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Botanica I

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Detail from a Mexican botanical chart in my collection

My goodness this winter is dragging on. I'm sure I'm not alone in yearning for some warmer weather to soothe my stiff, cranky bones. I opened the NYTimes this morning and saw some lovely green blocks and globs of vegetable matter. They wouldn't normally look so appealing, but…..green looks good to me right now.

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The above photos feature a flavor bomb of herbal stir-fry sauce and a vegetable ice cream salad, courtesy of Dirt Candy (an expanding vegetable-inspired East Village restaurant).

Plant matter and flora have been something of an obsession for me lately. The simple green herb illustrations, below, from the 1910s would cut through the gray gloom….perfect for a kitchen (or restaurant).

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Lost in my verdant fantasies, I've been pretend redecorating my house with gorgeous floral wall papers. Here are some of my favorites….

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a classic William Morris English Arts & Crafts pattern

 

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A beautiful C.F.Voysey-inspired Design Used by Jersey Ice Cream Co. in one of their interior design projects

 

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a decidedly more modern floral seen in the pages of Design Sponge

If you didn't want to paper a whole wall in a floral print, you could try a large botanical chart as a backdrop.

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And for those who just want a little bit of flora, I have some fine original prints suitable for framing. The hand-colored English ferns (shown above), date back to the 1860s. The vivid hand-colored lily (shown below) is from Guerin, 1830s (French).

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Among my favorite recent acquisitions are these generously-sized German botanical prints (excerpts below) from the 1870s. Hand-colored and exquisitely detailed, they evoke nature and radiate warmth. They could help chase away the winter blues. Matted and ready for 16 x 20 frames, $42 each.

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