Saturday, October 06, 2007

Last Word in Grass

The other day I was browsing a website I love for its vintage patterns, and I found a photograph of a dress made out of grass. The designer is Robin Barcus, an artist who is currently doing a project which involves creating a dress for each of the fifties states.
This very beautiful grass dress is called Willow Creek Dress in Wyoming, 2006
It perfectly combines two topics I have been exploring in the last month: wild grasses and flower art.

Meanwhile, I found another blogger, the pseudonymously named Henry Thoreau, who has committed himself to a year-long project of identifying wild grasses in his hometown, San Francisco. He is doing exactly what I hoped to be doing and with much more skill and success. We share similar appreciations for the way wild grass prevails in the city landscape and our annoyance at the way modern landscapers plant ornamental grasses in straight rows of clumps.

Henry Thoreau also mentions another blog on wild grasses which is not quite as personal as his writing, but it does provide some awesome photographs and information about wild grasses.

Here are some books that Henry recommended for identifying wild grasses:
Lauren Brown's Grasses (best for the East Coast)
Manual of Grasses for North America, Utah State University Press
In Full View: Three Ways of Seeing California Plants by Glenn Keator and Linda Yamane, with illustrations by Ann Lewis

Because Henry is doing such a good job of finding, identifying and writing about wild grasses, I’ve decided to end my grass identification project (at least for this year, and with the option to take it up again if inspired by Henry’s posts) and focus on other topics. If you are fascinated by wild grasses, I suggest subscribing to Henry’s blog (I will be!).

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