Pilar Zuniga, Owner of Gorgeous and Green on the Manzanita Coast

Beautiful things come out of Flower Friendships

 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.
film photo by anne blodgett of Pilar Zuniga and the alumni at the Alumni Ponderosa workshop
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 giant drive thru redwood as we headed up the coast.
the alumni crew after an installation at Manzanita BeachSome 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)
   
floral installation by the alumni florist at the Ponderosa and Thyme workshopThe 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 at the Ponderosa workshop
Photo of my bridal bouquet/giant bridal bush held by Carrie in an Anthro dress. by Anne Blodgett
 
film photo of Manzanita Beach by Anne Blodgett
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 in the workshop flowers at the Alumni Ponderosa 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 lik this. And we need it often.
 
 
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.
mandala dance, florists dancing in the rain at the Manzanita Beach workshop
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
June 27, 2017 by Pilar Zuniga
Owner and Lead Designer of Gorgeous and Green, Pilar Zuniga

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  

#goals women entrepreneurs talking about business, collaborations and social networking

the table scape for the Identite collective workshop at O Happy Day studios in San Francisco

Anastasia, the founder of the Identite Collective with Gorgeous and Green florals at Oh Happy Day

up close with the Gorgeous and Green florals in pinks at Oh Happy Day Studios

Pilar and Anastasia meeting to talk about instagram marketing and networking at the Identite collective workshop

details of the Gorgeous and Green tablescapes and giveaways at the Identite collective workshop at Oh Happy Day

Pilar Zuniga of Gorgeous and Green and the florals for the Identite Collective workshop at Oh Happy Day in SF

   G&G

Beautiful vintage and overgrown Bridal Bouquet by Gorgeous and Green

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.
January 19, 2017 by Pilar Zuniga
Pilar Zuniga, the owner of Gorgeous and Green at her Oakland Floral Studio.

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.   

The currigated metal of the front of the G&G flower studio in Oakland

The corrugated metal of the front of the studio

a local grown design by Gorgeous and Green's Pilar Zuniga in the Studio

Making beautiful designs in the studio with local grown goodness.

Pilar Zuniga's hands working on a local floral design, without floral foam

Hands hard at work.

 

the signature Gorgeous and Green chartreuse chandelier. Repurposed.

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.

Pilar Zuniga in the G&G Oakland Studio

all smiles

 

Pilar, G&G

October 13, 2016 by Pilar Zuniga
Pilar Zuniga of Gorgeous and Green at St Giles Ponderosa and Thyme Flower workshop

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 St Giles house in England, by Maria Lamb

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 of Shaftesbury and Countess

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, of Ponderosa and Thyme

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.

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

Foraging for flower arrangements at St Giles, England

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

Katie from Ponderosa and Thyme teaching at St Giles

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.

Film photo by Maria Lamb of Katie at St Giles

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 Zuniga designing flowers at St Giles Ponderosa Workshop

 A photo of me. All photos by Maria Lamb.

Read more..... In this next installment.

G&G
September 29, 2016 by Pilar Zuniga
Pilar Zuniga Foraging for floral design materials, England St. Giles

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.
Citrus and Sunset inspired wedding at the Presidio

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 bucket arrangements at the studio

The large Arrangements getting their finishing touches at the studio.

 

Table designs with flowers. leaves and fruits.

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

Cheese "Cake" with lots of fruit and bloom details.

Cheese cake decorated with citrus and leaves Cheese cake decorated with citrus and leaves

The two large pieces at the reception.

Decorating the large Fireplace Decorating the large Fireplace

His and Hers seating details by Gorgeous and Green.

Details of the couple's seating arrangement.

Wedding tablescape with citrus and leaves by Gorgeous and Green.

Table like a canvas painted with leaves and flowers The tables were like a canvas painted with leaves and flowers.

Dahlia and blood oranges.

Flowers, leaves and fruit Flowers, leaves and fruit

Unique Table design by Gorgeous and Green

Up close with the citrus details Up close with the citrus details

Simple Calla bridal bouquet by Gorgeous and Green.

The Simple and Natural Bridal Bouquet. 

 

It was a beautiful and bright occasion.  

G&G

August 09, 2016 by Pilar Zuniga
Rustic and Romantic Yosemite Wedding

Rustic and Romantic Yosemite Wedding

It's prime wedding season, and we get asked to create designs in all manner of colors, textures and styles.  Our favorite are natural and lush arrangements.  This wedding order for a ceremony in Yosemite included a wild and textural feel, with bright and natural colors.  We wanted to use flowers that would last in the heat as well. Take a look at some of the rustic, wild elegance we created for this couple.

