About: Paula Panich

I'm a writer and teacher. I live in Los Angeles, but once lived where alliums needn't be refrigerated, ever. My books include Cultivating Words: The Guide to Writing about the Plants and Gardens You Love; I will teach a class (open to the public) in the UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program in April and May called Making Space: Four Writers, Four Landscapes, Four Passions (M.F.K Fisher, Chekhov, Edith Wharton, and Mary Austin).

Posts by Paula

Posted in Gardens and Architecture, Getty Center

The Moment of Alliums

Coming this summer: Look for sculptural alliums holding their own against the dramatic architecture of the Getty Center
Coming this summer: Look for sculptural alliums holding their own against the dramatic architecture of the Getty Center

It is the week of return—of the vernal equinox, and of the shooting stars—the blue blue-violet alliums in Robert Irwin’s Central Garden at the Getty Center. We’ve been waiting. In late-ish February, green shoots began rocketing from the rich dark… More»

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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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