Showing posts with label matt mattus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label matt mattus. Show all posts

August 13, 2009

Announcing my New Magazine - Plant Society

The cover of my first issue of Plant Society Magazine. Order your issue here.

I am pleased to announce that the publishing of the first prototype issue of Matt Mattus | Plant Society Magazine, available now at Magcloud.com.

Magcloud is HP's new Beta self publishing site for magazines, and I am using it to launch the first few issues. Magcloud tells me that that they can currently ship directly to USA, Canada and the UK. Let me know how it works if you are outside of the US.

As a designer, horticulturist, trend hunter, artist, photographer, blogger and plant collector, it only seemed natural to use this new platform to launch this venture, after all, I design magazines for a living, I evaluate publication design for many of the major graphic design journals and annual award issues, I speak at both leading visual design conferences, and plant societies, and I have a vault of images taken over the past ten years from my greenhouses, alpine house and gardens.

The publishing business is changing so fast, that what once was seen as vanity publishing, is now much more accepted in our new digital world of blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. You can think of this as a magazine, or a blogazine. Either way, it will morph and change as I develop future issues to include both plant related features focusing on subjects not examined by the mass market magazines, and garden lifestyle - with inspirational crafts, holiday design, food, travel, and more all planned for future issues.

Currently the magazine sells for $14.99. at 75 pages, but it is on sale as a feature of Magcloud for around $12.00 US give or take some change for shipping and handling directly through the website MAGCLOUD. Anyone in the US, Canada or UK can order direct from the Magcloud website portal, and can even pay directly from their credit card or Paypal on the site. Magcloud prints to order, and the process is very easy. In five days or less, the magazine will be printed, bound, and mailed directly to you.

This first issue is packed with stories, photos and articles including a long article on my culture and experience with Nerine sarniensis, Tuberous Pelargonium, Dahlia, Japanese Chrysanthemums, and more. Please share your thoughts, I really need your feedback on content and what you would like to see in future issues. I am calling this first issues my Prototype Issue, and I am releasing it as a limited edition soft launch, with the premier issue being the Autumn Issue in October. Frankly, I have no idea how this will be received, I expect both positive and critical comments, just as I get on this blog, which is terrific.

I am currently calling this a quarterly, but I am planning this to move quickly to 5 issues a year. High Summer, Autumn, Holiday, mid Winter, Spring. Four issues seems like too few, and six issues stretches my resources at the moment, but five issues although unusual, makes sense for now since it matches the lifestyle and gardening calendar in a more natural way. Since Magcloud sells the issues individually, It really doesn't make any difference how many issues there are until, or if, or when I finally am able to offer an annual subscription rate. Until then, this is a significant venture, and my strategy is that quickly, this website and blog will change its name and ID as well, as I move our project, forward. Wish me luck ( I'm going to need it!).

An article on Phone Apps for Gardeners.

August 7, 2009

A Sneak Peek at My New Magazine

OK, I can't stand it anymore, I need to share my project with you. Even though you cannot order it until next week when I announce it formally, and give you the link to subscribe. Here is a sneak peek of my new magazine called Matt Mattus - PLANT SOCIETY - The Magazine for People Serious About Plants.


As I prepare for my 'soft launch' next week, I wanted to share with you, my devoted ( an not so devoted!) readers my little project that you've perhaps already heard about. Next week I will announce the soft launch of Matt Mattus - Plant Society magazine. Essentially a blogazine, this is my experiment ( a big one) into the brand new world of digital publishing. In a partnership with a new web service called Magcloud, which is itself a beta test owned by Hewlett Packard Development Company, I will be writing, designing and offering subscriptions to my own paper magazine.

Starting as a quarterly this fall, this first printing is a test-a prototype issue, if you will. More info next week, for now, here are some screen captures to give you a taste of the content.

January 24, 2009


Last year, I listed some of my favorite current reading lists, and since it is winter, and cold, perhaps it's time again to get a wish list together and order some more books. In addition to these current titles, there are a few yet-to-be published titles that look interesting.
Some forthcoming titles are worth looking out for.

