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World's First Lichen Garden?

Last spring, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art unveiled its new 14,000-square foot rooftop sculpture garden, spangled with works by Ellsworth Kelly, Louise Bourgeois and Kiki Smith. To a casual visitor, the space—with its wooden benches, dark stone walls, and cult Blue Bottle Coffee kiosk—looked minimalist but complete. It wasn't. Last week, CMG Landscape Architecture added their long-awaited finishing touch: a cultivated (and nearly microscopic) ‘lichen garden,’ possibly the world’s first. I joined them on a sunny Wednesday to help with the installation, and document the process.

The landscape architects, along with an artist and a lichenologist, gathered to 'innoculate' the 14-foot-high walls with lichen spores to create what they call "the ultimate minimal garden."

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