As you know, here at NOTCOT, we adore our carnivorous plants (remember our own cape sundew? and trips up to California Carnivores?). Well, the carnivorous plants on display at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show did not disappoint. Although I only spotted two stands of carnivores on display, they were both stunning with some remarkable specimens from glistening sundews, to delicately drooping pitcher plants. Enjoy more photos of carnivorous plants at Chelsea on the next page!
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My highlight of this year’s show was almost certainly The Westland Magical Garden designed by Diarmuid Gavin. The enormous structure is over seven stories high and home to over 3,000 plants. From the ground, it simply looks like an overwhelming fortress, a tangle of greenery and scaffolding from below, but is home to so many treasures and makes stunning use of the space and views! It is seven stories of surprises! Above all, it remains playful with swings, ludic furniture and an incredible slide all the way to the ground from the fifth floor!
Remember a few years back when i visited California Carnivores? Well my carnivorous plants that came home with me from that trip are still doing their thing happily… and the other day NOTCOT.org editor, Justine Aw, came by and noticed that this sundew (most likely the cape sundew, Drosera capensis) caught its own prey! Fascinating to see it in action up close as its little tendrils wrapped tighter and tighter… see her close ups on the next page as well as the BBC’s time lapse footage of the a sundew at work!
Our London-based editor Justine Aw catches up with the latest action from the London Design Festival! For this latest in unexpected combinations, we love the idea of an object that can be used to hold just about anything your mind can dream up ~ while functioning like a giant clothespin! Another discovery from this year’s 100% Design, Been Kim’s DrinKlip. Sometimes you just can’t find a cupholder when you need one. How convenient would it be if you could add your own to any surface? That’s exactly what DrinKlip sets out to do. The piece clips onto desks, shelves, or even the arm of your chair using a classic clothespin design and gives you a cup that can carry up to 1kg. These clips come in a range of fun colors and can hold all sorts of things (love the idea of using them for plants!). Each sale also supports efforts to develop wells and water filtration for areas in need. More photos on the next page!
Here’s the latest discovery from Justine based in London!
20 Dalston Lane in the heart of East London seems an odd address for a farm. But Dalston’s FARM:shop is literally a farm in a shop. Once a derelict store, the shop is now a shop/cafe/meeting place and farm all in one. It is home to hundreds of growing plants arranged in every setup imaginable from a backyard polytunnel to hydroponics setup where plants are fed by the fish. It is even home to a flock of rooftop living chickens!
A perfect combination of public spaces/projects with urban farming, I knew this one would be right up our alley, and when I heard about the hydroponics and chickens on the roof, I knew it would be one not to miss. More photos on the next page!
Sneak peek in to Alessi’s Fall/Winter 2011 product line ~ two grabbed my attention in particular. Eero Aarnio’s Diva watering can, is both elegantly simple and sassy all at once ~ in black, green, and a creamy white. And the Anna Gong is a nod at Mendini’s famous “Anna G” corkscrew and legendary folding cake stand “art.898”. Take a peek at closeups and more details on the next page.
Just in from the UK ~ Justine just checked out Clerkenwell Design Week!
I never knew i could do strawberries upside down! Justine’s pics of this display have me inspired to try it… they have some impressive yield even! And get so lovely and bushy looking! Love this display of Boskke Sky Planters in the House of Detention, an installation from Theo, the re-branded retail/online side of Thorsten van Elten at Clerkenwell Design Week. Take a peek at close ups… and views UP into the strawberries on the next page!
The gardening bug seems to be going around as of late. Especially the trend in edible gardens at home! Regardless of whether you’re in a small apartment or a huge estate, we’ve been seeing windowbox gardens, herbs along the kitchen counter, upside down hanging tomato plants, rooftop gardens, guerilla gardens, community gardens, and full blown vegetable gardens fit to rival a farm. The daunting part perhaps is starting one…so Tasteologie Editor, Jackson, took on the task a few months ago in addition to working with friends on a few other vegetable gardens! On the next page you can see fun seedling growing options, and how they evolve into a full on vegetable garden!
Seed Pills! It seems like such a natural fit ~ everyone should be prescribed some seed pills to do their part and add a little more green to our world! Another project we encountered as part of the Selfridges’ GROW Concept Store and Guerilla Gardening Windows - Vanessa Harden’s seed pills. In addition to these clear pill capsules filled with seeds (which are purchasable in store), she has designed a series of “Subversive Gardener” concepts to do everything from launch the seeds from an umbrella’s top (as seen in her window display) or a bag to drill holes into the ground or a camera to launch seeds… as well as a “Horticulturalist Series” with seeds shooting out of a gun, or a walking stick… and more! Gel capsules with tiny seeds - melting down dispersed throughout the world, the idea of prescribing more green is just what some of us need! Take a peek on the next page…
Happy Earth Day! It’s been fun watching the evolution and growing trend of seedbombing - our latest find, Seedboms from Kabloom which are featured in the Selfridges’ Guerrilla Gardening display in their windows and Wonder Room. The little grenades are only available in the UK for now, as they feature four mixes of native species (Sunflower Incredible, Nasturtium Peach Melba, Cornfield Annual Mix and Native Wildflower Mix). However, other EU mixes are under development! Their design, display, and packaging were too irresistible to pass up, so we picked up a few while there… they are now in 4 packs and singles (and the 4 packs can even be split up, complete with to:/from: tag, for sharing!) Check them out close up on the next page!