The Genus Jasminum in Cultivation

Peter Green and Diana Miller
Publisher Kew Publishing, 2009
Description Expected March 2009

This new Kew Magazine Monograph looks terrific, it is edited by Martyn Rix, from the Kew Website " destined for gardeners, nurserymen, botanists, and lovers of botanical art. The Genus Jasminum details the historical and cultural use of jasmine, its role in perfumery and medicine, cultivation in temperate and tropical gardens, and taxonomy, including a key to cultivated species. Full colour illustrations, photographs and maps illustrate the tex.t".

166pp. 244 x 182mm. 35 colour botanical paintings. 30 colour photographs. 18 line drawings. Hardcover.

ISBN 978 1 84246 011 5
Price £0.00 $0.00
This soon to be published work also sounds great....I can't get enough tropical or species Rhododendron inspiration, but this may make me broke.

Pocket Guide to Hardy Rhododendrons and Azalea Species
J F McQuire and M L A Robinson
Kew Publishing, 2009
An enthusiast's guide, which profiles all the hardy Rhododendron and Azalea species in temperate zones throughout the world. At the heart of the book are 750 colour photographs, used to illustrate every aspect of the plants together with succinct descriptions which include flower colour and flowering time, habit, height, performance, and, critically, leaf characteristics to aid species identification when the plants are not in bloom.
Based on the acclaimed descriptions of H.H. Davidian, the book nonetheless takes fully into account modern taxonomic revisions to the genus.

Provisional publication date: April 2009

ISBN 978 1 84246 148 8

This yet to be published book on my list, which I am most excited about is an Alpine Plant monograh entitled: Alpines from Mountain to Garden, but I could not find a cover image for it yet.

Alpines from Mountain to Garden
Richard Wilford (edited by Robert Rolfe)
Kew Publishing, 2009
To be published in the Kew Botanical Monograph series, this book explores the geography, history, botany and cultivation of alpines and rock garden plants from around the world. The story of the discovery of alpine plants and their introduction into our gardens is a tale of exploration, adventure and perseverance. The book is arranged by geographical region, from Europe and North America, to China, Australasia, South America and Africa. Plant portraits look in detail at particular genera and species, accompanied by colour photographs and botanical illustrations.
£0.00 $0.00

A Botanist in Borneo - Hugh Low's Sarawak Journals

R H W Reece & P J Cribb (ed.)
Natural History Publications (Borneo), 2002
An attractively presented book, consisting of the first publication of the plant-hunting diaries of the botanical collector, Hugh Low, who visited Sarawak during the years 1844-1846. The work includes 66 fine colour reproductions of plant portraits which prove Low's ability as a botanical artist, and the scene is set by a useful introductory chapter about Low's life and work.

212pp. 160 x 225 mm. Hardback, with dust-jacket.

ISBN 983 812 065 0

£27.00 $37.80

Exploratrices Intrepides
This book is more art book than Monograph, but it looks inspirational.

Kew Publishing, for the Mona Bismarck Foundation, 2007
A richly illustrated catalogue, produced to accompany an exhibition of works by the two talented botanical artists and travellers on display at the Mona Bismarck Foundation in Paris from May-July 2007. Many of the paintings were previously unpublished in book form, making this an essential addition to the libraries of all interested in the work of Marianne North and Margaret Mee. The text is bilingual French/English.

Marianne North was a remarkable Victorian painter, who, a hundred years ago, documented many of the plants which came to Kew from explorers.

184pp. Colour illustrations throughout. Paperback.

ISBN 9781842462119
£19.95 $27.95

Genera Euphorbiacearum
A. Radcliffe-Smith
Kew Publishing, 2001
This taxonomic account of all 339 genera currently recognized in the family, is illustrated with 50 full-page line drawings. Many of the generic descriptions are based on the work of the late Dr John Hutchinson, but the classification follows that of Webster as modified by the author.

464pp. 245 x 155mm. Paperback

ISBN 1 84246 022 6
£45.00 $63.00

Another Key monograph,tops on my list and now ordered....

The Genus Cymbidium

David Du Puy and Phillip Cribb
Kew Publishing, 2007
Description from Key site:
Cymbidiums are among the most important and popular orchids in horticulture. Starting in late Victorian England, the variety of form and colour in the species encouraged hybridisation that has provided a great diversity of novelties for the nursery trade over the years. They are versatile plants, marketed as cut-flowers, buttonholes and as pot plants, producing many large, long-lasting flowers.

