New Zealand Plant Art by Kate McAlpine—nature rearranged

What’s plant art? My daughter Kate McAlpine’s new website,, showcases her highly original works of art. (I’m such a proud mother it’s embarrassing.)

Cover photo of vivid flowers on home page of

She creates them with leaves, flowers, and other natural items found in New Zealand. These are right under our noses but how often do we fully see and appreciate these fragments of nature? Kate changes all that with her plant art, which she sees as “nature rearranged.”

We’re not talking ikebana or floral art. They are heavily textured pictures. Some resemble mandalas or mosaics. You may see plant art as evolving from the sand saucers you made in primary school. If you know of anything similar in the world, I would love you to let me know with a Comment. Meanwhile, enjoy her portfolio of plant art in itself and for itself.

Kawakawa with caterpillar

One thing I love about Kate’s New Zealand plant art is that it’s ephemeral, of the moment. Who said art had to endure for centuries? Plant art seizes the moment. In real life, to see one of Kate’s creations in the botanical flesh is to know that within hours it will wilt and fade. We savour it for that very quality, like cherry blossom. (And one might include cherry blossom.) Plant art viewing is a zen moment and a form of hanami.

Fortunately Kate now photographs each work, and on her website we can enjoy them for longer. She also shows us some of the procedures she has developed. Fascinating.

Kate is a scientist who celebrates the native flora of New Zealand.

Plant Art — nature rearranged

16 thoughts on “New Zealand Plant Art by Kate McAlpine—nature rearranged

  1. Prue Densem says:

    These are extraordinary! ❤️ And I so admire the patience to bring such beauty to life🌺🍁🌼

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      You are right, Prue! And lots of extreme planning and carefully calibrated gathering expeditions…

  2. Rachel, you have one super talented daughter and you (I wrote ‘should be’ originally) are justifiably proud of her. What a gift she has, and obvious joy and enthusiasm in what she does (and a smashing husband who is obviously so supportive in her ephemeral art. My absolute favourite supportive teacher used to tell all her charges that “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. Never was it more true!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Everything you say is true and worth shouting from the rooftops 👍

  3. Please pass on to her the sheer joy that she evoked in me.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I certainly will. Thank you!

  4. Kate’s art is delightful. I’m so glad she takes pictures before things fade. Keep on being proud of her. She is as creative with items from nature as you are with words.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thank you Anne!

  5. Love the ‘different’ Covid Cluster from weeds… how creative and interesting.

  6. Rachel I love this! And so happy you stopped by my site so I could find yours! Great stuff!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      This s the magic of blogging, right?

  7. lynnefisher says:

    Beautiful, and there is an inner magic because, by nature, they are ephemeral – and that is a perfect fit!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      So true.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I loved going over to her site and bathing in the images she has created. I got a chuckle out of her job title as “weed scientist.” I wonder how often she gets teased about the implications.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I’ll ask her!

  9. terrepruitt says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

%d bloggers like this: