Words by
Anna Thomas
Images by
Anna Thomas
| October 27, 2013

I’ve always been fascinated with the natural world generally, and plants specifically. As a child I filled scrapbooks with foraged flora, my mum helping me to press the flowers between the layers of my flower press. My grandmother commented that I should become a botanist when I grew up.

High school biology was a revelation…all of the anatomical details, their infinite variety, and the evolution of so many ingenious ways of achieving the same end.

I even tried my hand at landscape architecture for a handful of years. I discovered that I loved the way that genus plus species sounded and the deeper delving into plant biology and anatomy. But my attention span was too short for project work. I became a graphic designer and then a mother. Twice. We moved from Queensland to Victoria. A long way from family and friends … and then I discovered Instagram.

In many ways Instagram has been the main driver for my beginning to document the death throes of flowers. An audience is an excellent motivator for me. And being at home with two smalls I’ve found community there. Its instant crowd-sourced feedback is a wonderful thing.

I work with what I have easily to hand. I love having flowers in the house but am notoriously bad at removing them once their traditional time is done. And so they turn into fascinating little science experiments. So much of a flowers detail is revealed when you dry or drown it. The venation of a rose or lily petal is exposed in all it’s intricate beauty…colours deepen, colours fade.

I watched in amazement as a deeply purple petunia let go of all its colour over the course of a week. Bleeding into the water it was submersed in, it became a pale and fragile skeleton, revealing its structure for all to see.

I don’t recall how I discovered the hashtag – perhaps a friend had used it or pointed it out to me? It felt nice to know that I wasn’t alone in this particular appreciation of the natural world. There were others, and it had a name… #lovelydeadcrap


Desert Rose Seeds
Camellia Flower