more of the bouquet and boutonniere

I was able to get more pics from the photographer Michelle Beckwith for the lovely DIY wedding at Stern Grove in San Francisco last year.  Here are some close-up shots of the bouquet and the boutonniere  Gorgeous and Green made for the bride and groom.  The closeup with the bride and her bouquet is just gorgeous. The dahlias and callas were locally grown as were the succulent rosettes, straight from Oakland.  Lovely. In green and health, G&G

Let's Change Floral Foam

I have had a lot of positive remarks from the community regarding the conversation I've started about Floral Foam on this blog.  Many folks don't even realize how wasteful it is or how toxic it is.  For thousands of floral designers, clients, workers and anyone else who come into contact with floral foam, there should be far greater transparency about what it's made of and how it's affecting our health and the environment. So, there are two items I would like to ask of the floral foam manufacturers.  And I need your help to get this done. 1. They need to immediately share the MSDS hazardous materials report online, and in print with every box of floral foam.  And,  there should be a warning label on the outside of the box that states some basic facts like: don't inhale, don't ingest, don't handle for prolonged amount of time and discard responsibly. 2.  They need to start making a floral foam that is not filled with hazardous chemicals and that is biodegradable.  Then, it's up to the consumer to make the switch to the less hazardous and more eco-friendly option. Now, there was a company in the UK that was offering a biodegradable floral foam.  So I know it's doable. Who would like to join me in demanding that floral foam manufacturers change their practices? In Green and Health, G&G

In the Gorgeous and Green Boutique #1

The boutique is taking up a good amount of my time these days.  But that's not a bad thing, mostly because I've been trying my hardest to create and find event more vintage and recycled goodness that fills the heart and shares my design sense with customers and onlookers. I have been producing a few items for Valentine's Day that I will share with you shortly, but first, I'd like to show you a few of my latest Tillandsia Gardens in recycled glass bottles. I love Tillandsia, because I can tuck it in nifty places and wire it to things, and it adds such a natural flavor and great lines.  These little bottled guys are available in my shop and cost between 19 and 35 dollars, depending on the bottle and amount of plants.  These plants were grown not far from Fresno, although they are native to Central and South America.

They are really cute.  Because they are in a bottle, they need special care, but I can give you the shpeel when you come in or (soon) when you order them off the website. In Green and Health, G&G

Eco-Friendly Memorial Spray

It's a challenging time when people are saying goodbye to a friend or family member at the end of life.  But, I meet the challenge proudly as I know I can be of service to folks during this important time.  I have been asked to do a few memorial arrangements, and recently I provided a casket spray at my boutique, Gorgeous and Green. Most casket sprays and wreaths are made with floral foam these days, but as you know, I don't touch the stuff (see my other blogs about it).  I was able to create a beautiful casket spray without floral foam using locally grown flowers: roses, delphinium, belladonna, mums and gerbera.  It was a little more labor, but I think it turned out beautifully.  The customers were happy and I felt proud to be able to offer such a nice art piece to help them honor their family member. In Green and Health, G&G

Simply City Hall

Weddings come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes the most simple can be the most beautiful (and the most green and eco-friendly).  I find nothing more romantic than a simple City Hall wedding.  Especially in a big city like New York or San Francisco.  But even the smallest small town could be an ideal location. Getting married at City Hall means less money spent on location and probably your dress, and in turn you're going to leave a smaller carbon and trash footprint.  But it doesn't mean you have to give up on looking cute and carrying a cute bouquet. Just last week Gorgeous and Green did the flowers for a couple who got married at City Hall and their small but major event turned out adorable.  Take a look at some pics and a video their photographers, Reuben Rodgriguez and Vanae Tran provided : The bouquet, boutonniere and hair piece were all made from locally grown yellow button mums and I used locally grown, non-sprayed white dahlias for the bouquet.  I don't ever use floral foam and try to use biodegradable ribbons or ribbons made from recycled plastic. Check out this awesome video of the wedding events:

Thanks Mily and Peter for sharing! In Green and Health, G&G

Gorgeous and Green Deliveries!

