to Mario & Isa’s property are some semi abandoned farmhouses which make for great exploring. Like the owners just disappeared they are still full with farm equipment and even old stiff coats still hanging from pegs next to doorways. We picked cherries, prunes and red currents and made summer fruit tarts most evenings, which I always decorated with sage flowers or rose petals. The wild flowers growing provided us with sweet little table arrangements which Marco sweetly started making with me.

Along with some of the most amazing cheeses I’ve had, Mario and Isa also make their own honey, jam, wine, vinegar, olives, and once a year they slaughter a pig and make many different types of delicious salami that last them through the year.

One afternoon Mario returned from a nearby fish auction with a tonne of fish bought from his fisherman friends. I gutted my first fish that afternoon and we helped clean maybe 100 more while Mario salted 50 kilos of anchovies. That evening he cooked the most delicious fish gently poached in a pot of incredible homemade passata, wine, garlic and olives. Another food highlight was the fried pardon-style peppers and raw minced meat seasoned simply with salt, pepper and wine covered with freshly shaved local truffles. And the fresh pasta… I could go on. It was all so bloody delicious.

On our final evening Mario’s family came for dinner and he fired up the pizza oven while the whole team helped prepare the delicious rounds of dough. A perfect send off. They really know how to work hard but also get the absolute most out of their day. They take such pleasure in their land and the food that they cook, it’s catching.

We are so happy and thankful to have experienced this small amount of time on their farm. They welcomed us with such generosity and their enthusiasm, vitality and ability to live so thoroughly off the land is enviable. IMG_3499IMG_3333IMG_3358IMG_3360

IMG_3340 IMG_3350     IMG_3382IMG_3366IMG_3394    IMG_3439IMG_3516IMG_3464 IMG_3491    IMG_3503 IMG_3506

IMG_3509   IMG_3524 IMG_3531 IMG_3537 IMG_3546 IMG_3551 IMG_3552IMG_3364IMG_3561 IMG_3562  IMG_3573IMG_3567 All photographs by Sophia Kaplan.

This garden, in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, and off the Promenade Plantée which I have previously written about, was an explosion of colour when I visited in summer last year.

 All photographs by Sophia Kaplan.

After Gili Air and Ubud we headed up into the mountains at Sideman where we stumbled upon the most amazing Patal Kikian. We were the only people staying and had a huge private balcony looking straight onto the volcano where we wiled away our days reading on the day bed and exploring the volcano by scooter. The grounds were so lush as with everything here. All the sun and water makes for an incredibly green and healthy landscape. After Sideman we headed to Nusa Lembongan to snorkel and chill by beach. A perfect little holiday.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset    All photographs by Sophia Kaplan.

The new Marc Jacobs Daisy campaign directed by Sofia Coppola is a dreamy romp through the fields, with lighter shades of Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Virgin Suicides. It’s been a beautiful campaign over the years.

  

Oudolf is a garden design maestro. His incredibly distinct planting style is so beautifully balanced along with being so aware and in harmony with all the seasons.

Some of his more well known gardens include New York’s High Line and the 2011 Serpentine Galley courtyard in the UK.

 maximilianpark-04West-Cork-1bon-03rotterdam-10maximilianpark-05maximilianpark-07biennale-03biennale-05serpentine-gallery-03serpentine-gallery-06serpentine-gallery-05bury-court-04nantucket-03 All images via Piet Oudolf.

Step into the world of Japanese photographer Daisuke Hamada

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All images by Daisuke Hamada.

A little flashback to Paris last August.

     All photographs by Sophia Kaplan.

Carolyn Young is an Australian artist whose work Grassy Woodlands is currently being featured on a Collingwood billboard as part of an art initiative by the Yarra Council. Young is interested in the seasonality of these disappearing ecosystems and encourages her viewers to observe and respect the nature that exists all over. I’d like to have a wall of this in my home.

 All images by Carolyn Young.

Via Grounded Gardens Instagram.

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