view 10 more images...

Today marks exactly the fourth year since the east coast of Japan was devastated by the so-called Great East Japan earthquake and the tsunami that it caused. To remember the disaster and pay his respects, writer and photographer Lee Basford travelled to the area only 70 kilometers away from the epicenter – named Tohoku – where after four years the locals are still rebuilding. One of the cities in the region most affected was Rikuzentakata. The ruthless waves destroyed basically everything, and what remains now is an overwhelming emptiness. The city was noted for its tree-lined coast – regarded as one of the most beautiful landscapes in Japan. But after the disaster, only 1 of the 70.000 trees remained. It became known as The Miracle Pine. A year after the disaster took place, in 2012, Rapha Continental shot a film in the devastated area, and there’s been an annual ride in Tohoku since, organized by Daisuke Kitayama, the film’s director, and Seiichi Watanabe, a Continental rider. These outtakes of Basford and his friend’s experiences of riding through the area show both the beauty and hardships of riding, one never really disconnects with the surrounding you are riding in – which in this case resulted in an unfiltered perspective on the struggles of the area. read more…

view 18 more images...

Last year we were very impressed by the beautiful debut publication of independent publishing house Zioxla named ‘Strange Plants‘, which will have a just as impressive follow up at the beginning of next month. The new book features the work of 30 artists, 5 more then than the first edition, and explores what these artists think about plants and how they portray them in their work. The very talented editor of the book, Zio Baritaux, brought together a new selection of artists, including names like Allison Schulnik, Misha Hollenbach, Francesca DiMattio, Zin Taylor, Katarina Janeckova, Stills & Strokes and Ren Hang. Schulnik, for example, used her own garden as a character in one of her short films; Stills & Strokes projected colors and geometric shapes onto the leaves of plants in botanical gardens; and DiMattio filled the sculptures in her exhibition with dramatic and unruly flowers. Each artist’s work is accompanied by an insightful article or interview that delves deeper into the relationships between plants and people, resulting in another inspirational book. read more…

watch video...

After yesterday’s feature we continue to stay in the fascinating Carrara area, with its marble quarries where men and machines dig the mountains, this time moving to Monte Bettogli. Last year in October, Nowness shared this excerpt of the highly inspirational documentary “Il Capo” (The Chief) by the italian visionary Yuri Ancarani. It continues to be one of the best things we’ve seen in a long time, portraying a maestro quarry manager at work. The extraordinary craftsmen coordinates or even conducts his quarrymen and heavy-duty machines, using a language consisting solely of gestures and signs. Conducting his dangerous and sublime orchestra against the backdrop of the almost surreal landscapes and peaks of the Apuane Alps, The Chief works in total noise, which create a paradoxical silence. The result is an utmost poetic video, finding extraordinary beauty in an extraordinary craft. read more…

view 9 more images...

Virginie Khateeb is a French photographer, currently based in Paris. Her main inspirations lay in the wilderness, raw materials, body shapes and the stillness of chaos. This results in a longing for change and new experiences, constantly pushing her to find unspoiled beauty, whether that lays within a person or at a particular place. One of those discoveries, which she found and captured in a tremendous manner, are the marble quarries of Carrara in the North of Italy, just under Genoa, where the talented photographer shot the series named ‘Deconstruction’ for Yet Magazine. The subject matter of her series is an area full of constantly evolving landscapes, characterized by their surreal architecture and sculpted structures built from gutted mountains. Khateeb portrays this tour de force of nature’s beauty in incredible clean frames, which at first glance may even appear to be paintings, with the extraordinary marble, full of hard lines, almost becoming tangible. We just plainly love the raw beauty of these images, underlining the great talent of Khateeb. read more…

view 10 more images...