We love living walls (and the many options available!) ~ found a gorgeous entry way of easily DIYable felt pouches housing strawberries and herbs at Ortofabbrica in Zona Tortona today! Gorgeous and simple, you can sew your own pocket panels with two sheets of felt, make grids across them… and slit them and pop your plants in! See the full installation on the next page!
Vertical Gardens! I’ve been fascinated by them the last few years, and it’s been fun to watch how they’ve evolved. In both style and ease of installation… so many tools and containers and techniques have popped up! Well, in researching various options to set up my own, Leo Corrales and I got frustrated and inspired and came up with a new NotConcept, merging parts of many we loved into a new design! Whether we’ll make it, is still uncertain, but it sure feels tempting! Combining the Wine Bottle Hydrogarden concept… with a more modular wall like structure… and something fun we could lean against the wall instead of mount… and our favorite big chunky frame look… take a peek on the next page at both our research on Vertical Gardening as well as our idea!!! And let us know what you think, what you’d want in your dream vertical garden, and maybe we’ll keep evolving the idea (or even MAKE one!) But first… to the sketches and renders!
Though we first had these on NOTCOT.org, some things are just more fun in person and up close! Like these Potting Shed Creations Grow Bottles! Cut wine bottles recycled into micro herb hydrogardens! From the felt tongue to soak up the nutrients from the reservoir base, to the clay marbles that sit in the main growing top ~ this doesn’t look quite like any of your other gardening set ups! It’s such a fun gift idea… next step is to see how it grows… but first! An unboxing of the beautifully simple packaging and fun graphics! (As well as a peek into the refill kits!) ~ check it all out on the nextpage!
I was the girl sitting in the back of the old shiny black pick up staring up into the trees as we drove through Veracruz up into the coffee sanctuary… AMAZED. And constantly taking pictures of the spiky clusters covering ancient trees from trunks to tips… and upon closer inspection they are air plants! Bromeliads! Tillandsia! So this post is a special one for my mom… who somehow manages to keep my TINY air plants alive and flowering while i’m out of town, and somehow has hers flourishing and growing new bits all the time in her courtyard! And the species covering these trees are just like the ones that you will find hanging in little glass orbs, sold in lots of succulent centerpieces, and every where from trendy gift shops to nurserys… and here they are covering huge trees!
So all through the little hike in the coffee sanctuary, i was enamored by the sheer number of plants and how well they thrived, it was amazing the larger trees even stayed alive seeing how covered they were at times! And close up the tiny baby ones were SO cute. I kept imagining how they climbed their way up there… picturing those super slow time lapsed plant nature documentaries… seriously, it is mind blowing how many spiky clusters there were. And it was like EVERY tree. I guess the locals are used to it. In the little town of Coatapec where we were staying (bummed i forgot to take a pic! it was dangerous while in the middle of the street though!) i kept seeing growing tiny clusters of air plants around the middle of TELEPHONE LINES! Right in the center! Like where you’d see sneakers hanging… Anyhow! Check out some pics of them on the next page and see why i was so mesmerized ~ also take a peek at the adorable retro truck we rode around in!
p.s. if you want some, or just to estimate the amount of airplant value on one of those trees ~ Airplants4U.
Gift Guide time! In addition to the NOTCOT Holiday Coupons and the many Holiday Giveaways that will be unfolding daily… Today, we’re going GREEN at home, in gorgeous and unexpected ways as sponsored by Starbucks who is celebrating their 12 Days of Sharing with us, all around NOTCOT.org! Ready for the green gift guide? Check out the next page!
Remember when I first wrote about Dan Akroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka almost exactly 2 years ago and people actually thought we were part of the joke propagating across the internet? But it was REAL? And awesomely pretty? Well wandering the supermarket last night i ran into the Crystal Head Vodka Gift Set ~ gorgeous skull bottle paired with two rather large mini skull shot glasses (missing skull caps!) and i couldn’t resist. While they seem EVEN bigger, after testing it out, each skull shot holds about 2.5oz… and that their need for a skull cap… i just couldn’t resist planting some succulents in there! So cute! Succulents in the skull = Skulculents? or Succuskulls? See more pics on the next page! They are way too fun!
I always swoon over the Litill Ltd. terrariums when i’m at A+R ~ and i’ve been giddy staring at these pictures that amazing photographer, Lauren Coleman, from Litill Ltd. sent over which she shot of their latest installation in collaboration with Annie Larson’s knit work at E.R Butler & Co. in NYC which are absolutely fabulous window displays! There’s something magical about both the succulent/air plant/mossy mini worlds, as well as the amorphous and organic bulbous glass structures they live within. Absolutely stunning ~ you have to see the way these are installed in the windows… mind blowing pics on the next page! (Thank you, Lauren!)
p.s. the little brick wall in the picture above is amazing.
