September 10, 2010

The Herbaceous Leaf, Objectified

We can learn something from John Maeda's book and blog, 'The Laws of Simplicity'. But this can be more than a Japanese aesthetic, it's something anyone can appreciate. A simple leaf, a simple bottle, a simple expression.

 Look around your garden for interesting leaf forms which, once removed from their environment and placed in a new one, suddenly become art. OK, I'll admit that as my computer and my body dealt with a wierd virus this past weekend, I spent a few too many hours watching the TV program Hoarders (on A&E TV here in the US), which, lead to a bout of fall cleaning in the kitchen. Admit it, you know what I mean. Nothing major, but a good wash down and a dumpster full of year-old spices, gave me an excuse to spend time ordering new ones on-line.

After the cleanse, I thought that I might pick some flowers since the garden is full, and I had some Grappa bottles which we emptied since who wants to drink 5 year old Grappa out of greasy, dusty bottles. The openings were small, so only one stem could fit, perfect not for flowers, but for leaves. It wasn't hard finding interesting leaf forms, and the result are both beautiful and long lasting, for not only do leaf forms from herbaceous plants look completely different when brought indoors in summer, they also last a few weeks longer than flowers. Try looking for ones in your yards, a collection of Hosta leaves in various bottles, or, as I did, some Helleborus foliage ( on the right) and a giant shiny Farfugium japonicum ssp. giganteum, on the left.

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