Native plant gardening for species conservation

Declining native species could be planted in urban green spaces. Researchers from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Leipzig University and other institutions describe how to use this great potential for species protection. In their most recent study, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, they recommend practical conservation gardening methods in a bid to restructure the horticultural industry and reverse plant species declines.

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Despite global efforts to protect biodiversity, many plant species are still declining. In Germany, this includes 70 percent of all plant species, with almost a third (27.5 percent) threatened, and 76 species are already considered extinct. Much of this loss can be attributed to the decline in natural habitats, in part due to increasing urbanization. Ten percent of the total area of Germany, for example, is settlement area.

However, it is precisely these settlement areas that hold enormous—albeit untapped—potential for nature conservation. After all, these areas include millions of private gardens, balconies and green roofs, as well as parks and other public green spaces. Researchers from iDiv, the Universities of Halle and Leipzig and other institutions propose using these potentially available areas for conservation gardening.

Source: Native plant gardening for species conservation

Mai-Thu Perret’s “Diana” Surprise –

The Swiss sculptor, known for giving form to utopian narratives and making feminist fantasy tactile, takes an unexpected classical turn.

Source: Mai-Thu Perret’s “Diana” Surprise –

MAI-THU PERRET SURPRISED HERSELF recently by producing a quasi-classical statue. Debuting this week at the Frieze Art Fair in New York, it’s a startling object: an updated version of the goddess Diana, standing straight-backed, made in ceramic except for the hands, which are finely cast in bronze. The sleek 5-foot-tall figure wears a sheath dress resembling a tunic, and her feet are clad, incongruously, in sneakers. But the strangest touch is an agglomeration of breast-like lumps around her midsection, a surreal motif drawn from another ancient source: the Ephesian Artemis, a fertility deity.

 Diana’s uncanny quality is not what Perret finds surprising. It is, rather, the idea of creating a traditional statue at all. During her more than twenty years of making sculpture—with mannequins, clay, neon, and other materials—the Swiss artist has studiously avoided conventional figurative modes, preferring instead the messier arena of found objects and contingent art-making, aslant conventional models of artistic authorship.

A viewer with The hundred flowers that come with the spring, for whom do they bloom? I, 2022, ceramic, 40 1/2 by 35 1/2 by 55 inches. Photo Mareike Tocha