In Bloom: Hibiscus

Spring break for some of us means two things: The keikis are home and the hibiscus are blooming. Running out of things to do with the tiny humans in your life? Take a walk. Beauty is just a few steps away from the front door. 

In Palolo, the hibiscus are going off. So when we stumbled upon a patch of white and orange double hibiscus, we couldn't resist bringing a few home and playing around. 

Photos and Story by Kenna Reed

Ohi' Workshop at Spalding House

The holidays have passed and the time has come for you to do something for you. Fortunately, here in Hawai'i, flowers are year round and treating yourself is ALWAYS an option. On Saturday March 18, we are hosting an 'Ohi: How to Gather and Arrange Hawaii's Flora Workshop at the Honolulu Museum of Art's Spalding House. Join us as we walk the beautiful grounds of the Tantalus estate, learn about plants, and create beautiful arrangements from the nature around us.

When: Sat 3/18 10a-1130a

Where: Spalding House

Cost: $35 for members and $40 for non members

Info: Learn how to make beautiful arrangements using local greens and flowers with the authors of ‘Ohi, Tamara Rigney and Mariko Reed. Walk the Museum gardens to forage and learn about plants ideal for arranging, then create two hand tied arrangements using clippings from the garden and colorful flowers from local farms.

Sign up here.

Written and Photographed by Kenna Reed

In Bloom: Aloe Vera

In Hawai'i, aloe plants are abundant in drier parts of the island. Sadly, other than the few times a year where we snap off a juicy leaf to soothe our sunburns, it's easy to ignore them. That is until our little prickly plants give us a beautiful surprise and they bloom. 

Depending on which species of aloe you're dealing with, blooms happen sporadically throughout the year and can be yellow or a pinkish orange. Typically, you'll notice the flowers in summer, but if the conditions are just right, your plants will be sure to let you know how happy they are. 

For an easy and beautiful aloe arrangement, trim off a few blooms and pair with bold leaves like spider lily.

For more information on harvesting and arranging local flowers check out our book 'OHI!

Story and photos by Kenna Reed

Hadley Nunes' Valentine's Installation

We really can't give our amazing Paiko team enough credit. By day, they may be helping you pot those succulents and bundle your bouquets, but after hours is when the true talent comes out. Meet Hadley Nunes, our Visual and Floral Coordinator and creator of the beautiful Valentine's installation suspended over our main table.

Tell us a little about you and your background as an artist.

I’m a visual artist with a background in dance and performance working at Lana Lane Studios. I spent my twenties in New York after I graduated from Smith College with a degree in studio art. During undergrad, I spent a year at the San Francisco Art Institute in the painting department.

I’ve worked in many different mediums, regardless of method, spacial relationships and abstraction have always interested me most. For four years, I studied and completed my MFA at the New York Studio School for Drawing, Painting and Sculpture where there was an emphasis on working from life (drawing and painting the figure and still life).

At NYSS, I discovered the intrinsic connection between figuration and abstraction, so I consider even my abstract works representational because I always use something real to reference as I’m working—a collage, an arrangement of objects, a painting or scene that strikes me.

When I moved back to Hawaii in 2011, I founded an international artist residency that took place in the Kaka’ako neighborhood called Present Project.


What was your inspiration for this piece and what message are you hoping it sends.

Tamara sent me some images of Yves Saint Laurent’s Love Cards, which Courtney had exposed her to after a trip to Laurent's garden in Morrocco. Every year from 1970 to 2000 Saint Laurent would design a new card to welcome the new year and celebrate love.

A couple cards stood out from the collection, one with a simple hand drawn bird from 1976 and another from 1981 that had a bold graphic quality with love collaged on top of colored shapes in subtle variations of the primary palette. I immediately thought of Henri Matisse’s paper cutout technique based on the use of color, shape and silhouette.

In 1941, Matisse began a series of large works by cutting paper into shapes that he would then arrange for large collages. This process continued to evolve over the last years of his life to include designs for tapestries, stained-glass windows, decorative tiles, posters, and magazine covers.

After looking through images of his cutouts I decided to use a color palette based on our favorite Love Card from ’81 by Saint Laurent to create a series of cutouts based on plants we know and love at Paiko. Adding basic geometric shapes that spelled LOVE created another layer to the materials and connected back to what was inspiring us this season and highlighted the message of the piece.