With a house full of people working on photoshoots this week and still unpacking and organizing the new place… here’s another post of random inspiration… popped by fred segal’s one plus minus today and ran into one of the seed bomb machines by Common Studio’s Green Aid project i wrote about over at h2o visions! Now the real question is… do they work? Ran into a slight hiccup where inserting the two quarters and spinning, nothing came out… then the store clerk put in a few more, and 2.5 bombs popped out! But they do seem to fear the mess on the carpet, and ran over with a paper bag to catch the clay remnants before they hit the ground. So, here are a few pics of the seed bombs up close and watered… now to wait and see if they sprout!
“Flying Green’ collection by Italian Studio Klass consists on a set of ceramic vases for fresh spices. Each vase has a unique shape inspired by the different kinds of roots and botanical of spices. Their metallic hooks make it possible to hang them on walls with a kitchen’s steel bar. Designed in collaboration with Laboratorio Pesaro. These are so beautiful, i was smitten with the concept and photography when i first spotted them on Design Milk! Take a peek at far more close up pics and various colors on the next page!
Living walls are becoming more and more prevalent recently, and various arrangements have been popping up lately on variations on the concept. Insitu wall planters achieve a living wall through a grid frame to attach pots too which can easily be added to any wall. Made from powder coated steel and finished in either black satin or white gloss enamel, Insitu’s planters are available in a range of five standard sizes. See more images on the next page…
So, today was incredibly inspiring. Popped down to Oakley HQ in Foothill Ranch ~ and was quickly overwhelmed with everything from the beautiful view on the drive into the space… to the entrance… to the design studios… architecture… ejection seats… history… future… and secret bar… but, lets start outside. Between the Helipad and the Tank out front… POMEGRANATES! Tiny clementine sized pomegranates growing on the more adorable bushes lined the pathway between. And i was tempted to climb on the tank… but didn’t, and in retrospect, i’m now extremely curious what those little pomegranates taste like. But before we get inside the building… take a peek at at the fun outside Oakley.
And thus begins the posts from the all the Swedish shopping i couldn't resist that led to an inevitable Rimowa purchase... It was really quite bizarre trying to explain to the US immigration fellow what i did and why i was declaring things like toys, a watering can, a bird feeder, a suitcase and more randomness on my customs form... somehow all of this leads to him telling me about how he's retiring soon and looking to redecorate his house and chatting about products (with a huge line waiting behind me! Oh! The guilt!)
So firstly, the watering can i found at my favorite, Design Torget. I was smitten. So simple. So iconic. So multipurpose. (Come on, get creative... imagine serving drinks from it? crazy cocktail serving contraption for shots straight into your mouth?) Part of the Born in Sweden collection, this is the Watering Can designed by Pascal Charmolu. It was apparently a nominee for the Årets Sak Design Award 2008. A simple stainless steel cylinder with a rubber hose attached to the bottom... and a magnet holds the hose to the cylinder to stop the flow... and simply playing with gravity you can adjust the water flow and strength... It's so fun! And can also make for a gorgeous vase as it sits on the shelf... Of course i bought the vibrant red. See more pics of the details and awesome packaging on the next page!
how awesome is the silhouette of the watering can?
On unexpected inspiration and another random close up look at Oxford... how about some Moss and Spiders? And also praying mantis and silk worms... (And yes, moss fascinates me, remember the Singapore Moss?) So here are some fun little adorable moss clumps on the bridge... and then a huge spider that i found there too... then exploring into some of the zoology labs where i was whisked away to see some very cool (and insanely fly/web filled) space of pretty massive spiders and silk worms which are being researched to understand the magic of their silky webs... see the many pics on the next page!
I was heading to Petaluma from the Broad Summit ~ and just as i was getting out of Sebastapol i did a double take, pulled the car over, made a u-turn, and popped into California Carnivores in hopes it was open (it was late afternoon on a sunday) ~ and it WAS! And it is AMAZING. Apparently it is the "largest carnivorous plant shop in the united states"!!! AND omg. wow. you HAVE to see how stunning (and huge) this place and their plants and their kiddie pools filled with more plants in the process are... Good news is that they are carnivorous plant obsessed, extremely informative, super nice, and you can order online and they will ship anywhere in the US (he was even describing their intense packing process for shipping, and after hearing about it i'm confident to order more soon!) ~ but for now, i couldn't resist and currently have a box of 4 in my car... SO beautiful. They are so incredibly inspiring, take a peek at the pics of many species i have never seen up close before!
On unexpected discoveries, next time you're up in wine country california style ~ California Carnivores is a definite stop not to be missed!
As promised in the last post about the Arta Barware goodies ~ while making lemonade we cut open one of the largest (nearly softball sized?) lemons from the top of my tree ~ and we were surprised to find that the seeds had started sprouting! Not knowing this was possible, i immediately started rethinking those old wives' tales about how swallowing a seed would make a tree grow out of your head.... and while talking to someone else, i started thinking of the plant based villains from Darkwing Duck too (embedded videos on the next page if you need to catch up on Dr. Bushroot and Spike)... Anyhow, the seeds have now been planted, will see what happens to them, but not before taking some pics to share with you!
I'm no botanist. Is this normal?