Posts Tagged: plants!

What Should I Name My Plant?

Last night, I decided to leave my blogging cave and enjoy a nice walk around my neighborhood. Like an idiot, I "just stopped in" to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's gift shop, and went into a fugue state that only slightly cleared when I arrived 30 minutes later (the gift shop is TINY but if you don't touch every single plant in there did you really go???) at the cash register. "Errmmm, oh yeah, I am a member…did you…need to know that?" I stammered to the employee, exhausted from my hours of dutiful blogging and singing jazz standards in my empty house.

"Only if you want a discount!" she [...]


Valerie June, Baby Toes

The singer/songwriter/banjo-er Valerie June plays "organic moonshine roots" music — a mix of country, blues, folk, gospel, bluegrass, soul — and her debut studio album, Pushin' Against a Stone, is available now on iTunes. It's the best record I've heard this year.

I wrote about her for the New York Times Magazine yesterday (two songs are streaming there), but here's a couple vaguely music-related details that didn't make into the story, in case anyone's interested (she's also on Twitter!): A week after we first talked, I met up with her in the Williamsburg apartment she shares with her husband, Farkas Fülöp, a video projection artist. I’d been [...]


That's an Old Tree

What will they name the "new" oldest tree in the world? It must be weird to think you're the oldest [something] in the world — like Methuselah, the 4,845-year-old Great Basin bristlecone pine — and then have that title be taken away, because it'd mean you never really were in the first place, and that the only way you ever could be is if the other one died. Watch out, unnamed 5,062-year-old P. longaeva.


Depends What You Mean by "Flower"

How does that 10 year-old know what dead people smell like? Poor guy.


How to Date Your Plants

A few weeks ago, the Times had a fun interview with writer-gardener Helen Yoest about her new book, "Plants With Benefits: An Uninhibited Guide to the Aphrodisiac Herbs, Fruits, Flowers, and Veggies in Your Garden." I emailed her this week to learn more about these racy plants. 

Helen! I love the book. Are there any recurring party-talk jokes that people make when they hear about it? Or, anything you're sick of / amused by in that regard? "Plants with benefits? Heyyyy" etc.?

Helen Yoest's "Plants With Benefits: An Uninhibited Guide to the Aphrodisiac Herbs, Fruits, Flowers, and Veggies in Your Garden" is available now.• Powell'sAmazon



Glow-in-the-Dark Trees

Hoping to give new meaning to the term “natural light,” a small group of biotechnology hobbyists and entrepreneurs has started a project to develop plants that glow, potentially leading the way for trees that can replace electric streetlamps and potted flowers luminous enough to read by.

WHAT. It also has a Kickstarter ("inspired by fireflies and aquatic bioluminescence"!), through which they've already raised more than 400% of their goal money. But then it gets a little freaky ("widespread random and nation-wide release of synthetic organisms," plus — why not — the etymologies of luciferase and luciferin, although I guess that's light in general), and then [...]


Friday Open Thread

What's happening this weekend? How is everyone? Did anything break this week? (No reason, just curious!)


Amaryllis, Flower Cult

About a year ago, I got an email from a flower company offering to send me a box of three amaryllis bulbs. I said yes, in part because my mom also grows and gives away amaryllis plants each winter, but mostly because I love flowers, even if I am probably not supposed to accept them or anything else for free. Then last fall I emailed my mom about it. 

EZ: What do you like about giving amaryllis bulbs as gifts? I like that they're almost ridiculously easy, and then somehow also never die. And randomly (or not so randomly) rebloom.

Elizabeth Fox: Amaryllis are like dessert, at least for [...]



This morning I wondered what would happen if I watered my plants with coffee, to "wake them up," and then I wondered if anyone still conducts experiments like that at home anymore. Old-school, science project-style experiments (plant with coffee vs. plant with just water). Like: Which ___ is better at ____? Or something like that. Do you? Or has Google solved those little problems?

And it looks like you definitely can water plants with coffee. Some of them, at least.


A Plant That *BLEEPS* Where it *BLEEPS*

Meet Nepenthes lowii, Venus Flytrap's depraved, revolting, yet somehow slightly prettier cousin.