Blog : Design, event and living ideas for the eco conscious

Moody Romance of a Wedding at UC Berkeley Botanical Garden

This past season we had the pleasure of working with Alexa and Aran for a wedding at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden.

Originally, she was just going to order some floral designs for the wedding parts, bouquets and boutonnieres and such. And she actually submitted an order via our online store for small event orders.  But as time went on, she ordered a little more and a little more, and we ended up doing all the florals for the event.

We were so lucky to work with an amazing team including the Photographer, From the Daisies , the Caterer, Trumpetvine Catering and the Wedding Planner, One Fine Day SF.  We also were lucky to have the whole event shared up on the June Bug Weddings Blog earlier this season.

Here are a few snapshots from the gorgeous moody and oh so romantic florals, decor and feel of that day.

The Bridesmaids looking adorable in the Berkeley Rose Garden. Photo by From the Daisies.

 

The Beautiful and simple archway created by the couple, adorned with a burst of burgundy blooms and foliage by G&GPhoto by From the Daisies.

 

The Gorgeous Redwoods in the grove. Photo by From the Daisies.

 

A lovely moment during the ceremony at the Grove. Photo by From the Daisies.

 

Wedding Party goals: Beautiful people and flowers in blush and burgundy hues. Photo by From the Daisies.

 

The outdoor patio at the reception adorned with tables and florals by G&GPhoto by From the Daisies.

 

A closeup of the natural and romantic florals by G&GPhoto by From the Daisies.

 

An intimate moment in the Rose garden. Photo by From the Daisies.

 

Roses all around the love. Photo by From the Daisies.

 

G&G

A Bathtub to remember: styling flowers in my clawfoot

Earlier this year a photographer approached Gorgeous and Green and asked if she could photograph my work. Initially we were thinking something fairly simple, maybe an afternoon in my studio.  But I fired up an old idea I had had many years ago, and decided to do a little photoshoot in my own home.  Specifically, in my clawfoot tub that sits up against a bright window in the bathroom.

I found a model who was willing to come sit in my creation and I hunted through my wardrobe to find some elements we could include in this photoshoot.  I brought buckets and buckets of flowers and plenty of foliage and branches to create something that would stand out.

Here’s what I came up with:

It turned out to be a color infused garden of foliage and florals.  With beautiful natural light shining through the window, and the model dressed in a simple bathing suit by Zoe Bikini and a James Coviello dressing gown from Anthropologie, all with touches of gold, we were in awe. The feeling it conveys is slightly romantic and ethereal, with a touch of fierceness.

The woman warrior in the bath. Photo by Nautilus Lens

 

A snippet of the floral beauty in and around the bathtub. Photo by Nautilus Lens

 

Even women warriors have to rest. Photo by Nautilus Lens

It was very important to me to include an image of a person of color, feeling beautiful and strong in this creation. It isn’t often that we get to see brown women pictured in this way.  In a way, the warrior woman here represents the fight for change that so many of us have taken on, in small and big ways. This warrior represents the warrior I strive to be in my own life and in this specific arena of representation.  She also represents the woman warrior in so many of us and on so many levels as we fight to make change for women everywhere.

My initial idea was to go for something that suggested a strong and beautiful woman taking a dip in a bountiful haven or floral beauty.  I think it came out pretty much on target.

G&G

 

 

Beautiful things come out of Flower Friendships

Film photo by Anne Blodgett of Pilar Zuniga on Manzanita Beach

Film Photo by Anne Blodgett of me and my clippers at Manzanita.

Earlier this year, I was afforded the opportunity to attend the alumni Ponderosa and Thyme retreat in Manzanita Oregon.  It was such an occasion for nurturing and centering my flower self, I couldn’t pass it up.

photo by Anne Blodgett of our dinner table talk at the ponderosa workshop in Manzanita

Photo of us at the Dining table by Anne Blodgett

My friend Megan (from Isle de Flores in Nantucket) and I drove up to Manzanita together from my house in Oakland (I met her at last year’s workshop in England and we hit it off immediately) She and I had a wonderful time together. We are flower souls, and maybe even just soul sisters.

Megan and I at a drive thru redwood tree as we drive up the coastMegan and I at a giant drive thru redwood as we headed up the coast.
The florists who attended the Alumni Ponderosa and Thyme workshopSome of us who attended the workshop Megan, Polina, Kristin, Sarah, Katie, Carrie, Mandy, Tara , (a small flower child) and Me (not pictured, Dallas, Maja, Mark and Anne)

 

 

Our beach installation with buckets of tulips from Witte Farms in OregonThe beach installation the group did, featuring local grown tulips from Witte Farm and our fabulous Model, Carrie McIntyre Jones.