We have written about the incredible Athens-based webstore named Daphnis and Chloe when we found out about it in July of this year. The elegant and exquisite project was founded by Evangelia Koutsovoulou who divides her time between between Athens, Milan and Barcelona. The webstore which was funded through Kickstarter focusses on culinary herbs and spices for chefs and home cooks who are looking for Mediterranean ingredients of the finest quality. Last week Evangelia and her team released an all new offering in the form of their caffeine-free alternative to normal tea which they named ‚The Office Blend’. Next to the new premium tea, which comes in a colorful all new container, the store has released this new packaging for all its herbs ensuring the best possible use for their fine herbs in the area where it matters most: the kitchen. read more…

view 6 more images...

We love this project by prestigious Oslo-based multidisciplinary studio Snøhetta named The Vulkan Beehive. Set atop the roof of the Mathallen food hall in central Oslo, the honey-colored wooden cabins became home to 160.000 bees this past July, which shows that the little ingenious insects continue to inspire in the creation of great projects. The shape and natural geometry of the honeycomb were key-elements in this project, as the highly inspirational studio created these sculpturesque urban hives in real bee style with a multi-faceted form and hexagonal-patterned façade. Constructed entirely out of a light-colored wood finished with an intentionally honey-reminiscent hue, the hives were designed with an appearance that reflects their purpose of bringing back bees to the city environment of Oslo in an utmost elegant manner. read more…

view 16 more images...

We really like the first publication by Independent publishing house Zioxla named Strange Plants’. The book is a celebration of plants in contemporary art featuring the work of 25 artists: from oozing paintings of rotting cacti to eerie, mesmeric photos of the leafy kudzu vine, and discusses the role plants play in the artists’ personal lives. For the book, editor Zio Baritaux brought together eight artists whose work focuses on the natural world: Erik Parker, Helene Schmitz, Paul Wackers, Lee Kwang-Ho, Taylor McKimens, David Axelbank, Stephen Eichhorn and Aiyana Udesen. In-depth interviews and articles are presented alongside images that showcase the instinctive and unique ways plants are represented in the artists’ works. read more…

view 10 more images...

Recently we came across the inspiring Athens-based Kickstarter funded webstore named Daphnis and Chloe, founded by Evangelia Koutsovoulou, which focusses on culinary herbs and spices for chefs and home cooks who are looking for Mediterranean ingredients of the finest quality. Local varieties of Mediterranean herbs are sourced from the areas of Greece where they naturally perform better, making their products of the highest quality. In the seasonings and infusions one finds at Daphnis and Chloe, city cooks can smell and taste the genuine bounty that can only be encountered in the natural state of things, without having to visit the remote islands and valleys where each herb has chosen to grow. Around these exquisite products a distinct aesthetic was created online and in the packaging, making Daphnis and Chloe by far the most elegant choice when looking for the finest herbs and spices. read more…

view 7 more images...

We absolutely love the new collection by Sweden-based gardening house, and one of the most elegant companies worldwide; Coloni. For Spring/Summer 2014 the company has explored the field of species for growing on balconies and other small spaces. By focusing on these species with a wild character, such as meadow flowers and different kinds of grasses, and combining them with species that have a graphic and dramatic character the aim is to create seed mixtures with a natural and less structured feeling. Inspired by the rhythm of day and night and its different moods, the collection named From Dusk Till Dawn consists of the seed mixtures Early Shades, Harvest Noon and Into the Night. read more…

view 9 more images...

The Garden Edit is a beautifully curated collection of products for, and inspired by, the garden. Founded by English gardener John Tebbs, the platform redraws the traditional boundaries associated with shopping and the garden by bringing together a modern collection of products that embody functionality, timelessness and beauty. A gardener for over 15 years, John creates and maintains private and commercial gardens across London. Working under the title Finch Gardening, he has a client base who love the personal touch and appreciate the garden as an evolving space. read more…

Phillipa Tocker & Ashley Cox in their home in Karori, Wellington captured by Freunde von Freunden.

Micro beauty: These are some of the most otherworldly creatures you’ll find on earth – as shared on Wired Science

watch video...

