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Flower crowns are having a moment. Here's how to make your own
''Gardeners and florists are the happiest of all the professions ... nearly twice as happy as people in more prestigious and better paid jobs," says UK economist and behavioural scientist Paul Dolan. No wonder flowers and plants have long been a staple design feature in fashion. Gucci's creative director, Alessandro Michele, recently released his latest scent, Bloom, a tribute to his love of flowers and nature. There hasn't been a collection under Michele that hasn't featured a hydrangea-sprigged scarf or a cabbage rose appliquéd on to a handbag: flora and fauna are firmly planted in Gucci's DNA. But every designer we've ever heard of has had a love affair with plants at some stage, and now the floral crown has come firmly back into fashion.

This new Scottish gin uses flower power to change colour – and it’s all-natural
A new gin is about to hit the market that has a truly unique selling point – it changes colour. The Old Curiosity recipes incorporate unusual floral botanicals to naturally create three flavours of remarkable colour-changing gin.

Nanoscale glitches let flowers make a blue blur that bees can see
A bit of imperfection could be perfect for flowers creating a “blue halo” effect that bees can see.

At least a dozen families of flowering plants, from hibiscuses to daisy relatives, have a species or more that can create a bluish-ultraviolet tinge using arrays of nanoscale ridges on petals, an international research team reports online October 18 in Nature. These arrays could be the first shown to benefit from the sloppiness of natural fabrication, says coauthor Silvia Vignolini, a physicist specializing in nanoscale optics at the University of Cambridge.

Self-sowing flowers create pockets of self-sufficient beauty
I thought I’d discovered the secret of perpetual plant life when I found a wonderfully easy way to manage a long brick planter at the front of my home. No yearly spring planting. Just plucking up old plants in early spring and letting the self-sown seedlings grow.

Britney Spears Painting Flowers to Classical Music Is Your Blissful Weekend Inspo
Sometimes, you just gotta play... and paint flowers on the front porch of your mansion while wearing a bralette and listening to classical music. Did we mention you're an international music icon, to boot? Britney Spears sure knows how to relax after a long night of performing onstage in Las Vegas: a little acrylic paint, a nice warm breeze and a few art canvases make for a wholly calming video of the pop princess, and a clip unlike any music video she's ever starred in. (You better paint, b---h.)

These 100-Year-Old Glass Flowers Are So Accurate, They Rival the Real Thing
The problem with Harvard University’s collection of glass flowers, explains professor of botany Donald H. Pfister, is that they’re too realistic. “When they’re photographed, they just look like plants,” he says, ruefully. “So how do you make a photo book that lets people know that these are actually glass models?” Even the first director of Harvard’s Botanical Museum, George Lincoln Goodale, was initially fooled by the models. During an 1886 trip to Germany to visit the home of glassmakers Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, he saw what he assumed to be a vase of blooming, freshly-cut orchids. In truth, each delicate petal and curving stem had been hand-crafted from glass. That was all the convincing Goodale needed to commission thousands of botanical models from the father-son team—a series officially known as the Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants. Today, the collection is housed in a dedicated gallery at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Ever wondered what 15,000 flowers would look like on a Christmas tree?
Last week London St Pancras International unveiled its spectacular 2017 Christmas tree, a statuesque flower tree created by the station's very own luxury florist, Moyses Stevens. Bringing a festive flourish to the famous station, the hand-crafted 47ft floral sensation is made from over 15,000 flowers.

Eight donkeys jailed for eating flowers outside prison
Don’t worry, the animals have now been given bail.

Weird ‘underground’ flower has evolved to look like a mushroom
THERE is a plant whose flowers bloom almost underground – and that might be how it lures in its favourite pollinators, mushroom-eating flies. The cast-iron plant (Aspidistra elatior ) has drab flowers that are often buried in leaf litter. Biologists have long been puzzled about how these subterranean flowers are pollinated. Slugs, small crustaceans and insect-like springtails have all been named as possible candidates. To find out, Kenji Suetsugu at Kobe University and Masahiro Sueyoshi at the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute in Tsukuba studied wild cast-iron plants. “No one had conducted direct observations in the natural habitat,” says Suetsugu. The pair went to Japan’s Kuroshima Island, where the plants are common. Over two years, they noted the visitors to flowers, and counted how many became fruit each autumn.