Yosemite wedding couple florals by Gorgeous and Green

A beautiful view and wedding couple in Yosemite. Photo by Juan Pablo Barrientos  

The Rustic protea and summer blooms bridal bouquet for a Yosemite wedding.

Rustic and Natural Bridal Bouquet

Strawflower detailed wedding corsage by Gorgeous and Green.

Rustic and Natural wrist corsage

 

Yosemite Bride with head garland by Gorgeous and Green

The Bride among the trees with her Boho Head Garland. Photo by Juan Pablo Barrientos viojf.com

 

Caramel coffee colored rose head garland for the bride in Yosemite, by Gorgeous and Green.

Rustic and Natural dusty rose head crown for the Bride Rustic and Natural dusty rose head crown for the Bride

Yosemite rustic wedding wrist corsages and boutonnieres in teal and summer brights by Gorgeous and Green

Rustic and Natural Boutonnieres and ribbon wrapped wrist corsages

Teal ribbons, corals, pinks and and blues for a summer bride by Gorgeous and Green

The Bridal Bouquet highlighted with a lovely teal ribbon

 

Wedding ceremony in Yosemite National Park, florals by Gorgeous and Green

The Beautiful Bouquet added to this unique and natural wedding ceremony. Photo by Juan Pablo Barrientos viojf.com

 

Couple in Yosemite for wedding

Absolutely beautiful. Photo by Juan Pablo Barrientos viojf.com

G&G

July 19, 2016 by Pilar Zuniga
Beautiful jewel tones for a Summer wedding in Tiburon

Beautiful jewel tones for a Summer wedding in Tiburon

Bright and festive colors and blooms for this couple's Summer wedding in Tiburon.  They chose a beautiful location in Marin, with the ceremony on a bluff in Marin and the Reception in the historic China Cabin.  With beautiful cobalt dresses and the water surrounding the venue, these shades of golden yellow and plum really popped. Photos by our friend and lovely photographer Sonya Yruel....

ranunculus boutonnieres in golds and plums by Gorgeous and Green, Tiburon Wedding

Adorable lineup of the boutonnieres in shades of golden yellow, white and plum. Can you guess which one is the groom's?

Bridesmaids bouquets and Bridal bouquets by Gorgeous and Green, Tiburon Wedding

Sweet bright bouquets look amazing against that cobalt blue.

bouquets in oranges, corals, fuchsia, green, golds and plums by Gorgeous and Green, Tiburon Wedding

Flower power.

groom's boutonniere in white golds and plums by Gorgeous and Green, Tiburon Wedding

Boutonniere special for the groom

Bridal bouquet, alive wild and colorful by Gorgeous and Green, Tiburon Wedding

That wild and natural bridal bouquet. 

reused bridesmaid bouquets, florals by Gorgeous and Green, Tiburon Wedding

Beautiful wild blooms decorating the buffet of nibbles.

Floral Design by Gorgeous and Green, Tiburon Wedding

Bride and Groom, florals by Gorgeous and Green, Tiburon Wedding

The sweet and stylish couple.

Ceremony on the hill, florals by Gorgeous and Green, Tiburon Wedding

Beautiful ceremony scene from the top of an ocean hill in Marin.

 G&G

July 08, 2016 by Pilar Zuniga
More from the Vintage Inspired Berkeley City Club Wedding Part 2

More from the Vintage Inspired Berkeley City Club Wedding Part 2

Here are more beautiful images from last Summer's Vintage inspired wedding at the Berkeley City Club.  The centerpieces were so fun to dream up, lots of fun vintage pieces like phones and typewriters, vases and candlesticks.  The best part about all this decor, it was the epitome of reuse! Here is the second segment of beautiful shots from the photographer Sonya Yruel...  

simple boutonniere with blue thistle, florals by Gorgeous and Green for wedding Berkeley City Club

Sweet garden rose boutonniere with thistle

rented vintage items and florals by Gorgeous and Green for wedding Berkeley City Club

Vintage Phone and little pot centerpiece.  

vintage mirror centerpiece, florals by Gorgeous and Green for wedding Berkeley City Club

Love this vintage mirror, ferns and feathers as a centerpiece.

vintage typewriter centerpiece florals by Gorgeous and Green for wedding Berkeley City Club

Vintage typewriter and nice accents makes for a vintage and lively centerpiece.

Bridal bouquet with feather by Gorgeous and Green for wedding Berkeley City Club

Beautiful and lush vintage inspired bouquet.

burgundy and green florals by Gorgeous and Green for wedding Berkeley City Club

Fun and dramatic arrangement in a vintage glass vase.

Bride and Groom at the Berkeley City Club, floral design by Gorgeous and Green

The lovely couple in the garden courtyard.

G&G
July 01, 2016 by Pilar Zuniga