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Watch this Fall on PBS: Growing a Greener World October 11, 2011

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Recently we had the amazing opportunity to work with some of the folks behind Growing a Greener World, an inspirational series on PBS.  Each episode shares a story of how people, places and companies are using gardening and green practices to promote environmental stewardship and explores how viewers can employ these practices themselves.

The stellar crew visited our Lila B. studio, the owner, Baylor’s, deck, and our {parking} lot garden for an episode that airs this Fall. The hot topic: small space gardening.  Check out your local PBS station for forthcoming air times, but for now you can see it online.

We worked with Host Joe Lamp’l, Associate Producer Theresa Loe, and Chef Nathan Lyon.  Joe Lamp’l is (as you might have guessed) the knowledgeable and charming ‘Joe’ from Joe Gardener, so you can expect to have fun AND learn something valuable.  Nathan Lyon takes food from the gardens visited on the show and demonstrates how to cook something wonderful with the ingredients.  And… if you are wondering if he is as funny in person as he is onscreen, our answer is absolutely!  With Theresa Loe (incredible urban homesteader and gardening maven) producing, episodes are power-packed, sharing the newest, most exciting news from the sustainable gardening frontier.

They were introduced to our work by authors of a great book on vertical gardening we recommend by Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet called Garden Up!.  Susan and Rebecca are California-based writers and garden designers that are always looking for new and exciting ways to think about space and integrating the classic garden with regionally appropriate plants. They begin the episode and provide insight and tips for any person with a will to grow.

We had a great time working with everyone and we know you will really enjoy the episode.  See the slideshow for behind the scene photos and tune in for Growing a Greener World!

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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.

What Grows? July 26, 2010

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Blooming favorites from our very own growing grounds known as ‘The Lot Garden’.

‘City Grown’ flowers and their fabulous June 2010 photos taken by Lila B’s Sophie de Lignerolles.

Ravishing Rudbeckia June 29, 2010

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Thanks to a few of the talents at Lila B.  ~ this arrangement glowed for a full week after Sophie grew & harvested many of these flowers (Rudbeckias, Sweet Pea, and Lupine) from our very own {parking} Lot Garden. Elizabeth then beautifully combined them with other local blooms for one of our favorite cafes in San Francisco where….they made quite a few coffee drinkers smile!

So many from our Lot April 28, 2010

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Lila B’s City Grown flowers with  touch of other locals ~ held in a handmade twig vase.

Favorites from the Lot Garden: The Smoke Tree or Cotinus Coggygria April 28, 2010

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Why we love it: The plumes of this plant make a sublime and elegant statement- providing incredibly smokey focal pieces in floral arrangements, while the leaves make perfect boutonniere backings.

You may not know: The root and the stem of this magical plant were traditionally cultivated for a vibrant yellow-orange dye.

What makes it ideal for the lot garden: This plant is not only beautiful… but very hardy.  It is quite happy in a large pot and made cheerful by a trim now and again.   The chartreuse variety stays vibrant and green, providing shade throughout the summer.

Tips for growing your own: Don’t add too much water and be sure there is fast drainage.  Watering can be infrequent and direct sun can be minimal.

Mad About Spring- Mad About Sophie! April 20, 2010

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Just Another Morning in the Lot Garden

Have you ever wondered who is our favorite photographer here at Lila B. Design?  Have you wondered who wields a pencil like you would not believe when design-time rolls around?  Our dear Sophie de Lignerolles is the Resourceress we cannot get enough of!!!

Gifted with a keen eye for color and resourceful hands that make magic out of found items, Sophie has been an indispensable part of Lila B. Design since shortly after it was created.  Sophie manages our lot garden- ensuring it is bursting with city-grown goodness and as the talented house photographer, composes a vivid record of our growing things and fanciful arrangements.  With an M.F.A. in Painting and an education in the fine arts that has taken her from Europe and New York to San Francisco, Sophie embodies cultivated artistic sensitivity with a tape measure on her hip: a combination that lends itself to tackling the most challenging floral and garden design projects with ease.

Do you an idea percolating that is curious or curiouser?  Would you like to know how to transform a parking lot into a garden or adorn an old shutter with succulents?  Consult Sophie, Lila B. Design’s master of creative reuse and re-integration!

On the Tables of Saison: Bountiful-Local February 1, 2010

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If you were to wander to the side of Stable Cafe, just past a shipping container topped with a garden grown by yours truly, you will find Saison.  Saison (French for season) is a reservations-only restaurant that opens its doors on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Saison Floral Centerpiece

 evenings to serve the locally sourced menu of Executive Chef Joshua Skenes with the discerning and cultivated wine pairings of Sommelier Mark Bright. The feel is secret supper club meets informed elegance.  The experience is one of both intimacy and invitation: the tables are small and candle-lit while the kitchen is open and guests can be a part of the culinary magic with wine in hand.

Star Struck October 31, 2009

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boulevard ornamedible

Okay so I’m not (usually!) much of a star gazer when it comes to celebrities. But when I found out that Michael Pollen would be one of 8 guests in Boulevard’s Wine Vault ~ and Lila B. flowers would be the centerpiece. I ogled.

Sophie, part of the Lila B. gang, created this vessel from an old wine box and then we poured in the locally grown ingredients…

Foraged Acorns & fragrant Quince from ‘Florists at Large’, our own ‘City Grown’ edible Rumex, red & yellow Rudbeckia, and Gallardia seed pods, and Half Moon Bay Dahlias and fragrant Chocolate Cosmos made this arrangement almost delicious!

Thanks to Michael Pollen ~ for all his inspiration ~ and influence on how we think at Lila B.

boulevard ornamedible 2

Local Food? Why not Local Flowers? September 7, 2009

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7×7
August 2009
You Do Locally Grown Food, Why Not Locally Grown Flowers?

Locavores may be adamant about only buying food from nearby farmers, but when the dining table is dressed with flowers flown in from South America the point is kind of lost, no? Enter Lila B. Design, a San Francisco floral design company cultivating “City Grown” flowers for their bouquets. {read more}

Check out Lily Gahagan’s article for San Francisco’s 7×7 about how locavores may indeed dig Lila B’s City Grown flowers.