Sustainable Arrangements for the Green Festival

For the Green Festival this past weekend in San Francisco, I (Gorgeous and Green Events) donated some large arrangements for their speaker stages.  I used all locally grown flowers and branches, glass vases and no floral foam.  I also did the deliveries in our recycled bio-diesel wagon.  I think the pieces were enjoyed by the crowds because when I came back to pick up (and reuse) the vases, people were asking to take the flowers home to reuse as decor in their homes. Here are two large arrangements that were about 6 feet tall.  I loved the lichen growing on the branches.


I used amaranth, large roses, spray roses, vintage pink and purple hydrangea, white delphinium, curly willow and tree branches. In Green and Health, G&G

Branches are a GREEN designers best friend

Branches are Blooming

The past few weeks you may have noticed something opening amongst the bare branches around you.  Yes, it's blossom and leave bursting time.  And those little blooms look so sweet and colorful, especially to a winterized eye.  So why not include them in your green floral design or event?  One of the perks of throwing a soiree during the late winter/early spring months is that these lovely blooming branches are available, and almost at no other time during the year, in this hemisphere at least.  So if you forgot to prune in the fall, give that blooming tree or bush or little help and trim a few of those beautiful branches.  Remember to leave some behind, so the tree can gain strength, reproduce and make energy with it's flowers and leaves. Here is a lovely large local green and white arrangement I created recently that includes dogwood, with cute and clever star flowers.  Very whimsical and hardy.   dogwood-branch In a larger arrangement like this one, I enjoy letting go and giving in to the feel of plenty and softness.   gggreenwhitelarge The branches balance it out and provide a nice amount of free air space that doesn't feel like I forgot a part.  I also love being able to include green goddess callas.   Branches are also wondrous when they include fruits, or fruits getting ready to ripen as in the case with these figs.   gggoldlilacbuddha They are such an interesting shape and the color is a nice bright green, so they add a real special touch to this arrangement with lilac and chrysanthemum.  The fig's large shape and smooth texture offsets the small petals from both flowers, and it doesn't hinder the effect of the gold and purple color combination. And, of course, the cherry blossom.  It is so lovely, it still hasn't grown old hat just yet.   ggcherrybranch This small and low arrangement is easy on the pocket book and on the environment if you make sure to use local products and glass containers (no plastic for Gorgeous and Green).  It's simple and requires less time to create, so it's a good option if you don't have a large budget or have a lot of tables/areas to decorate.  Here I added just a few pink and white ranunculus which are in season at the moment and blooming in my front yard.  I would definitely surround this centerpiece with votives or tea lights for an added bonus during an evening event. (All of these flowers are from local growers, and of course in the end, they go in the compost.  The glass containers are recycled or reused, and the earth is happy.) Remember compost and recycle what you can't reuse. This is a cheery welcome to spring, with all it's new colors and new growth.   Hopefully you can find a little of the same in your life. In Green and Health, G&G

Green Wedding in Santa Cruz

Local, Sustainable and Organic 

In November, we did a wedding for Heidi and Dave, who had chosen to do local and sustainable flower design for their wedding.  The wedding took place at the Chaminade, very close to their home in Santa Cruz.  I don't live in Santa Cruz, so I stayed at a local beach cabana with my husband under the guise of a surf weekend.  We brought our dog and all the materials I would need to craft 21 large table centerpieces of orchids, some cocktail arrangements, a table card arrangement and the wedding party's flowers.   Heidi originally wanted orange and purple flowers, but when we talked with Dave about his needs he asked that we not use very much purple, as in his Italian culture it was considered bad luck.  So out went the purple and in came the green, white and orange color scheme that I suggested.   I had seen some beautifully decorated rooms where the floral designer used potted orchids as the centerpiece, so I suggested we do the same because the plants could also be used as gifts for those who wanted to take one home with them.  I used willow branches, moss and glass vases with rocks to pot the orchids, and they looked beautiful in the room.  Around the centerpieces I added some moss and branches I had found from the sea and that had dropped from trees in the mountains.  We decided a slightly mountain-y feel would go well for where the Chaminade is located (in the Santa Cruz mountains).  The ceilings were bare and we needed some height in the design, so the tall orchid centerpieces did the job wonderfully. gg-med-heidi-tables We also wanted to add some color to the tables but didn't want to have to buy tablecloths or order special cloth so I found some elephant dung paper (paper made from elephant poo, tree free, recycled and biodegradable) that came in a dark orange that Heidi was fond of.  We used the paper at each place setting and used if for the tablecards and table numbers. gg-med-room-setup I snuck in a little purple with some of the green flowering kale for the cake table.  Throughout all of the tables we used floating candles and votive candles for ambiance.  The dinner was in the evening, so to create an atmospheric light without turning up the electrical lights made it feel very romantic.  There were a lot of windows in the room, so we also strung up some hanging glass votive holders in the windows, which also added a soft light and twinkling. gg-med-heidi-cake For the Bridal party's flowers, I used what was in season from some local flower growers.  Heidi wanted Calla lilies and flowering kale matched the color scheme, so we used them for the bouquets.   gg-med-heidi-and-girls I also used veriflora certified roses for some of the boutonnieres and for the Bridal Bouquet. gg-med-heidi-bouquet Overall, the wedding looked beautiful and the atmosphere during dinner was very romantic.  Using local and fair trade flowers made the wedding a conscious wedding, that matched the lives of the bride and the groom. For more information about green wedding planning and floral design, visit us at In Green and Health G&G

Vintage and Natural Seating Cards

The ABC's of finding your seat

When it comes to events with sit down breakfast, lunch or dinner, I love the idea of the seating card and finding a way to present the cards in a way that is fun and exciting.  I have many ideas in my head, but one that I can always lean back on is hanging cards from branches.  Not only does it add a festive element, it's clearly natural and biodegradable and lends an organic design element to your design.  To make it even more green, don't forget to use organic flowers (like those shown in the pictures) and use recycled paper or tree-free paper if possible.  I also used hemp cord to hang the cards on the branches. I recently saw some paper at a craft store that I just had to use to make table seating cards with.  The paper is a vintage alphabet design, with a short sentence featuring a word beginning with the letter of the alphabet that's being shown in the picture.  It kind of reminds me of those Dick and Jane cartoons.  Anyway, take a look at how I used the alphabet for people's last names, so they know where to find their seating card. gg-alphabet-table-cards   Here are some up close pics of the design (provided by Cavallini Paper Co. a paper company right here in the Bay Area):   gg-b-table-cards1 gg-d-table-cards1   gg-a-table-cards2 Enjoy! In Green and Health, G&G
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