Cymbidium growing in the Far East can be traced back to the time of Confucius (about 500 BC), but the first species were only introduced to Europe and China at the end of the 18th century. Relatively few species were seen in cultivation in Britain until the time of the Industrial Revolution, which provided both the leisure time and the money for an explosion of interest in orchid growing. From the mid-19th century onwards, extensive exploration and collection of new species took place. The genus Cymbidium currently comprises some 52 species distributed throughout south and east Asia, the Malay Archipelago and north and east Australia.

A revised classification of the genus and an assessment of specific delimitation and nomenclature within the genus are presented in this monograph. The evidence from DNA data has clarified the relationships and classification of the species. The resurgence of interest in Cymbidium species has highlighted the taxonomic questions that still remain in the genus. The recent rush of new species names in the literature is assessed and nomenclature is clarified.

Extensive fieldwork in tropical and subtropical Asia, the Malay Archipelago and Australia has allowed the examination of many species in their wild habitats, contributing valuable information concerning the ecology, natural variation of wild populations and conservation assessments for Cymbidium species, and are provided here for the first time.

Cymbidiums are easy to grow, undoubtedly one of the main reasons for their popularity in horticulture. Suitable environmental conditions and composts for cultivation are recommended, while detailed cultivation techniques for the species are discussed by Michael Tibbs, a leading commercial orchid grower.

369pp. 254 x 185mm. 38 full colour paintings. 200+ maps. Hardback.

ISBN 978 1 84246 147 1

£47.50 $66.50

And another book on the remarkable flora of Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, the amazing National Park where the infamous Paphiopedilum sanderianum ( a species with three foot long sepals which collectors kill over and which brings FBI agents into greenhouses if one has a wild collected form), this book seems like a must have even though it may sound obscure. Since my greenhouse is cool, many of the plants in my collection happen to be from Mount Kinabalu, from Vireya species of tropical Rhododendrons, to Paphs and other orchids.

As a companion to the other Mt. Kinabalu/Borneo book above, this book is pricey, but looks interesting. It has other companion books which address other genus. Since this is the most costly, since it has more color photos, it moves to the top of my list since I think it will be hard to find soon.

The Plants of Mount Kinabalu: 4. Dicotyledon families Acanthaceae to Lythraceae

John H. Beaman, Christine Anderson and Reed S. Beaman
Natural History Publications (Borneo) in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2001
The Plants of Mount Kinabalu provides an inventory of all vascular plants in the flora of Mount Kinabalu. Volume 4 contains historical aspects of plant collecting on Kinabalu, a biographical sketch of two of the most important collectors, Mary Strong and Joseph Clemens, analysis of the collections, and enumeration of half the dicotyledons (83 families, 430 genera and 1575 species, subspecies and varieties - just over a quarter of the total Kinabalu flora). The book is particularly authoritative because of the collaboration of 25 noted specialists in various plant groups.

Forty-five plates (containing over 170-colour photographs) enhance the text.

588pp. 250 x 160mm. Hardback, with jacket

ISBN 983 812 051 0
£67.00 $93.80
All are available at the Royal Botanic Gardens web site for Kew Books.

August 11, 2008

Trip to the Organic Farmers Market- Amherst, MA

The Organic Farmers Market on the common at Amherst, Massachusetts was a surprise find for us, this past Saturday. It may become a weekly summer event ( and an autumn one, too) since we rarely get out of the house now, and Amherst is located on a very pleasing one hour drive, west of here. Ameherst, a lovely tiny college town in the foot hills of the Berkshires ( or, more accurately, in Pioneer Valley) is famous for Amherst College, a small, private Ivy covered college which takes up much of the small town, and which makes the town more like Cambridge and Harvard in feeling and atmosphere. I know that this will become a favorite destination, for not only does the town offer other day-drive treats such as some of our favorite tyles of small restaurants like Indian, noodle shops and used book stores, it also is my alma mater, so I love visiting and renewing memories of my college years.

