On a Friday this summer, the gb&d team got to play in the dirt, in order to create this issue’s cover image. It was a messy four hours, and it took a couple days to get the dirt out from under our fingernails, but it was worth it. Chicago’s Gethsemane Garden Center let us run wild in its greenhouses; we pulled varieties from every section to ‘plant’ the letters one at a time. Although it only made one appearance, one of our favorite plants was the Begonia ‘Escargot,’ though we just called it “the Tim Burton plant.”

gb&d designer Aaron picks out plants for the photo shoot with Eileen from Gethsemane Garden Center.

Using a projector, we cut out the letters on posterboard to use as a guide for the plants.

We mixed various textures and colors to create a feeling that the plants were growing “wild;” however, Eileen later informed us that most of the plants we were putting next to each other wouldn’t actually be planted together.

Aaron stood on a ladder to direct where soil needed to be filled in or where edges of the letters had to be sharpened.

Our photo editor Sam had to stand on a ladder to get the right angle for the shot. Photo: Jessica from Gesthemane Garden Center

After taking the plants out, all that was left was a soil outline of the letter.

One of our favorite plants was the escargot plant; can you find which letter we used it in?

The gb&d team (from left: Samantha, Timothy, Melanie, Aaron) with Eileen (far right) from Gethsemane Garden Center.


To create the defined edges on some of the letters, we used smaller plants that don’t sprawl outward too far.

With the magic of Photoshop, our photo editor compiled the images to create the cover of our Oct/Nov/Dec 2012 issue!