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Book report—The Plant—issue 6
Written by Max Olijnyk — 10th September 2014

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I was quite sceptical of The Plant(1) when it first crossed my lap. ‘Ah, another fancy pants magazine,’ I thought. ‘Look at it, masquerading as a thing to read, hiding its true purpose: to make its immediate surroundings look a little bit prettier and a tad more sophisticated—kind of like a less-honest version of an actual plant.’ However it turns out I was being far too harsh. The Plant has, indeed, grown on me.

In the words of its publishers, The Plant is a curious observer of ordinary plants and other greenery.’ It’s a truly international publication, with offices in Barcelona and London and contributors from all over the world. And, like other top-shelf modern magazines, it combines nice photography and nice design with nice writing on a variety of subjects that are in some way related to a central theme—but in a charming, enthusiastic way.

Reading The Plant is like spending time with a really cool, slightly wacky person who knows a lot about plants but is kind of more interested in other shit. It’s ostensibly about one thing(2) but it’s really about much more. Because we have the internet now and it’s pretty darned good at giving us information or selling us things, we can look to magazines (or journals, or publications, you know what I mean) to give us something deeper.

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The Plant got me excited about things in general. There’s an article on making your own aromatic candles—which I enjoyed, but I’m hardly going to make my own aromatic candles, screw that. However, I do feel like writing some stuff for a new project. Maybe I’ll go camping this weekend. I need an adventure.

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As far as content, what do we have? A sweet feature on the gardeners of Versaille, which I read with interest because my girlfriend and I spent a day there a couple of years ago—initially under duress, but it turned into one of the most amazing experiences of our trip to Europe (3). That place is incredible!

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There’s an interesting piece about mazes in modern movies—including two of my faves, Labyrinth and The Shining. I wonder if they’ve done anything about hedges in previous issues… or about topiary in general? I like hedges a lot and would love to one day have a hedge of my own to tend lovingly.

That’s not all of it, or even the best of it. This is a magazine that you can digest over a few sittings, put on your shelf, look at from time to time and think, ‘What a good vibe that is.’ Then, when you’re having one of your big clean-outs, you’ll pick it up again and put it on the ‘keep’ pile without even thinking. It’s that good. The Plant (4).

(1) The Plant has a nice website, too – another feature of all good modern magazines.

(2) That is: botany, as opposed to interiors, food, dogs, surfing or motorbikes.

(3) Check out my blog if you don’t believe me!

(4) The Plant is available from The Good Copy shop in Collingwood – over the road from Jim’s Greek Tavern. So are lots of other interesting magazines, books, stationery and flip-flops.