To express love, ‘say it with flowers’
It was a paper intended for wrapping flower bouquets, etched with the words “Say it with flowers,” and it piqued Linda Stillman’s interest for years.

Stillman — an artist who primarily works with paintings and collages — decided to start taking pictures of people with the wrapping paper and bouquets whenever she came across them in New York. Once she took around 10 pictures of people with individualized stories about why they bought the flowers, Stillman realized her interest had grown into something more.

 “I didn’t really think it would be an art project,” Stillman said. “I just wanted to document them.”

A year ago, Stillman’s budding project caught the attention of Jodi Moise, curator of the Montefiore Fine Art Program and Collection at the Montefiore Medical Center. Moise encouraged Stillman to expand her work to focus on some people in the Bronx.

“Everybody loves flowers,” Moise said. “It’s a universal concept and it’s just easy to understand. And who doesn’t like to receive flowers?”  

So Stillman did just that. She visited places like the Grand Concourse on Valentine’s Day and even sat through Lehman College’s graduation in May to capture the happy degree recipients with bouquets they received from loved ones. 

“The expression ‘say it with flowers’ was very clever,” she said. “Sometimes people aren’t very good at expressing their emotions, and flowers allow them to say things that might be hard for them to say.” 

But one of Stillman’s most memorable moments from exploring the Bronx was actually the first picture she took in the borough last December.

She recalls being near a deli at Jerome Avenue and Mosholu Parkway when she noticed a woman carrying flowers with that familiar phrase on the paper. The woman was buying flowers after her son was not well, but when Stillman asked her who the flowers were for, they weren’t for him. 

“She said, ‘They’re for God,’” Stillman recalled. “I just was blown away by this amazing woman and her gratitude for the things she felt she got from God and how her son was doing so well. She was buying flowers to put on her altar at home to thank God for all the good things that have happened to her and her son. That was really chilling.”

Almost a year later, Stillman’s exhibition, “Say it With Flowers,” is now on display at the Montefiore Medical Centers’ ArtViews Gallery, 110 E. 210th St., through Jan. 26. 

The gallery — housed between a long corridor where the hospital’s radiology and radiation oncology departments are located — launched in September 2015 and displays work with some sort of relation to the Bronx. The artwork rotates between Montefiore’s other campuses in Wakefield and Eastchester as well.

Moise sees “Say it With Flowers” as an opportunity to bring an uplifting exhibition to visitors who need it for a variety of reasons.

“Everything is at a height that whether you’re young, old, you’re being directed through (the hallway so) you have an opportunity to see them,” she said. “And it enhances the space and just transports you somewhere else for that moment. (It) gives you a moment to pause. It makes you think about something else, hopefully other than why you’re here” at the hospital. 

Stillman shares a similar response from a patient and visitor’s perspective.

“When you’re in a traumatic situation, to look at art is a really good way of getting out of your pain,” Stillman said. “Just from my experience, if I’m in a waiting room and they have beautiful artwork around, I feel like I’m valued as a patient.”

The reception to “Say it With Flowers” continues to be positive, according to Moise. She recalls seeing a few people take selfies with the pictures and visitors who have pointed out that the work features a relative or a location they’re familiar with.

Moise even noted that Montefiore employees are drawn to the exhibits the fine arts program provides every three to four months.

“I feel that there’s a level of personal investment in the exhibitions because they want to see what the next artist is going to share with them,” Moise said. 

But most of all, Moise and her program’s mission is dedicated to bringing positive art to a place where it’s sometimes needed the most — a hospital. “People walk through and they smile,” Moise said. “And you want people to smile in a hospital.”

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