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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PLANTS THAT RESTORE -- Restorative Horticulture

PLANTS THAT RESTORE is a project that our botanical group the NORTH DOWNS BOTANICAL ARTISTS took on in conjunction with KEW GARDENS to create a colleciton of botanical artworks showcasing plants that have successfully been used to restore landscapes after mining activities have ceased. We chose plants from a selection that have been used to restore landscapes at the Richard's Bay Titanium Mine in South Africa, operated by Richard's Bay Mining, as well as the Argyle Diamond Mine and Weipa Bauxite Mine, both in Australia and operated by Rio Tinto Mining.

While this is a small and modest collection of artworks (six pieces along with an oversized explanation sheet) we think it may be the world's first collection of botanical artworks focusing on PLANTS THAT RESTORE, specifically, those used to restore mine sites. We feel the field of "restorative horticulture" is a positive one that will continue to grow as more and more mining companies come to embrace the value of replanting landscapes.

Contributing artists to the collection include: Gill Cann, Elizabeth Farrar, Lorraine Hawkins, Joan Howell-Jones, Debbie Cradock, and me, Mary Albanese. The original artworks will be permanently housed at KEW GARDENS. We are working with KEW now on scheduling a display/exhibition of the works, coming soon.  The collection is so new that few people have seen it yet. In fact, I am off to the frame shop today hopefully to pick up the works as even I have not yet seen the finished collection all properly framed. However, thanks to the magic of the web, you can see the collection on this web site (see the PLANTS THAT RESTORE menu link). We are very excited about this opportunity to push the boundaries of restorative horticulture by creating this collection in the hopes of bringing this important field to the public's attention. We feel these amazing plants are not only very useful but also beautiful, which is what we have tried to convey.

Special thanks to Amy Propsting, formerly with Kew Gardens. Without her help and enthusiasm for the project, it probably would have never happened. Also thanks to Edward Dines who came up with the phrase RESTORATIVE HORTICULTURE to describe the collection.
8:02 am gmt 

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