To celebrate their this year introduced Highlander Honey whiskey Dewar’s collaborated with Sid Lee and The Ebeling Group for a campaign in which 80000 Highlander honey bees play the lead role, producing the key ingredient for the new liquor. Dewar’s Highlander Honey is the first modern honey flavoured whisky to come out of Scotland and was created by Dewar’s master blender Stephanie Macleod. The campaign is both aesthetically and technically impressive and shows a fascinating variation on the swiftly expanding 3D printing technology as it focusses on the process of bees creating honeycombs in the shape of a whiskey bottle. read more…

We love these beautiful and minimalistyc Hydroponic (a subset of gardening in which plants are grown only in water) Terrariums by TERRA — via Spoon & Tamago

view 8 more images...

We really like this Kickstarter project which envisions a new direction for plants in an urban environment. Plant-in City is a collaboration between architects, designers, and technologists who are building new ways of interacting with nature. The sculptural Plant-in City terrariums combine modular architecture, basic laws of physics, embedded technologies, and mobile computing to construct a Plant City where the aesthetic meets the pragmatic. read more…

view 5 more images...

For my fourth Curated gift I present a signed and numbered edition of: An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds by photographer Luke Stephenson. London-based design studio YES collaborated with the photographer for this project which documents the fascinating (British) culture of show birds.
What attracts me to the book in the first place is it’s explicit quality of exposing the wonderful aesthetic of nature. Stephenson succeeded in creating a series of photographs catching the essence of the depicted birds in color and form like it was done in formal portraits of monarchs during previous centuries. The birds are depicted on mono colored backgrounds resulting in a great contrast with the many visible colors and shapes of the birds, creating an overall aesthetic reminiscent of fashion photography. Stephenson made nature into fashion.  read more…

The amazing gardening set by Coloni at Miscellaneous Store that takes gardening to a new and conceptual level.

A subscription to our favourite green magazine: The Plant Journal, A journal about ordinary plants and other greenery.

The beauty of it. The wind map during Hurricane Sandy.

view 3 more images...

There’s a new shop in (online)town called The Quiet Farm. An online boutique with a great curation of classic and honest products, all dedicated to enjoy life, ‘the time with family, friends and that big muddy place, the outside.’ Things like a Countrymen’s Whistle, the book ‘Our Garden Birds’ by Matt Sewell, some lovely limited edition read more…

view 13 more images...

Sometimes you stumble upon something extraordinary, new, fresh and completely beyond anything expected. Coloni is one of these things. Coloni is a swedish based gardening house founded in 2010. In collaboration with a horticulturist, Coloni has developed an approach to a new kind of indoor gardening based on seed mixtures composed from a conceptual point of view. The mixtures consist of seeds from desert and arid Mediterranean climates and include both annual and perennial species. read more…

view 10 more images...

A new bi-annual publication from Spain. The Plant Journal offers a new look on greenery by featuring the works of creative people who love plants along with botanical contents in a simple and personal way. It reminds me on Apartemento, friends from the publishers and based in Barcelona too. read more…

view 2 more images...

Love these String Gardens by Dutchmen Fedor van der Falk. He started 3 years ago with a three dimensional crochet filled with plaster, soil, moss and grass to continue with small plants resulting in a combination of kokedama and a Japanese botanic style like the real Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It’s  truly amazing how he’s read more…

I remember the first time seeing a hummingbird, impressed by the beauty and perfection of this little creature. AeroVironment developed this Nano Hummingbird (The Nano Air Vehicle -NAV-, a new class of air vehicle systems capable of indoor and outdoor operation). With a total of 18 gram, including the batteries and the camera, he is read more…

It’s the time of the year that the cherry blossoms are blooming. Hanami, or Flower Viewing, is not a common tradition in western cultures but I think I’m going to start it! Today I was so inspired by the blossoms the ‘luminous and beautiful yet fleeting and ephemeral’ flowers, the sunlight flickering through the branches, read more…