Pin It

Wildflower at Heart 

At the beginning of the last century, before the film industry sparked its economic and cultural evolution, Los Angeles was a very different sort of town. In 1900 the city had 100,000 increasingly Americanizing residents, many originally from Midwestern states. But one newcomer arrived in 1893 from much farther afield and found his life's mission. Theodore Payne was an Englishman who fell in love with native California flora and committed himself to its preservation, creating special mixes designed for front lawns and mini-prairies, from the ocean to the agricultural inland.

“Wildflowering L.A.” Site #44 is a front yard, seen here in full bloom. - ISABEL AVILA
  • Isabel Avila
  • “Wildflowering L.A.” Site #44 is a front yard, seen here in full bloom.

Fast forward a century and you will find another transplant celebrating the diverse wildflowers of the Golden State. Fritz Haeg -- born in Minnesota but firmly rooted in Los Angeles -- is an architect-activist-artist who uses dirt, seeds and high-visibility locations to reimagine the cultivated environment of Los Angeles. His most recent project "Wildflowering L.A." employs 50 empty lots throughout the city as indigenous plant sites, an alternative to the water-hogging lawns that are often the go-to choice for homeowners. Haeg and his implementation partners recruit, train and distribute special seed packets to volunteer landowners. Carved wooden signs that look a lot like what you might find at a semi-rural park mark each site. And, of course, there's a project hashtag, so Twitter and Instagram addicts can follow viewers' reactions to the program.

If Haeg has you feeling inspired to create a small-scale "Wildflowering Indy," check out some of Indiana's greatest native plants or the Indy Redbud Project, which aims to revive vacant Mapleton Fall Creek lots with groves full of the domestic Eastern Redbud tree.

  • Pin It

Speaking of...

  • Letterpressed in L.A.

    Church of Type captures a Tennessee-to-California transplant and his typesetting adventures.
    • Aug 3, 2014
  • A Patchwork of Petals

    A one-tank trip to northern Indiana’s Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail reveals blooming masterpieces to inspire quilters and gardeners alike.
    • Jul 18, 2014
  • The Director's Cut

    Producer, director and writer Matt Mays travels the globe to create award-wining videos and, in his own way, conserves the planet through his efforts with the Indianapolis Prize. Not bad for a local boy.
    • Mar 20, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Nate the Great Returns

    Starting Thursday, Artrageous with Nate joins PBS Digital Studios’ lineup to bring the fun and fascination of the arts -- science, history and technology -- to youth.
    • Jan 6, 2016
  • Tunnel Vision

    Indiana Department of Transportation could take lessons from Dutch artist Herman Kuijer, who executed his bright idea of underpass art installations in the Netherlands.
    • Dec 31, 2015

About The Author

Sky Blue Window Editors

Sky Blue Window Editors

Bio:
We're here to tell engaging stories about the arts and culture in Central Indiana. But because we exist on the Internet, every once in a while we find something floating around in cyberspace that we just have to share. Sometimes it's local or regional, other times it might be national or global. It just needs... more

More by Sky Blue Window Editors

  • Having the Last Word

    Some of the men and women who made their careers writing and photographing Indy's news and entertainment stopped by the demolition site of the former Indianapolis Star building to get a last look and share some final thoughts about 307 North Penn.
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • LMAO this Weekend

    Bobcat Goldthwait to bring comic relief to Indy this Sunday -- a perfect entrée to the summer's stand-up comedy offerings.
    • May 29, 2015
  • Race-y Exhibits

    The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum houses a hot collection of racing memorabilia and history. While at the famous oval, get your art on at this track attraction.
    • May 22, 2015
  • More »

Latest in Public

  • The Last Straw

    Jim Poyser’s Strawbale merges art and science in a simple way to increase environmental awareness and support Indy’s waterways.
    • Jan 28, 2016
  • Nate the Great Returns

    Starting Thursday, Artrageous with Nate joins PBS Digital Studios’ lineup to bring the fun and fascination of the arts -- science, history and technology -- to youth.
    • Jan 6, 2016
  • Tunnel Vision

    Indiana Department of Transportation could take lessons from Dutch artist Herman Kuijer, who executed his bright idea of underpass art installations in the Netherlands.
    • Dec 31, 2015
  • More »
© 2017 CICF
Twitter
Facebook
Privacy Policy
Contact Us:
P: 317.634.2423   F: 317.684.0943
info@skybluewindow.org
Central Indiana Community Foundation
615 N. Alabama St. #119
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-1431
Sky Blue Window is presented by:

Website powered by Foundation