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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Moss Graffiti

Yesterday I featured a some of the landscaping design books we have in our collection. Today, I'm going to direct you to a project I found online for creating "moss graffiti." In essence it is creating a paint-like substance from living moss, and using it to decorate outdoor walls and other spaces. I think it's totally amazing and just had to share it with you; click here. Here's a photo of what a completed project might look like:


Now, to tie this into a book in our collection, I'm going to recommend a novel by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature of All Things [F GIL, AB/CD GIL, 3M ebook], a fascinating story of the adventures of a woman who studies moss! I kid you not.
Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker, a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry's brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father's money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma's research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction, into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist, but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

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