Slow Flowers Podcast interview with Pilar Zuniga of Gorgeous and Green

SLOW Flowers podcast about Pilar and Gorgeous and Green!

SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Meet Berkeley’s Eco-Floral Maven, Pilar Zuniga of Gorgeous and Green
local grown in Boise and foraged arrangement for a memorial by Gorgeous and Green

Flowers I collected in Boise

A few months ago I ventured to Boise, Idaho for a memorial service for a special member of my husband's family.  I offered to help provide floral decor for the service and reception.  Since my husband, my mother in law and myself are  local and organic enthusiasts....  and in keeping with my business ethic from Gorgeous and Green, I collected flowers from a few local friends' gardens in Boise.

Me, Pilar Zuniga foraging for blooms and foliage in a friend's garden in Boise

My mother in law has a friend who has a beautiful garden in her back yard featuring low-water plants and edibles.  

Boise garden where Gorgeous and Green foraged for arrangements

Boise Garden with amazing local grown blooms and foliage for cutting by Gorgeous and Green

She also has a giant dog, who is also fond of the beautiful garden.

Giant dog and gardener is Boise who let me forage for flowers

From her garden I collected onion flowers, grasses, yarrow, beards, chamomile and sweet peas.   We were also allowed to collect and take home tons of fresh raspberries from her vines.  Lovely.

fun garden design in Boise, keeping away the birds

wild raspberry I foraged in Boise for an event

It was super hot there, so the local roses in her neighbor's yard were few, but I managed to sneek a few in along with some day lilies.  Here are the finished arrangements:  (no floral foam in any of these of course)

small arrangement by Gorgeous and Green for a memorial using Boise grown foliage and blooms

arrangement of local grown Boise Idaho flowers and foraged foliage by Gorgeous and Green

Local grown and foraged flowers in Boise for a memorial

Memorial services are bittersweet, and although there is a lot of sadness, it was a beautiful time to get together with family and friends and offer support.

In Green and Local Beauty, G&G

Bike Courier ready to deliver flowers for Gorgeous and Green customers

Local Gorgeous and Green delivery, on a bike!

Did I mention Gorgeous and Green is now offering local East Bay Flower delivery via bicycle?  Thanks to our partners in crime, Pedal Express, a local bicycle courier cooperative, you can now get local flower and gift delivery from Gorgeous and Green in the immediate area for $15.  We've added the option to the online store. Take a look at the fun that was had while delivering a bunch of flowers and gifts to locals for Valentines Day.  What a great way to get a Gorgeous and Green gift, without the carbon emissions!

Bike Delivery for Gorgeous and Green clients via Pedal Express

Bike courier delivering flowers for Gorgeous and Green to Berkeley Oakland and Emeryville

Bike courier with a bike loaded with Valentines Day deliveries for Gorgeous and Green

In Green and Health, G&G

An Earth Friendly and Vegan Earth Day, and Everyday

As you know, every day is Earth Day.  Especially here at Gorgeous and Green! A local and green certified Event Planner, Karine Brighten, also treats each day as earth day.  Apart from being green certified and having connections with local green vendors, she is also committed to education as we are.  This past April 22nd, the traditional Earth Day, she put on an event in Berkeley that highlighted her commitment to the environment and her belief in eating and living as a vegan.

 

gorgeous and green's earth day arrangement

I asked her to share more about her event: 1. What was your vision in creating a vegan earth day in Berkeley? My vision for the event was to start a new tradition, and that new tradition was to celebrate the link between veganism and a healthy environment in honor of Earth Day. There are many events in the San Francisco Bay Area that take place on this day, but none that focus specifically on the positive effects of veganism on the environment. My goal was to have people leave the event feeling inspired, and with tools that they can use to help the planet.

2. Please describe the event and who you chose to include in the day? The event consisted of the screening of an award-winning feature documentary, “Call of Life, Facing the Mass Extinction” by Species Alliances. The film investigates the growing threat to Earth’s life support systems as a result of dwindling biodiversity.  Following the film there was a panel discussion of 4 experts in vegan lifestyle, nutrition, and sustainability. After the panel discussion there was a catered vegan reception that everyone loved!

3. Do you feel like your vision was achieved?  What else would you like to include in up and coming vegan earth days? I couldn’t be happier with the ways things turned out! The event sold out and people walked away feeling motivated to make changes in their lifestyle. The tradition will indeed continue next year, and I hope to make it a full day event.

 

Gorgeous and Green was hired to provide the cute edible baskets for the event:

Gorgeous and Green's edible baskets for Vegan Earth Day

in Green and Health, G&G

June 9th: in the boutique this week

Hi all I frequently update on our lovely floral designs, but I tend to leave out so much of what is actually beautiful and lovely for sale in the Gorgeous and Green boutique.  If you've been to the boutique, you probably know about all the lovely tillandsia we have and the great cards all printed on recycled paper, but there's always new items and small changes, almost on a weekly! We always have locally hand-blown tillandsia terrariums or what I like to call air-iums,  (since they float in the air and hold airplants).  The local glass blower and I like to work on new shapes that will work for the plants and add a new element of design.  I recently started offering a few flat glass terrariums for the airplants to live in, one of which you can see here:

These flat terrariums allow it to rest right up against the wall, so you can hang it from a nail or hook in the wall. I have a new collection of locally made pottery designs from the artist Anna Vaughn, who's eye for color, texture and ornate designs go well with the delicate but very earthy style of the shop.  Her art pots continuously sell very well in the boutique, so get them while you can!  They take her a lot of time to create!

