Last Saturday, my dear friend Nyna Dolby gave a flower workshop at 1st Presbyterian Church in Livermore. Nyna is the head of flower arranging at Filoli House & Gardens, an historic home in Woodside, California, and on the board of Filoli House & Gardens (which, if you’re interested, is a jamming of the words: Fight, Love, Live = FILOLI).


Nyna gave a wonderful talk about her journey to become so skilled in flower arranging, sprinkled with insights from her spiritual journey. As she talked, she created flower and foliage arrangements for the church to use in Sunday worship. Right before our eyes!

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One of my favorite demonstrations is when Nyna pulls out a mixed bouquet from Safeway or Trader Joe’s, takes it apart, and puts it back together again. Same ingredients, totally different look! And something we can all relate to.IMG_8231

Then…Nyna set us loose to make our own flower arrangements! The women bolted to the flower buckets, then stopped, hemming and hawing and thinking and pondering. Fun to see the creativity buzz in the air! So much buzzing, you’d think the room was filled with bees.

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Here’s the best part: Nyna went around the room and helped each person “elevate” their arrangement. A nip and tuck here, a rose peeping through here. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.


By the way, if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and might be interested in having Nyna give a flower demonstration/workshop for your garden club or church group or corporate event, send me an email. She’s pretty booked up, in high demand (in February, she gave a flower demonstration to the California Women’s Retreat–a group of 500!), and she does a lot of flowers for summer weddings…but I’ll pass along your info to Nyna. She is SO worth it!

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