On the 22nd of February 2023, I taught my first in-person floral design event for a 90th birthday party in Hillsborough, California. I had not had the opportunity to undertake live workshops since I worked with the Canterbury Floral Society, UK, on February 17, 2020, a month before the beginning of the COVID lockdown. I am happy to share that after three years this event was a complete success.
Sixteen women attended a luncheon at the home of the celebrant’s daughter. I arrived at the house after their lunch. The group gathered around a large kitchen island, where I taught them how to make a round floral design of yellow roses, sunflowers, ranunculus, mums, alstroemeria, wax flowers, and greens. The women at the party made beautiful arrangements, had a wonderful time creating them, and now have the skills to make a basic floral design, something they can develop further if they wish to do so. They were inquisitive, friendly, laughed, and a joy to teach. Their enthusiasm for the event encouraged and inspired me to face the fact that it is now time to “put myself out there” purposefully.
I am very grateful to organizer of the party for providing me with the opportunity to restart what is the main purpose of Pax in Natura: teaching the beauty, joy, and peace of historically inspired sustainable floral designs. While doing this, I also hope to encourage sustainable design practices and an appreciation for our symbiotic relationship with nature.
“You are such a delight, Patricia! Your work was perfect from the first email to the final touches on the floral arrangements. The ladies just loved every moment. THANK YOU! I will be sure to forward your information and think of another reason to host a party!” R.N. Party Host, Bay Area, California
As part of generating my business, I am writing this blog to explain briefly what it is about and how I work. Over the past two years, I have been trying different ways to run Pax in Natura. As anyone who reads my blogs will know, the transition between academia and entrepreneur has not been an easy one for me. Yet, the pandemic gave me opportunities to develop my floral design skills and to offer online teaching events, which had varying degrees of success. Although the online events are fun and will continue in a new format (more on this in future blogs and announcements), teaching floral design is better in person than online because I can give hands-on help and advice.
Although, my website stated contact me if you wish for me to host a design party/workshop, I had no menu for basic events, no pricing, and no details to offer: it was nebulous. The opportunity to work in February spurred me on to create a menu, work through pricing details, and write a short description of the ethos of how and why Pax in Natura has something unique to offer in regards to the interrelationship between environmental stewardship, our connection with nature, our creative process, and the history of floral design.
With this observation, I realized that some of the things on my website were hangovers from my academic days: giving talks and stating that I could offer services as an historical consultant for stage sets and costume design in relation to flowers and gardens. I am definitely happy to do these because I love any opportunity to share my work and interests; however, I realized these are not the main aims of my business.
There are four things I am now committed to offering clients:
workshops, explained below;
designing, creating, and selling historically inspired and sustainable flower crowns, wreaths, garlands for special events;
offering online floral design demonstrations;
and disseminating my ideas and work in various forms of media.
First, why do I want to teach floral designs for parties and team-building events? I love to share the experience of working with flowers because it is a beautiful form of art that also has calming, meditative, and healthful effects. Floral designs bring nature, happiness, serenity, and beauty into our living and working spaces. Hence, we find Peace in Nature, or Pax in Natura in Latin. Yet, modern floral design mechanics can be harmful to ourselves and the environment in which we live.
My historical research into ancient floral design has helped me rediscover ways to create sustainable design mechanics based on ancient techniques that are free from floral foam, glues, and plastics. I try to incorporate locally grown, seasonal flowers, and foraged greenery into my designs as much as possible, with the intention of lowering the carbon footprint caused by imported flowers. Aside from the environmental and health benefits of these practices, they have another advantage: reducing the cost of floral creations.
To share my designs, I offer a range of workshops for in-person gatherings teaching basic “ancient” design skills and mechanics that promote sustainable floral skills. My workshops are friendly and fun as well as calming and meditative.
Where and How I Work
For in person classes, I travel to locations within the San Francisco Bay Area From Marin County to Santa Cruz on the West Bay. On the East Bay, I work from and Martinez to Gilroy, going as far east as Walnut Creek. Arrangements can be made for further travel, but the costs rise in accordance to the distance travelled.
I work closely with the organizer to determine color schemes and types of flowers they wish to use in their designs. Due to the nature of flower markets, last minute changes might be necessary, and I will keep customers informed at all stages of the process. I believe that a good business is run by transparency and quick responses to any queries or changes customers might have. This makes the process easy, friendly, and organized. We are working with flowers, they are natural and beautiful, so the process is meant to be enjoyed with little stress or aggravation.
As the host of the recent event said, “You are such a delight, Patricia! Your work was perfect from the first email to the final touches on the floral arrangements. The ladies just loved every moment. THANK YOU! I will be sure to forward your information and think of another reason to host a party!”
With this information, why not treat yourself to something special for your next event? Please feel free to contact me to discuss your requirements, see my menu, or come to visit me at a wedding event in the Bay Area. I will be at the Berkeley Marina Wedding Fair (Hilton Doubletree, 200 Marina Avenue, Berkeley, CA) on April 2, 2023 from 12:00-4:00 PM. I look forward to more exciting, inspirational, and environmentally sound events in the future.
Dr. Patty Baker
Founder of Pax in Natura