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The Quad-City Botanical Center is teaming up with Quad-City Arts, both cultural non-profits based in Rock Island, for a display promoting the center's Art in the Garden event in July.

Among the featured works will be "What's the Buzz?" a hexagon-shaped building about the size of an old-fashioned telephone booth. The six panels, including the door, are made of paper imprinted with a honeycomb design.

The piece was made by Dawn Wohlford Metallo by pressing a wet plant pulp called abaca — the same substance used to make U.S. currency — into large, flat molds consisting of small hexagons. When the abaca was dry, she peeled away the mold, leaving the honeycombed paper that she painted with shellac.

Each panel took eight to nine hours to complete, Metallo said.

Visitors are invited to walk into the structure, close the door and experience what it might feel like to be inside a beehive, with light coming in through the translucent walls and a recording of bees in a hive playing from the ceiling.

In addition to being a unique piece of art, "What's the Buzz?" aims to get people thinking about pollinators, their importance and threats to their existence, Metallo said.

Other striking works include masks made by Michael and Kelly Bird of DeWitt, Iowa, in which plain bases are embellished with various seeds and seed pods.

Other displays:

LANDDescapes, Eldridge, will showcase a product that sets the business apart — custom-made steel panels, or screens, that can be used in the garden as art, as a backdrop, or for privacy.

The steel is plasma-cut with designs of tulips, butterflies, hummingbirds and the sun. Metal house numbers, name plaques and pet memorials also are available.

Owner DeWayne Elsea, beginning his 11th season, also will include a sample of every element his business offers, including a retaining wall, firepit, patio and boulders that look like natural outcroppings.

The Rock Island Horticulture Club will feature a combination of plants and artwork highlighting the club's efforts to work with the city and its beautification commission to install plantings around various public sculptures in the city, club member Bob Towler said.

Aunt Rhodie's Landscaping and Design, in the Village of East Davenport, is aiming for an outdoor setting that is "a little bit different but still within the realm of possibility" for most homeowners, owner Todd Wiebenga said.

Alternative Landscape, Bettendorf, will feature a pergola that is eight feet wide and 24 feet long, along with a water feature, lighting, a patio and a retaining wall, owner Mario Natarelli said.


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