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The Plant Journal: a must-read for plant people worldwide

Words by
March 14, 2017
The Plant issue 9 is a summer story. Bold colors, fiery flowers, and a warm weather feeling fill the pages with tales of sea plants, recipes for plant-based ice cream and photos of flower arrangements dedicated to popular musicians who have moved on from our world. The Plant itself is always an eclectic collection of stories and visuals that takes the shape of a “monograph” dedicated to particular plant: in this issue the Geranium, a plant that is “cheesy boring and eternally out of style. A granny’s plant.” There’s a set structure: in the back practical advice on plant care and artistic odes to the featured plant (poems, visuals, etc.). Full-length features are then woven in next to photographic and illustrative essays and DIY crafting ideas, but each issue is always surprising and full of unexpected content that links back to nature.
The Plant Journal
If you love nature, then everything and every place is special — Tomi Ungerer
To set the summer mood, a piece on the Cornish Seaweed Company takes a look at a less traditional environment for edible plant life: the sea. The only commercial seaweed harvesters in England, the small company of foragers rely on the tides and the ocean for their livelihood. In the summer months they can collect as much as 40 kg of seaweed in a day with a ten person team. They’re careful about changing collection areas to let these nutrient-rich, not-quite-plants grow back (as plants must have roots, we can’t consider seaweed a true plant). Even so, most seaweeds can grow about 60 to 80 times faster than other plants: good news for a fast harvest. The most difficult part, however, is finding the demand. Despite being a near perfect nutrient source, co-founder Tim van Berkel points out, “Because they are called seaweeds, sea vegetables still don’t appeal to a lot of people.”

From the expansive sea to isolated Ireland, The Plant takes readers on a journey into the home and life of Tomi Ungerer, an eccentric artist and children’s author who has lived an incredible and creative life. Now, at 85, he continues to craft both with words and physical objects: teddy bears, dolls and discarded items, always coming up with new creations. He lives in an isolated stretch of Ireland with his family on a farm that’s constantly up against the forces of nature. The wet salt air and strong storms have killed their plants and wrecked havoc on their livestock. But Tomi lives content, “If you love nature,” he says, “then everything and every place is special.”

The Plant Journal
The introduction tells readers that this particular summer issue, “is intended to be a celebration, and hence it is full of flowers. A celebration of life, but also death. Because once the summer is over, feelings of nostalgia and delusion are pointless.” And so now, in the heart of winter, we look back on this vibrant issue and celebrate the diversity and depth of the magazine itself and the plants that lead us to this path of inspiration. Dive into any issue of The Plant and you’ll come out amazed: by the people, the plants and the projects that fill each page.
Editor in Chief: Christina Merino
Creative Directors: Isabel Merino, Carol Montpart
Issue: 9 (Summer 2016)
Published in: Spain / UK