The workshop/retreat itself was spectacular.  We all stayed in one house together, we cooked, we ate, we danced in the rain.  There were no expectations and yet, we managed to forge some very strong bonds and even heal our souls a bit.  We made beauty.  We cried.  We shared secrets.

Bridal bouquet by Pilar Zuniga of Gorgeous and Green, photo by Anne BlodgettPhoto of my bridal bouquet/giant bridal bush held by Carrie in an Anthro dress. by Anne Blodgett
Film Photo by Anne Blodgett. Manzanita Beach, in Oregon

Film photo by Anne Blodgett of the beach at Manzanita, Oregon

The thing about being a florist, is it’s really hard.  It’s a creative job, and yet it’s filled with a lot of labor (a lot), business decisions, tired hands, a lot of customer service, plenty of anxiety, flowers that die, expectations, cliques of designers and quite a bit of competition.  Hence the hashtag I often use #creativityovercompetition.

Katie Davis, of Ponderosa and Thyme amongst the flowers for the workshopKatie, of Ponderosa and Thyme amongst our workshop materials including blooms from Witte Farm, Charles Little and Co and Grace Rose Farm at the Manzanita Beach House.

So, the fact that Katie was able to create this environment for floral designers, and that so many of us go to these types of workshops, is a testament to how much we need this.  We need it to keep designing. Actually, we need it to keep living. So go. Do it.  If you’re not a florist, do it some way or do it anyway, shoot, it’s a human thing. We all need something like this. And we need it often.

The flowers for the Ponderosa Workshop

I could go on and on here, but mostly I just wanted to share how much this experience opened my heart. It reminded me to live and work in the way I want to be seen in this world: as a beautiful person on the inside, creating beautiful things on the outside.

The circle of florists dancing in the rain at Manzanita Beach

A group of us who came together in the rain to make a flower mandala, and touch hearts.  Photo by Anne Blodgett

I’m thankful for all the hearts I’ve touched in the years I’ve been doing this work, and I look forward to connecting to more of us creative souls.

In Peace and a florist’s clarity of heart,

Pilar of G&G

Still life on the beach by Pilar Zuniga, photo by Anne Blodgett

A photo of Pilar on the beach after our vessel arrangements were made. Photo by Anne Blodgett

Collaborations and Community

I was recently asked to collaborate with a marketing and branding guru, Anastasia from The Identite Collective.  She was in need of beautiful florals for a two day workshop at the famed Oh Happy Day Studios in SF, and I was in need of some great pointers to help me with my brand and social media marketing.  It was friendship and collaboration magic, and I believe we both got a lot out of helping each other. It was also a great opportunity to create supportive community, and with some amazing business gals to boot.

Here are a few photos from the fantastic weekend workshop and the florals. If you are in need of a marketing guru who specializes in women entrepreneurs, check her out!

 

All photos by JennaLynnPhotography

 

G&G

Wedding bliss at Nature Friends in Oakland

Beautiful Bouquets, Summer blooms, Redwoods and views. This summer I created one of my favorite bridal bouquets for Brian and Emily who got hitched at the Oakland Nature Friends in the Oakland hills. It was a spectacular day.

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Some soft flower beauty to look at

Hello Flower lovers, gardeners, design enthusiasts, eco friendly fiends and all of our friends.

Rather than get hung up on creating special stories, I’ve decided in this coming year I will use the blog to just share the daily beauty that we create and share.  Here is a small selection of designs we created that share a romantic, bright, soft and fresh feel.  Enjoy!

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a beautiful yet simple bridesmaid bouquet with the greens showing off.

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a hand tied beauty for local delivery by bike.  I love the look of the succulent flower, like a patch of pink grass.

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a summery rounded bridal bouquet with some ferns for interest.

this natural arrangement in whites and various greens with subtle earth tones.  Love that brass pedestal vase.

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and these sweet corsages and boutonnieres in buttery cream and pinks.

G&G

The Gorgeous and Green Studio Tour up on Design Sponge!

I’m excited to announce that the new Gorgeous and Green studio in Oakland, CA is up on Design Sponge!

Featuring beautiful images by Nicole of Sorella Muse and curated beautifully by Rebekah of A and B Creative.  It’s a sample of the goings on in this little corner of the Bay, where we create fresh, bountiful, local grown and artfully designed floral and botanical designs for events, corporate offices as well as floral designs and gift boxes for local gift delivery by bike (by Pedal Express).

If you haven’t had a chance to see my little creative heaven in Oakland, please visit the tour here.

 

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The corrugated metal of the front of the studio

 

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Making beautiful designs in the studio with local grown goodness.

 

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Hands hard at work.

 

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The ever popular reclaimed chandeliers painted chartreuse.

 

You’ll see a lot of reuse, reclaimed items, beautiful florals, lots of natural light, and of course the chartreuse chandeliers.

Enjoy,

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all smiles.

