“If plants don’t exist, humans don’t exist,” says Sydney-based landscape designer Georgina Reid. Reid is founder and editor of online magazine The Planthunter, the product of a few years of journaling and conceptualising how to best showcase that symbiosis. “That’s one of the messages I’m trying to convey with this site: that we’re all connected.”
Striking imagery and feature articles with a cultural bent offer a foray from typical how-to-grow guides. The inaugural edition explores notions of death in the plant world – questioning why men are given flowers only at their own funerals; a discussion of wintry ‘garden death’ designs by Dutch landscape artist Piet Oudolf; the beauty of a just-bloomed flower captured and shattered by a quick dip in liquid nitrogen, caught on camera; plus last supper recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen’s Hetty McKinnon. “It’s really exciting and encouraging, because I thought it would just be me writing the pieces. The idea has really resonated with people,” says Reid. Through her work, she spends much time pondering the relationship between people and plants. “That’s what this website is ultimately about, those connections and how they’re played out,” she says.
While gardening as a hobby is making a comeback, Reid notes our increasingly urbanised lifestyle has created a need for new forms of sharing knowledge and information about plants and nature. “Our generation doesn’t necessarily have the skills to engage with plants the way maybe our parents or grandparents did,” she says. Taking a more stylised, quirky approach to gardening and horticulture was key to her vision. “I think that’s the way to get to people of our ilk. I want to make gardening sexy.”