Wildflower Art Project Blooms in Los Angeles

Seeking to beautify the urban landscape with poppies, blue flax, yarrow and other native wildflowers, artist Fritz Haeg is spearheading a project to scatter wildflower seeds in selected open plots throughout Los Angeles County. While the plots may not look as attractive this fall, with only mounds of mulch protecting them, come spring, they will bloom in blazes of orange, purple, yellow and white.

Currently, 45 sites around Los Angeles have been selected, and the Los Angeles Nomadic Division, a nonprofit organization that curates public art installations throughout the county, still is seeking applicants from the Second District. Once selected, each participating site is officially identified with a prominent carved wood sign and the project culminates with an exhibition in spring 2014.

[raw]Haeg, who works to bring a sense of community to public spaces, has created art projects worldwide. In his most recent project, Edible Estates, Haeg created a series of public domestic edible gardens to bring neighbors together and to play up the virtues of home grown food. He noted that planting wildflowers will do away with the myth that Los Angeles has no seasons.
“The story of the native wildflowers of Los Angeles is more complex, nuanced, localized, and ever-changing. Long-anticipated early winter rains germinate seeds that have been lying in wait, buried in dry soils from the low coasts to the high deserts, from the valley flats to the mountain slopes,” he said. “Gradual growth with cool temperatures and low sun through winter months give way to an early spring explosion of bright green and rainbow color. The story of the seasons is told by the timing and extent of the bloom in direct proportion to the rainfall, temperatures, and climate.”

As part of the event, owners of selected sites are given free native wildflower seed mixes at workshops in partnership with The Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers & Native Plants. There are four wildflower mixes available, depending on whether the plot is near the coast, or on flatlands, a hillside or a by roadside.

The idea was inspired by English architectural critic and writer Reyner Banham’s 1971 book, Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, which examined how Angelenos relate to the beach, the freeways, the flatlands, and the foothills.

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For more information please visit: nomadicdivision.org