I also recently started carrying lovely, vintage and sustainably made jewelry from local artist Jessica Fein.  Her beautiful and sometimes big rings and earrings make quite a statement, and also great gifts.  The pieces I hand select for the boutique are from her vintage collection, so they are often in short supply.  Here's a pic of some of the rings we have nestled in an old silverware box I repurposed:

And here's a pic of some of the orange and yellow local, non-sprayed and even some organic flowers we have outside, I love all the brightness that has come with summer, that's now finally here!

In Green and Health, G&G

Some deliveries from Gorgeous and Green

Here are some old pics of deliveries Gorgeous and Green did sometime last year.  They were on my old phone, so I'm thinking summer and fall.  I had more recent pics on my newer phone, but sadly that phone is no longer...   I hope to continue to share more pics as I remember to take them. Pilar G&G

Recycled Silver Jewelry at Gorgeous and Green

At the Gorgeous and Green Boutique we are offering some recycled silver jewelry from Licky Drake.  Her pieces are vintage and rustic, and of course eco-friendly.  She uses 100% recycled fine silver for her pieces including her winged heart necklace and winged heart ring and vintage monograms.   All three are featured at the boutique currently. I asked Licky to share a few thoughts with us so we could better understand her art and decision to make jewelry out of recycled materials: 1. What is your artistic background and specialty? For as long as I can remember I’ve been making things. I have had a myriad of artistic interests- ceramics, painting, mixed media sculpture, photography, but I chose surface design as my major in college. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I switched gears and became fixated on jewelry. 2. Why do you offer jewelry made from recycled materials? It is very rewarding to know that no new silver is mined to make my jewelry. Because my silver is reclaimed it is so neat to think my finished pieces had a previous life. For instance, my Gathered Wings ring www.etsy.com/listing/56846368/gathered-wings-custom-size-ring-in, it was like the design was already embedded in the silver and just needed me to form it. Sometimes I believe I’m not an artist at all, merely a catalyst. 3. In what other way are you ecologically minded? I use hand made soap & shampoo bars without chemicals and I try to buy upcycled items like my tote bag made from an old coffee bean burlap sack that I take to the store so I can avoid using plastic bags. I feel the most important way I can contribute is supporting local farmers so I buy vegetables, fruits, honey, fish, bread, and freshly cut flowers from the farmer’s market on Saturdays. And I’m lucky to live where you can still get organic blackstrap molasses! 4. Out of everything you make, what item is your favorite? My favorite piece would be my Serenity Ring www.etsy.com/listing/61134840/serenity-ring-in-eco-friendly-reclaimed because it reminds me of the sea, with waves tattooed on the band and edges curved to mimic the ever-changing surface of the water. Each is made by hand so every one resonates its own charm. I lived in the Bahamas right on the crystal blue ocean for 8 years and this ring makes me feel a little closer to it. Do come by Gorgeous and Green if you like Licky's jewelry and ethic. In Green and Health, G&G

bouquets on bikes

I love that so many of my local customers ride to the Gorgeous and Green boutique on their bikes.  I take special care in wrapping their bouquets in recycled kraft paper (never plastic) so they can make the ride home.   Today I made such a large and branchy bouquet for one customer that we decided to rig it on to his back with twine.  Kind of looked like peacock feathers. He also mentioned that he thought I was the best florist in Berkeley, which I have to say was a nice complement. Thanks Keith! 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

Valentine's Day at Gorgeous and Green

At the Gorgeous and Green boutique, we have lots of cute little gifts for the eco-minded and loved valentine.  I used some reclaimed and vintage fabrics and men's ties to create some stuffed hearts pictured above, many of which I stuffed with some organic lavender to make them smell yummy.  Get them while they last, they are going fast! We also have a great collection of Valentine and love cards, to give to your special ones.  Many are from Hello Lucky, located here in San Francisco and others are from sustainable letterpresses in Southern California (Fugu Fugu Press), New York (Seltzer Goods)  and in Tenessee (YeeHaw Letterpress).  All of course are printed on 100% recycled paper, as are all the cards I stock in the boutique. The boutique also has lovely locally grown airplants for you to pick and choose from to create a home display, or already created airplant gardens in recycled glass vases and bottles, both table-top and hanging.  Individual airplants range in price from $2.75 to $40 depending on the type and size!

We also have some lovely sustainable jewelry including some vintage inspired monogram pendants made of recycled pure silver and winged heart necklaces and rings.  I also have a full alphabet of small typewriter font initial necklaces, going for $27 a piece. We will have plenty of flowers including locally grown and sustainably grown roses, tulips, gerbers, gladiolas, ranunculus, narcissus, kale and many others.  Myself and my assistant Celia would love to make you a creative and one of a kind bouquet for your special one.

Last but not least, we have the best tasting  local/organic/fair trade/protecting the rainforest chocolates I've ever had,  from Sjaaks.  The truffles come in lovely hand made boxes from a Women's Cooperative in Thailand.  They include a large assortment of vegan chocolates!

Whether you are buying something lovely for a friend, yourself or a love, stop by and take a look at our sustainable offerings.  If you mention this post, you'll get a free card with a $49 flower purchase. ($5 value)

In Green and Health, G&G