April 10, 2015

Team Lab giant interactive flower dislplay. Contemporary art. Part of a discussion at about technology and gardens - interactive gardens.
I’m headed to Orlando next week to speak at the Epcot International Garden Festival.  I’m excited, but still have to put final touches one of my two presentations and I am also quickly sneaking up on some big deadlines to get the next issue of PITH + VIGOR out in Late May (I hate to ask – but have you subscribed?).  As if this wasn’t enough – the compost/ mulch is being delivered (I figure it is ok since the adjacent snow pile is now less than 3 feet tall) and most importantly I have to sew on all the monkey and elephant tails for the costumes for my son’s upcoming play (Note to self: Do Not Forget the Monkey Tails! Repeat. Do Not Forget…). I’m stressed.

If I have any spare time (NOT), I am digging into this idea of interactive gardens. Check out all these links and tell me what you think….my mind is kind of blown.

  • I found this video from the Disney research people and it has sent me off on an imaginative tangent. I am fascinated by the idea that perhaps in the not too distant future, these keyboards and dull looking computer devices that we work on everyday could be replaced with plants – as in I could type this blog post by stroking the leaves of a lambs ear (Stachys byzantina) or by running my fingers through some mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima).  Wouldn’t that just be a huge life improvement?
  • Alexander at Pruned is equally excited — check out his post.  I love his idea that your inbox could be a clump of berries that fatten up as it fills and you pick (and maybe your even eat them – though apparently that technology is not so evolved) them to read the messages.
  • TeamLab is working down similar paths with amazing art installations. The picture above is a piece where the plants interact and dance with you as you move through the garden.  All of this is hard to get your head around – so here is post about this particular installation.
  • Check out this Cyber Gardening project by ecoLogicalStudio – It is basically a giant garden with bacteria and algae, controlled with computers, and which is 100% dependent on personal communication to grow the plants.
  • How about a Plant concert – Yes, the plants make music when you come near them or if you touch them….and it is all done by sensing our invisible electrostatic aura.  Wild right?

So now that I have totally messed with your head (my own spins with this stuff)….I’ll leave you to enjoy your weekend.



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  1. Natalie DeNormandie says:

    This was studied in the 1970s book, The Secret Life of Plants. When I read it two years ago, I didn’t understand why the book wasn’t *screamed from the rooftops*. IT is very exciting to me that 45 years later, people are catching on, and developing these concepts. Plants are sentient, can communicate, and can change their environment. It is true, and it is time for plant blindness to die and become compost for a newly blossoming and widespread plant awareness.

  2. Ellen W. says:

    This is pretty neat! I was thinking it would be about checking on the development of seedlings and their roots without having to dig them up.

    Of course what I really want is a video game type thing where I design a garden and see how it develops over the seasons and years.

    • The Editor says:

      Ellen W. – Oh – that is cool idea….plants that could tell you how they are doing… and I love the vidoe game idea – would be so helpful to designers at all levels.

  3. WOW Rochelle!!!
    Now MY head is spinning too! Thanks for your links to those Art/Science/Nature projects.
    It’s like being turned on to several REALLY COOL bands at once.
    Informed and inspired by your “Botanicus Interactus” post, I hereby dedicate today’s work scanning Galanthus and “Fairy Garden” plants, to the spirit of expansive thought and the wonders of our natural world.

  4. Brilliant Rochelle. Thank you so much for this.

  5. landscape la says:

    That’s really very very wonderful.I like it so much.

  6. Have you heard the “Music of the Plants”, a musical instrument created just for plants? With this device, plants can compose their own music, independent of human interaction. It gives us a way to hear what plants are experiencing.

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