Can you tell us a little bit about the process of putting it together? The materials, the process,etc.

I built a model using odds and ends I had on hand in my studio. Once I figured out I could spell love in shapes it made sense to have that statement suspended within the plant cutouts. The manu-o-Kū, also known at white fairy tern, felt like a natural addition to the sea of Paiko paper mascots.

Each paper element in the mobile started as a drawing from life that was then cut out. I used the cutting as another opportunity to simplify and carve out the form. Once I had the shape right, I made a tracing of it on the paper from our palette for the final piece.

I painted small strips of wood and put them together to create the geometric shapes, then made a drawing of a banana leaf, transferred the drawing to a wood panel, used a dremel to cut out the shape and added a couple layers of almost white paint.

What do you want Valentines 2017 to be all about?

Falling in love. It doesn’t have to be romantic (although that’s great too), it could be falling in love with a staghorn fern or a cup of coffee. It could could be a conversation, yourself, the moment—anything.


Photos and Interview by Kenna Reed 



'OHI Instagram Contest

To celebrate our book 'OHI and inspire everyone to bring nature indoors in 2017, we're holding an 'OHI local flower arranging contest!

Get outside, forage, explore your backyard, check out the local farmer's market, get creative! 

The rules are simple:

  • Create a cut floral arrangement and post it on Instagram
  • Tag @paikohawaii and #ohihawaii
  • All materials must be local (We'd love to hear where your plants were sourced from)
  • No limit on posts per person

The contest will run from today until January 31st and the winner will be announced the first week of February. The winner will receive a $50 Paiko gift card, a signed copy of 'OHI: How to Gather and Arrange Hawai'i's Flora, and will be featured on our IG and blog. So grab your clippers, get outside, and start arranging!

PAIKO's 4th Anniversary & Welcoming MILO

Last week we had the amazing opportunity to celebrate four years, welcome Milo, and bless our space. A big thank you to everyone who came out to show support, and to all of you that have rallied behind us the past few years. We couldn't have done this without each and every one of you!  

Oh and don't forget our holiday hours! We'll be open

12/20 to 12/23: 9 am to 8 pm
12/24 Christmas Eve: 8 am to 2 pm
12/25 Christmas Day: Closed
12/26: Noon to 6 pm


Photos by Kenna Reed

GATHER: Protea

Otherworldy protea flowers are a staple at the Paiko flower bar.  Kings, minks, banksias, pincushions, and even macadamia are all members of the ancient Proteacea family, with includes species native to Australia and South Africa (plate tectonics!). 

Proteas need cold nights, so if you're lucky enough to be on the Big Island or Maui you can gather or plant them yourself.  Otherwise come by the shop, our flower bar is fully stocked for Christmas.

paiko protea mariko reed


-  To help them drink, split woody protea stems a an inch or two up the middle with a pair of clippers.
- A little packet of flower food in your vase is especially helpful with proteas.
-  Most proteas, excluding pincushions, dry beautifully. When your arrangement is looking tired, hang it upside down to dry.

For more tips like these check out our new book 'OHI How to Gather and Arrange Hawai'i's Flora.

mariko paiko protea

Paiko at the KCC Farmer's Market This Saturday!

We will be at the KCC Farmer's Market this Saturday, December 3rd.  We'll have lots of beautiful protea from the Big Island, foraged flora, sprouted coconuts, a few of our favorite potted plants and our book - 'OHI How to Gather and Arrange Hawai'i's Flora.  In fact, Tamara will be there to help you put together the perfect arrangement and don't be shy, she'll happily sign your book.  See you bright and early Saturday! We'll be there from 730 to 11am.

paiko ohi orchid coffee
paiko protea bunch holiday

Shop Small Saturday

You're probably planning out your Thanksgiving menus but we wanted to tell you about another national holiday - Small Business Saturday! This Saturday is an opportunity to support locally owned businesses like Paiko, keep money in Hawai'i and of course, go shopping. 


For Shop Small Saturday, we will be offering a special price of $55 on our ‘OHI book kits (‘OHI + Saboten Japanese Clippers + Jute Twine + Fishbowl Vase) and giving 10% of book sales to KUA, a community based initiative for protecting, restoring, and caring for Hawaii. This set has everything you need to start gathering and arranging the flora around you. 