Heirloom Farms' stand at the Amherst Farmers Market

Heirloom Farms' amazing yellow Lisianthus. It is so refreshing to see growers who actually appreciate the more unusual cut flowers or who have an eye for newer introductions. This grower raises their own plants from seed, and they also sell organic free range eggs.

People arriving at the Amherst Farmers Market which runs on Saturdays, until 1:30 PM on the common. Event though we grow many of our own veggies, it's still nice to find options ( such as white baby turnips and Okra, this week).

A street in Amherst, Massachusetts, a quintessential college town, with Amherst, College sharing the main center of town.

Yellow Watermelon, which was locally grown, has always been a treat for me ever since I was a lad exhibiting at the local Horticultural Society Summer Shows. An elderly couple used to exhibit and win in most every class, during the summers, from sweet peas to beets. Their exhibits of summer-grown watermelons in pink, red, coral and yellows- all sliced in half for display on white porcelain plates, always captured my attention. I would stand in front of the display and imagine what the yellow crispy melon would taste like, I had seen nothing like them, ever. Now, I can buy them occasionally at the summer markets - what a treat.

Edamame for sale ( or Soybeans- if you are Republican)

The more typical summer flower-fare, available at farmers markets - still, very nice and very August.

I love the summer squash variety called 'Zephyr', it's the one with the blossom-end tips which look as if they were dipped in green tea.

Early harvest of Ginger Crisp Apples. I had to get some of these.

OF course, the omnipresent Heirloom Tomatoes.

So what to make for dinner? With the purchase of some organic grass-fed ground beef, some Vermont Chedder, Goat Cheese, Sweet Corn, Baby White Turnips, and a fresh Ciabatta bread - I just opted on the carb-overload, since it was the weekend, and I could not decide which item should be refrigerated! Here, a simple wood-grilled burger with chedder cheese, a cup of buttered baby white turnips , some sweet corn with French Sea Salt, goat cheese and butter, and a few Russian Fingerlings, all waxy and roased in virgin olive oil, an heirloom red garlic, and served with some fresh, chopped mint from the garden.

August 6, 2008

Discovering Gardening Podcasts

A new Podcast series available for free from Bulb experts Brent and Becky Bulbs on iTunes
On my last trip to Japan, I spent some time loading up my iPhone with entertainment for iTunes. During online searches, I discovered the joy of the free uploads of many podcasts, and video. Podcasts are available for you to subscribe to, mostly free, from many sources, from lectures from the major universities such as Dartmouth or Yale on many subjects, including entire course lectures. This was a side of digital entertainment that I never new existed, for I am hardly a digi-geek. The simplicity of joining iTunes, and searching for my favorite subjects to listen to resulted in hundreds of blogs and lectures for me to download, far more than I could ever listen to on an 18 hour flight, but now, I am discovering the joy of burning these to a DVD or CD, to listen to in my car during my one hour commute to and from work.

At last count, I saw over 200 podcasts about gardening, but there are plenty more if you search under such subject listings and plants, or orchids, or horticulture - all on iTunes, many of these, once selected, will have a dozen or more podcasts, each often an hour long.

I only share this, since you may not be aware of these podcasts, and, some of them are extremely good ( others, not so good!, but it is fun to see for yourself). Imagine, last Saturday, while driving my 95 year old dad up to Kennebunkport Maine, we listened to Beth Chatto for two hours talk about Species tulips and her gravel garden, all downloaded for free from the podcasts made available on iTunes from the BBC Gardening Magazine. Videos, too are now available, to watch during lunch at work or on your iPhone, or other device, even while waiting in the car, if the kids are at soccer practice. I just downloaded a video podcast of the last lecture by Christopher Lloyd.

Our local TV weatherman at our ABC affiliate in Boston, Dave Epstein, is also a horticulturist, and now has a podcast available on iTunes. Expect experts, amateurs, maybe even me soon, with such podcasts. They are all fun, and informative in some way, but many are professional and very well done. Look for the BBC Gardening series, Kew, The Missouri Botanical Garden, The New York Botanical Garden, Ken Druse's DIRT, and many more.

