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Upcoming Holiday Bazaar with Lila B. Design November 14, 2011

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Looking for a way to bring your holidays to life? How about a Bazaar featuring the best in city-grown botanicals and more?

Join Lila B. Design at
Stable Cafe, 2128 Folsom St, San Francisco, Ca
December 11th from 10am to 4pm

Warm your hands around a drink, savor some fresh pie by Three Babes Bakeshop, be dazzled by Carrie Kjellesvik‘s modern handcrafted jewels, and last (but not least) say hello to us and check out our newest living arrangements. If you’re visiting at Noon, we’ll provide you with some of our methods on how to make your very own holiday gift. And at 1pm you’ll tap your toes to some old time ‘feel-good’ music until we close up shop at four.

photos by sophie de lignerolles and tinywater photography

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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.

Making Magic in the California Woodlands May 17, 2011

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The story begins at Dawn Ranch, amidst fifteen acres of tranquil redwoods on the Russian River.  The occasion was to celebrate the nuptials of Kristi and David.  They were going for a particular kind of rustic charm- taking care not be too overdone, and achieving whimsical elegance in thoughtful ways.

 

We started with moss islands that provided a sumptuous bed for the unusual.  We placed them under a cloche bell jars and adorned them with mushrooms, monkey tail ferns, scabiosa, poppy, and nigella pods.  From the trees we hung twig and moss baskets with blue hydrangea ferns and passiflora leaves.

 

The bride’s bouquet featured succulents, ferns, blackberries, helleborus, tweedia, cotinus leaves, and coniferous pieces.  The men sported boutinierres that were an unique combination of nigela pods, berries, and tendrils.  Two flower girls left a shower of hydrangea petals in their wake.  An energetic brown datsun served as a friendly ring bearer.  Everyone carried darling vintage parasols to shield them from the California sun.

 

There is a fine line between a country wedding and a fantastical woodland celebration.  We think this wedding celebration is one that achieved fairy tale status without being trite.  Have a look at the pictures and let us know what you think!

Photos thanks to Charlie Gesell Photography and Sophie de Lignerolles.

Nuptials that will go down in the books March 24, 2011

Posted by lilabdesign in Wedding.
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For the wedding celebration of Jeannie Choe, the San Francisco summer fog took a day off and allowed the sun to shine.  We wasted no time in harvesting some of our most colorful lot garden blooms for this literary- themed nuptial day located just a few doors up the street at one of our favorite neighbors, the Stable Cafe.

The bride started off the creative process by sharing her collection of vintage glassware and ball jars to use as vases.  Some were dyed and others were classically clear.  We added a bright combination of dahlias, daisies, billy bobs, mint, sage, and berries.

Wooden farm tables featured large arrangements surrounded by a constellation of smaller, intimate miniature landscapes.  We filled a large glass terrarium from our friends at Roost with knofia, ferns, knofia, and poppy pods.  Beneath cloche bell jars were magical combinations of locally gathered botanicals.

This day was definitely one to go down in the “books.”  From the array of antique books holding seating cards and stamped on the page side with the wedding date, to the menagerie of striped socks sported by groom and best men, and the darling mint green fingernail polish of the bride.

Photos by Lisa Wiseman Photography.

Original Terrarium Design and Creation February 24, 2011

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Classes now offered thru Lila B. Design!

Our first of the new series: Feast & Flowers
April 11th 6-8:30 pm
Original Terrarium Design and Creation with Elizabeth Artis
at Stable Cafe in San Francisco

Have you always wanted to make your own terrarium?

Sign Up Here

Meet new people while learning a new skill and enjoying food and wine at Stable Cafe.

Classes include all materials to make your own terrarium, light dinner fair, and libations for $175 per evening.  Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.  Join us from 6-8:30 pm on:

See Full Schedule Here

Love Expressed with Sustainable Beauty February 21, 2011

Posted by lilabdesign in Wedding.
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One of the seasons most delightful celebrations took place at on the rolling hills in Northern California.  A fully organic venue, thousands of redwood and douglas fir seedlings were planted throughout the lands as part of a responsible forest management plan.

Everyone agreed there could be no better place to hang bell jars filled with moss and flameless flickering tea lights for the wedding celebration of Kevin DePalmer & Elizabeth Mooney.

This was an event that integrated the talents of both friends and family.  We placed magnolia leaves preserved with glycerin that had been hand-picked by the bride’s grandmother on over 200 feet of burlap elegantly draping the single table winding between the trees and hillsides.  Outstanding in the Field, known for setting up magical and completely local “farm dinners” all over the United States, set the table with farm fresh tomatoes, grits, Burrata cheese, grilled meats and marinated figs. The delectable cake was provided by the brilliant sisters of Patisserie Angelica.

Flowers for the event were simple and local, featuring fragrant oregano and sage as punctuating accents.  Nestled in the bell jars were poppy pods and small artificial white doves which carry a sacred meaning for the family.

The bride and the groom came wanting to orchestrate a celebration that was special and local- a collaborative effort with friends.  We think this celebration achieved true elegance by allowing for rustic emphasis punctuated by small, special, family-oriented touches.

Thanks to Thor Swift for the photographs capturing the occasion.  Elizabeth’s handmade dress by the very talented Sue Hanley of Atelier des Modistes in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood.

Details:
August 21 2010
Reception Venue: Failla Vineyards, St. Helena Ca
Flowers: Lila B. Design
Dining: Outstanding in the Field
Cake: Pattiserie Angelica
Dress: Atelier des Modistes
Photography: Thor Swift

For more photos see: Thor Swift Photography: see (2) blog posts:
http://thorswiftstudio.blogspot.com/2010/10/catching-up-elizabeth-and-kevin-august.html

http://thorswiftstudio.blogspot.com/2010/11/more-from-elizabeth-and-kevin.html

and to download our write up:

Sustainable Local Celebration at Failla Vineyards

Wrapped in Glass June 4, 2010

Posted by lilabdesign in Inspiration.
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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

Underwater Melody August 20, 2009

Posted by lilabdesign in Events, Wedding.
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If you’ve not been to the California Academy of Sciences, it is worth a visit. It is filled with wonder. See a Leafy Seadragon, a white Alligator, and a living roof. And if you attended Rachel’s wedding last weekend, Lila B’s – floral fish tanks.

Terrarium August 2009