Pilar, G&G

Dreams in the English Countryside at the Ponderosa Workshop, part 1

This past April I had the amazing opportunity to attend a Ponderosa Workshop in the English Countryside. What? you say. Yes, I say. A floral design workshop for floral designers (and a few new-to-flowers) in England, in the country, on a famous Manor, in a house that holds famous philosophical texts, amidst beautiful gardens and water. There are even a few horses there.

Now, the English Countryside is beautiful.  But this location was totally breathtaking.  I mean, it’s a magazine cover kind of situation (cue Wedding Sparrow).  The bulk of our days and evenings were spent at the St Giles House.  A beautiful estate with a rich history.

the house, photo by marialamb.co

the house, photo by marialamb.co

If you studied American history, British history, philosophy, government and the like, you might have heard of John Locke.  Well, let’s just say one of his best buds was The First Earl of Shaftesbury, and he owned this house many moons ago. He himself was a politician (religious freedom, etc) and quite the philosopher as well.

The Earl and Countess, photo by Maria Lamb.

The Earl and Countess of Shaftesbury, photo by Maria Lamb.

Fast forward to the present: The current owner of the house at St Giles is also an Earl of Shaftesbury.  He and his wife, the Countess, have taken great care in restoring and updating St Giles, and it’s a beauty to behold.  They are fabulous people and have a long list of accolades, as they do a lot of things to benefit their community and the public. I won’t divulge too much here, but let’s just say the world is a better place with them in it, and the next time I have a chance to share a bottle of wine and conversation with them, I will not hesitate.

So back to the workshop…

We’ve already set the stage with the beautiful location.  For the actual workshop part, the players continue to impress. Our teacher and workshop leader was Katie Davis of Ponderosa and Thyme.  What a lovely woman and human.  Her soft yet strong encouragement; her vibrant smile and whimsical artistry; her poise and welcoming demeanor. The list goes on. She was a fantastic workshop leader and allowed us to experience the full breath of the land and space in that countryside paradise.  She has a beautiful soul, and her creations dare to match.

Katie Davis, photo by Maria Lamb

Katie Davis, photo by Maria Lamb

You have to believe, this was a once in a lifetime experience with such wonderful people, and I am so fortunate to have made the journey.

Speaking of people, there were so many beautiful souls with such different and unique artistic talent.  I can’t talk about this workshop without mentioning all the magical hands that were there to create and help us create (all photos by Maria Lamb). So, I’m going to introduce all the participants in the workshop so you can get a sense of the skill and artistry that prevailed at this event.

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Hana of Ponk Rentals
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Daniela of Meraki Studio 
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Cristina of Aqueduto Eventos 
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Tara of Freckled Flora 
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Anna of Inflorium 
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Megan of Isle de Flores 
And our supportive Workshop Staff:
Mark of Bigwig Donuts 
ribbons/silks: Silk and Willow
film scans: Photo Vision Prints
Our days were spent foraging on the grounds of the St Giles House:
forage group

photo by Maria Lamb

 

Learning and trying techniques during Katie’s workshops in the St Giles Library:

katie teaching

photo by Maria Lamb

We were treated to a plethora of beautiful blooms, many of which were grown in England. (cue tulips from Electric Daisy Flower Farm) The textures, colors and abundance made the heart sing.

workshop scenes

Film photo by Maria Lamb

The details of this experience were numerous, and I would love to share more about the creativity and beauty that took place in the English Countryside. Stay tuned for another installment of Creating Dreams in the English Countryside at the Ponderosa Workshop.

Pilar designing st giles

A photo of me. All photos by Maria Lamb.

Read more….. In this next installment.

G&G

Dreams in the English Countryside at the Ponderosa Workshop, Part 2

More details and inspiration from the Spring 2016 Ponderosa workshop in the English Countryside at St Giles.

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Citrus and Sunset inspired wedding at the Presidio

This Summer we created some beautiful designs for a wedding at the Presidio.  From large floral pieces in copper buckets, to sprawling table designs featuring citrus, it was a lot of beautiful color and texture in the Log Cabin.

Take a look at some of the beauty from the day:

The large Arrangements

The large Arrangements getting their finishing touches at the studio.

 

Flower and leaf installation on each table

Flower and leaf installation on each table, check out the blood oranges and grapefruits.

 

Cheese cake decorated with citrus and leaves

Cheese cake decorated with citrus and leaves

 

Decorating the large Fireplace

Decorating the large Fireplace

 

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details of the couple’s seating arrangement.

 

Table like a canvas painted with leaves and flowers

The tables were like a canvas painted with leaves and flowers

 

Flowers, leaves and fruit

Flowers, leaves and fruit

 

Up close with the citrus details

Up close with the citrus details

 

The Simple and Natural Bridal Bouquet

The Simple and Natural Bridal Bouquet

 

It was a beautiful and bright occasion.

 

G&G