I have been doing a lot of gorgeous deliveries for Gorgeous and Green, my new sustainable floral boutique in Berkeley, CA.  It's been hard to remember to take pics, but on occasion I do, and so I have some pics to show you here from past deliveries. Most of my delivery clients are word of mouth, as of now I don't have an online shopping platform, but I hope to get something set up soon. Here is a pic of an arrangement I did for a local Oakland customer: And here's one I did for a Mother's Day arrangement.  The customer wanted as many organic flowers as possible so I included some organic snapdragons, greens and roses I grew!  It was also peony season (a short lived 4 weeks somewhere between April and May) so we had some lovely local bubblegum peonies too.  It was all packaged in a recycled glass vase I carry here in the store. Another arrangement, but this one is actually a living terrarium made with succulents.   I made it by request for a mom who wanted to give something living to her daughter on her birthday.  I love the way the gnarled wood looks in the glass. As always, trying to stay gorgeous and green with reused materials, biodegradable materials and local and organic flowers and plants.  This cylinder was actually left reused from a past event and the wrapping I used was recycled paper and cotton ribbon.  You gotta love biodegradable ribbon!  That plastic/polyester stuff is  bad news. In Green and Health, G&G

Avoid Oil

OK, so the oil spill is huge.  I think about it daily and it's upsetting that more people aren't outraged.  We need to start doing something besides complain.  If you can, stop driving your car, stop buying plastic, ask for paper containers, take your reusable containers to get take out, grow your own food, buy local, walk, etc. I just blogged about switching to natural and non-toxic candles, and avoiding paraffin candles (toxic and petroleum based) at The Knot's Green.weddings.com website.  Check it out.  In case you didn't know, paraffin wax (which is found in many things besides just candles) is not only linked to that oil spill in the gulf and elsewhere, but is also toxic. Take a look at these disturbing pics if you need more reason to take action! Between the thick oil on the beaches, water and marshes to the dead and dying animals covered in oil, any human with a heart would see that we all need to take action.  It's our fault after all.  Only we are the ones on this planet so hungry for the nasty stuff and so unwilling to make a switch to more healthy and sustainable options.  It's rotting out our soul and soon our earth. G&G

Using Fruit

So, there are a lot of ways to go green and to get gorgeous results, but one method that I recently used for a Gorgeous and Green Wedding was using actual fruit in the designs.  Not only did it make for a tight color scheme and fun atmosphere, it allowed the couple to creat a lot of splash with a smaller budget.  The fruit was also all local and pesticide free! Take a look at some of these gorgeous pics from Karen and Scott's wedding that took place at the Brazil Room in Berkeley.  Thanks to Greg of gregraphael.com photography for the pics! And here are some lovely pics of the bridal party and ceremony, all with the citrus themed colors:

Opening a sustainable retail shop

Hi all, I've been busy.  I haven't been posting regularly because I've been working on opening up a retail shop in Berkeley!  I plan to keep you updated on the process and what opening a sustainable and eco-friendly retail shop entails.  So far, I have the location.  Now it's time for all the paint, furniture, fixtures, stock, etc. As if I'm not crazy enough, we're going to do it in two weeks.  I plan to have the shop open the first week of February.  I'll be selling local and organic flowers and plants, handmade recycled and sustainable gifts and eco-friendly cards. Our Grand Opening Party is February 4th from 6-9pm, come on down if you're in the bay area and check it out! In Green and Health, G&G

Green Wedding Photography

An interview with a green photographer

A few weeks ago I posted an interview I did with a local sustainable  photographer here in the Bay Area.  Her name is Kira Stackhouse and her website is nuena.com. Here is an image from one of her weddings featured on her blog: You can check out what she had to say about green wedding photography at The Knot's Green Wedding Website.  I also gave some helpful ways to be sustainable when it comes to your photographer, no matter who they are. In green and health, G&G