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Homage to the Terrarium July 13, 2011

Posted by lilabdesign in Inspiration, Styling.
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If a room could be a room, filled with small rooms, in each we would place plants.  Here is our homage to the Terrarium, the Wardian Cases of yore!

What is it?

The Terrarium is a closed environment where condensation allows the plant to self water.

But wait… you said Wardian Case!

Indeed!  Delighted to hear you are paying close attention!  A Wardian Case is named for Dr. Bagshaw Ward who is generally accredited with inventing (and subsequently popularizing) small enclosed gardens around 1830 after observing how ferns could flourish while enclosed in his London home although they were struggling outdoors.

I made a terrarium once as a child in science class.  Are these really visually interesting enough to add to my interior?

Absolutely!  Artist and horticulturist Paula Hayes creates terrarium art for galleries and art fairs around the world.  Not long ago she installed a few at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Why do we love it?

While we live in the city we love nature and quite simply we have found no better way to bring the beauty of living landscapes inside.  And, just as Dr. Ward discovered, sometimes there are outdoor fluctuations in temperature or even the presence of pollutants that make growing an enclosed garden inside ideal.

Okay.  I am sold.  What sort of glass container should I build one in?

We suggest checking to see what sort of glass container you already have.  Ask yourself, would I like this terrarium to be flat or tall, as this will influence the type of plants that will feel at home in it.  In addition, the larger the opening in the glass, the easier it will be for it to dry out but easier for you to get your plants in!

I don’t have a large glass container.  Is there anything else I can use?

Absolutely!  Good options include mason jars and old fish bowls.  Or if you’re truly driven: custom hand blown glass … how about that?

So I am at the nursery, how can I choose what to put in my terrarium?

Sophie from Lila B. Design suggests that you consider picking plants that go together, that naturally are comfortable in the same environment.  You might consider choosing plants that do well in wet environments, all succulents, or even air plants. A fun source for carnivorous plants in the Bay Area is California Carnivores and for a whole array of choices under one roof head down to Half Moon Bay Nursery.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Sophie is delighted by dioramas and installations at museums such as San Francisco’s Academy of Sciences.  Alternatively, the next time you are on a hike, notice the details that make up your natural environment.

Oh yeah?  Well what is the most special thing Sophie has added to a terrarium lately?

At the moment Sophie is excited about the interesting touch that adding a dried insect or two can add.  One especially beautiful recent creation featured a luna moth (see photo above).  In addition look for interesting pieces of wood and stones to make a little scene.

Here we’ve added a Preying Mantis we collected from at Paxton Gate. Can you see it?

This sounds easy enough.  Are there any last minute tips?

The death of many a terrarium is instigated by a drought.  Be careful to keep it as moist as your plants desire.  Use a spray gun, small mister, dropper, or if you’ve got a very large terrarium a turkey baster will do the job.

Actually I just changed my mind.  I don’t have any time to build a terrarium… what can I do?!?

Of course we are delighted to help you with all your terrarium needs here at Lila B. Design.  Tell us the feel you would like to create or the plants you would like to feature and we will go to town!

Wow, this is so exciting!  Where can I learn more?  Check out some of our favorites in just made photos by Holly Stewart Photography, or stop by Lila B to chat with us.  While you are here wander up the block and check out her most recent creation at Stable Cafe.  Or… if you are not local we suggest checking out the work of celebrated terrarium artists Tovah Martin and Paula Hayes.

All Photos by Holly Stewart Photography.

In case you couldn’t see our Preying Mantis, here’s a close up.

Warm Wishes for a Lovely Summer to You June 21, 2011

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Farewell Spring. Welcome Summer.

Photo by Holly Stewart Photography

Hair + Make Up by Dawn Sutti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Love February 14, 2011

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Photo by Holly Stewart Photography. Flowers by Lila B.

Elegantly Foraged January 25, 2011

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Photo by Holly Stewart Photography. Hair + Make up by Dawn Sutti.

Flowers & Styling Collaboration by Lila B. Design.

Warm Wishes to You December 30, 2010

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photo by Holly Stewart Photography

Fun with Boutonnieres November 18, 2010

Posted by lilabdesign in Events, Inspiration, Uncategorized, urban garden, Wedding.
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Known by the most fashionable British men in the 18th Century as the “button hole flowers” and later coined by the French as the boutonniere, these tiny sculptural pieces were traditionally worn to ward off bad luck and evil spirits.

Sophie is our studio master in creating what we now recognize as the special-occasion-statement of masculine flair and sophistication. Here is what she has to say about the matter, from lot garden to suit lapel!

What are some of your favorite lot garden plants you use for boutonnieres?

I gather everything from our lot garden. The flowers from parsley have small florets that are quite beautiful. I like anthriscus for their delicate, fernlike quality, and the tiniest little strawberries. Achemillis mollis is one of my favorites because you can use both the broad leaf in the background and the tiny star-shaped blossoms in the center.

I like to pay attention to the various stages of flower development. Before a flower blooms, it’s bloom, and even the post bloom all can add a unique statement to the boutonniere.

Creating boutonnieres is like sculpting the smallest of masterpieces. What kinds of textures do you look for when sculpting your pieces?

I look for a variety in textures and colors. Of course I consider what is about to bloom in the garden. I like to sculpt with lots of texture- fan-shaped, fernlike, oblong, blunt, spatula-shaped, broad-leaved, slender-leaved, all yield exciting compositions.

How do you know when you have a succesfull composition?

I look for each one to be unique! A successful boutonniere will make whoever wears it feel special.

Photo credits: Lisa Leigh, Lisa Wiseman, Prima Photography, Wendy K. Yalom, and Sophie de Lignerolles.

Amy + Jeph- The Reception October 21, 2010

Posted by lilabdesign in Events, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Wedding.
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The elegance of teal set off with soft orange, all held by classic ball jars- here is our final collection of inspiration from the reception of Amy and Jeph. Set at Holman Ranch, the wedding was one of our favorites this season.

Thanks Amy and Jeph for sharing your delightful aesthetic! We wish you all the best for a beautiful life together!

Wrapped in Glass June 4, 2010

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We just read the NY Times article about terrariums  ~ wow, they are IN! If you are itchin’ for just one more idea of what you can do at your home check out the terrarium in the photo above.

Interior design by Gil Mendez ~ glass container by Roost ~ organically filled by Sophie at Lila B. Design with plants from Succulent Gardens.

photo by www.macdonaldphoto.com

City-Living: Inspiration for BobVila.com April 15, 2010

Posted by lilabdesign in Inspiration, Press, urban garden.
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Are you a city-dweller with a penchant for re-purposing and greening your environs?  Do you have limited space and a modest budget?  Well friends, Bob Vila has you covered and in this weeks inspiration gallery by Hillary Geronemus you can glean some techniques from our very own Lila B.Design.
Highlights include an exciting take on the vertical succulent garden and a fanciful living roof for your best friend- all from locally re-purposed materials from places like Building REsources!  Okay… so while the country may always have more plants, as long as we have a hand in things- our cities will be greener!