July 31, 2008

Sweet-My First Book is Out - BEYOND TREND

OK, it's not about plants, but it is about design. I thought I would share that my book is out, globally now, I think. BEYOND TREND - How To Innovate In An Over-Designed World by Matt Mattus hit's the shelves in bookstores and your fav. online book stores from Borders to Amazon to Barnes and Noble in the States, to Kinokuniya in Japan, and Asia, David and Charles in the UK, and, well, it seems most major retailers from Wal Mart to Target. ( eeek ).

I guess it's great, and it sure feels nice to have a summer with some free weekends! Although, I am starting my gardening book, which I want to be unique, modern and different, so it's not like I actually have all of this free time!

A little about BEYOND TREND.

I was asked by the publishers of ID magazine, HOW magazine and PRINT magazine, F & W Publications ( also the publishers of HORTICULTURE now, strangely enough!) to write a book about design trends and the future of design, something that I speak about at design conferences, and what I do, at Hasbro, as a Visual Brand Strategist.

The result, this little hardcover book with over 200 color images of everything from Sir Norman Foster's architecture to Zaha Hadid's renderings for the 2012 Olympics to Hand bag designer Kate Spade and everything in between. Visual design today is becoming boring, as is gardening, I must say. We live in a world where we are obsessed with the idea of 'New', and trends seem to come and go faster than ever before. As a trend hunter, I was being asked, "what is next?", and after traveling the world, I had to say " not much". But that was not the entire story.

I love design, I love designing, and I was still, creating new. I was still finding some hope, but how could this be?

BEYOND TREND examines my journey through this realization of discovery. As I edited the visual sameness searching for the next, hot color. What I discovered surprised me. Maybe you will find the read and the visual ride exciting too.

Maybe you won't even care, but there is an amazing link between Biology, Philosophy, and design. It's what we humans, do.

So forgive me for pitching my book on this gardening blog, but I just thought that some of you might be interested. After all, plants are pretty visual, too!

Thanks for reading Growing With Plants, its; always nice to read your comments, even though I rarely can figure out how to reply with my Mac! I do read everything you say, and appreciate the growth in readership.

People are saying some nice things about my book, like Julia Rothman, and Jessica Gonacha.

April 7, 2008

Saxifraga in Tufa Rock

High alpine saxifrage growing in Tufa rock

I have a long history with Saxifraga, or saxifrages. 30 years ago, while in high school, my first summer job was not scooping ice cream at Cape Cod, or cutting lawns, nor flipping burgers; rather, it was kneeling on burlap for what seemed like the entire summer, extracting grass and weed seedlings with tweezers and fingertips, from an extensive collection of "silver saxifrages" at a well known local estate designed by Fletcher Steele, that of a philantropist, Helen Stoddard.

After three years of maintaining Mrs. Stoddards amazing collection of these alpine plants, I expected that I might have had my fill of these alpine plants, but rather, the opposite has happened. Now in my 40's, I continue to collect these alpine treasures, but it has only been recently, I admit, that I have been able to actually keep them alive! Not the easiest plants to please, these alpione plants, native to the highest peaks of the alps and European mountain ranges, require somewhat specific conditions to thrive, mainly, boyant cool air, fast draining soil which retains moisture at the same time ( not the easiest condition to achive) and bright light, if not sun, without burning.

Attempting to grow these Saxifrages in normal garden conditions will result it unsatifactory results. They grow best in Tufa rock, but this is a material which is practically impossible to find ( tufa is a porous, limestone rock, perfect for so many alpines which love to grow in it), or you could try them in pots and containers, troughs, if you will, which contains a fast draining potting soil.

Thanks to Wrightman Alpines, the plants can now be purchased already growing in Tufa rock, which has redefined how my collection looks. I urge anyone in the Northern USA to try these, and elsewhere, search for these tiny buns at online and local nurseries and try taking cuttings, to plant in Tufa rock ( drill tiny holes, fill with Tufa rock powder, in June, and sit back and wait). Here are some photos of the denser growing forms of Saxifraga, a genus with 430 species of all sizes, with the higher alpine forms such as the kabischia types most suited for Tufa rock growing. Tufa rock keeps these lime lovers dense, tight and hard, which shows off their lime encrusted foliage, as well as seems to give them the hard growing conditions which seems to stimulate blossoming.

Kabischia Saxifrages surviving a New England winter in Tufa rock