Paiko Founder Releases A Visual Primer On Plants

Tamara Rigney (left) and Mariko Reed PHOTO COURTESY OF PAIKO


If you’ve ever stepped inside Kakaako botanical boutique Paiko, you’ve probably wanted to bring all of its floral arrangements home with you.

Well, now you can create some of your own with the help of Paiko founder Tamara Rigney, who’s teamed up with photographer Mariko Reed to create a visually stunning guide, ‘OHI: How to Gather and Arrange Hawaii’s Flora. The goal, they say, is to make the art of floral arrangements doable for everyone and to give people the know-how they need to gather and create arrangements on their own.

“It didn’t feel like something that people were thinking about — where their flowers were coming from,” Reed explains. “We wanted to give people the information and the confidence to take a casual approach to flower design.”

The pair met at Paiko — Reed, who specializes in architectural photography, used to come into the shop for flowers for photo shoots — and they got to talking about how books on floral arrangements often seemed too rigid, or too opulent for the average person. They wanted to create something that was more accessible that focused on plants found in Hawaii.

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‘OHI offers tips on everything from harvesting your own plants to designing an arrangement, along with example images. They highlight some of Rigney’s favorites — like beehive gingers, anthuriums and bananas — and share various techniques and styles for presenting an arrangement. Plus, the book is filled with basic information on various plants, including how long they last, where to look for them, and what they may pair well with.

There is an idea that runs throughout ‘OHI that the type of treasures you’d need to replicate the beautiful creations inside its pages are all around.

As they explain in the book: “We walked roadsides, visited friends’ backyards and hiked local trails … From aloe plants flowering beneath freeways to laua‘e fern growing out of sidewalk cracks and gutters, there is never a shortage of natural materials here.”

Tamara Rigney (left) and Mariko Reed PHOTO COURTESY OF PAIKO

Tamara Rigney (left) and Mariko Reed PHOTO COURTESY OF PAIKO

“I want people to just notice more of what is growing around them and to see their environment in a new way,” Rigney says. “And to hopefully go out and experiment.”

It seems to be working. “So far, after they have gotten the book, people have shown me, like ‘hey, look what I found on my way to work,’ or ‘look what was growing in my grandma’s yard,'” Rigney says. “I think it just kind of changes your perception of the island.”