Sunday, 27 October 2013

Hooked on Plants

This week a very special installation 'Hooked on Plants' opened at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. I am very lucky to have been a part of this exciting project along with fellow members of Cam City WI. Since January we have been meeting once a month in the cafe at the Gardens to study some amazing plants and recreate them using crochet. The project is part of the wider Festival of Ideas, an initiative set up by the University of Cambridge which celebrates the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Led by the fabulous Joanne of Not So Granny we started practising basic leaf shapes before moving on to free-form lichen and then trailing plants. The lichen became a mat for display in the Arid House.
Miss Chaela Boo: Hooked on Plants - crochet lichen
Once we had worked out the basics we divided into five smaller groups each working on different plants. Working with Claire (claireabellemakes) and Kelly (Miss Dotty Loves) we set about devising a pattern for our chosen plant. Cissus quadrangularis, which is type of grape, soon became affectionately known as the Sausage Plant for obvious reasons. We studied photographs as well as the real plants in the greenhouses and took on the advice of greenhouse supervisor Alex when planning our designs. Using our collective crochet skills and plenty of trial and error we came up with our pattern.
Miss Chaela Boo: Hooked on Plants - Cissus Quadrangularis
After creating lots of long strings of green sausages we edged them with a fine light brown yarn in order to recreate the slightly crispy dried edges of the real plant.

The finished Sausage Plant has been displayed entangled with the Ceropegia haygarthii as that is how the real plants are growing together in the greenhouse. Can you spot the real Cissus quadrangularis?
Miss Chaela Boo: Hooked on Plants - Cissus Quadrangularis and Ceropegia Haygarthii
Miss Chaela Boo: Hooked on Plants - Cissus Quadrangularis and Ceropegia Haygarthii

Other plants within the installation include Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Dutchman's pipe or queen of the night) with it's beautiful big white flower.
Miss Chaela Boo: Hooked on Plants - crochet Epiphyllum oxypetalum
Epiphyllum anguliger (the Fishbone Cactus) which includes it's own crochet pot.
Miss Chaela Boo: Hooked on Plants - crochet Epiphillum anguliger (Fishbone Cactus)
And the slightly scary Bowiea volubilis or Climbing Onion which looks to be taking over the greenhouse.
Miss Chaela Boo: Hooked on Plants - crochet Bowiea volubilis (Climbing Onion)
The finished plants look fantastic displayed alongside their living counterparts and are well worth a look if you are in Cambridge during the next week. 'Hooked on Plants' is open until Sunday 3 November. Usual Garden opening times and admission charges apply.

Now get yourselves over to Handmade Monday for some lovely bloggy goodness. 

18 comments:

  1. Wow! They look truly amazing. I wish I lived a bit nearer!

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  2. Me too! I'd definitely go and see that exhibition if I lived down that way - what a fun thing to do as well.

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    1. Thank you, it was a lot of fun to be a part of. :-)

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  3. Beautiful photos. Hope you are feeling better today. xx

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  4. Some of those plants are really spectacular.

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    1. The big white flower is really lovely and very strokeable :-)

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  5. This exhibition looks fabulous. The crocheted plants are mini works of art!

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  6. These are great. I always love seeing things like this displayed at the Knitting and Stitching show. Well done.

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    1. Thank you. I have never been but have seen pics on other blogs and it looks amazing. :)

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  7. What a fantastic idea, and a beautiful project.

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    1. It was great to see the plants develop over the year. And to see some amazing progress in the corchet skills of the group.

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  8. Yay! I love the sausage plant :-) I was so pleased to work on it with you and Kelly. Thanks for making it super fun (and sorry I was so late on Saturday!).

    xx

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    1. Yay! Sausage Plant love! I read that one of the common names is Devils Backbone, how is it not Sausage Plant?! xx

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  9. What a fantastic display! What a great show to take part in x

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