New York Times Tearsheet – Semper Ficus: Office plants left behind during the pandemic


What a rare treat it is to get a full page of the New York Times devoted to photos, and even more surreal when it's the end result of letting my mind wander a bit in the shower. I started thinking one day about what happened to all the desk plants left behind when offices were abandoned at the start of the pandemic in March and started making a few calls to see if the interior plant services were still operating during stay-at-home orders.

Thanks to Brent Murray, photo editor for the NYT Sunday Business section, for being receptive to the pitch and supportive throughout the process, to the design team for figuring out what to do with all my verticals, and to the owners and employees of Plantwerks, Cityscapes, and Garden Streets for letting me follow along as they cared for their plants in offices around downtown and suburban Boston.

I'm especially proud of what you can see below, which is my first byline in the Times. I've done assignments for the paper off and on since 2005, but having my name at the top of the piece is a first. I only wish I'd been the one to come up with "Semper Ficus"...

You can see the piece online, as well: Semper Ficus: Who’s Keeping Abandoned Office Plants Alive?

All content © 2005-2020 M. Scott Brauer
error: All images and text © M. Scott Brauer 2005-present