Also on Saturday spend $80 and receive a mint green PAIKO shirt on the house. Locally printed, we love our new shirts! 

Celebrate 'OHI at the Surfjack this Thursday!

Join us this Thursday, November 17th, to celebrate the release of Paiko’s new book ‘OHI How to Gather and Arrange Hawai’i’s Flora. A celebration of Hawai'i’s abundant plant life and the resourcefulness of island living, OHI shows you that fresh flowers don’t have to be a luxury, beautiful arrangements can be created from what’s around you.

On this fun night the hotel will turn into a botanical wonderland decked out in Rigney’s modern local flower arrangements; try local botanical cocktails with KoHana Rum by Mahina and Sun’s, a flower learning station featuring plants used in the book, and laid back Hawaii tunes.

The Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club in Waikiki // 6-9pm

ARRANGE: Tied Bunches

Tying stems in a bunch is our favorite way to make arrangements with awkwardly shaped plant materials. All you need is a pair of clippers and a piece of twine; we prefer natural fibers like jute or hemp.  This technique also allows you to use anything from a bowl to a water glass as a vase. Experiment with different combinations by holding them together in your hand. You’ll be surprised by what works well together.

For detailed instructions check out our new book 'OHI How to Gather and Arrange Hawai'i's Flora.

GATHER: Philodendron

Sometimes all it takes to brighten up a room is a few leaves. Thankfully in Hawaii our landscape is filled with beautiful foliage, ideal for easy arrangements. Philodendrons are one of our favorites, always in season, they come in dozens of shapes and sizes, and can be found along jungly roadsides and in many backyards. 


-  Choose mature dark green leaves. Soft, light-green, juvenile leaves will wilt.
-  Keep your water fresh and your arrangement will last for months; it might even sprout roots.
-  Large leaves pair well with large tropicals like heliconia, while small leaves work well with anthuriums and pincushion protea.

For more tips like these check out our new book 'OHI How to Gather and Arrange Hawai'i's Flora.

'OHI How to Gather and Arrange Hawai'i's Flora

Our book — 'OHI How to Gather and Arrange Hawai'i's Flora—  is almost here and we couldn't be more excited!  Paiko founder, Tamara Rigney and photographer, Mariko Reed have been wandering the island, visiting friends’ backyards, and seeking out Oahu’s most classic homes to inspire you to bring Hawai'i's nature indoors. 

Available now for pre-order, 'OHI is the ultimate guide to arranging Hawai'i's unique flora.

'OHI means to gather in Hawaiian.  In the book, Rigney and Reed share their methods for sourcing, harvesting, and caring for island flora.  'OHI provides detailed profiles, paired with original illustrations by artist Jeff Canham, of favorite plant and flower varieties; from backyard staples like parakeet heliconia and monstera, to the less-common uluhe fern and shampoo ginger. 

With detailed design tips, as well as a list of useful tools and materials, this book is a celebration of Hawai'i’s landscape.  Fresh flowers don’t have to be a luxury, 'OHI will help you create beautiful arrangements from what’s around you.

Available in the shop November 12th, ‘OHI makes the perfect holiday gift, or let's be honest, personal gift.  With your newfound inspiration, your home will be filled with flowers year-round.

P.S. Save the date, Thursday November 17th we'll be celebrating ‘OHI at the Surfjack from 6-9pm!  



In the midst of summer bougainvillea season, we stumbled across this incredible house on the south shore. We had to share!

Requiring little water and maintenance, bougainvillea is the answer if you're looking to brighten up your yard. Don't have a yard? These guys need tons of sun so they're not practical for indoors, but they can do well in large pots with good drainage. 

We don't carry boug at Paiko but find it at your local garden center or propagate your own from cuttings you find around town. For full propagating instructions check out this article.

Photos by Kenna Reed


Meet our friend Meleana: fashion designer, columnist for Hawaii Luxury magazine, and master lei maker. A couple times a year Meleana teaches a special workshop at Paiko on the art of haku. Catch the next one on Wednesday July 18th

I know your grandmother was a haku master. Do you think you would be so passionate about haku were it not for her?

Yes, My Tutu was an amazing lei maker.  Her fascination and love the traditional style of lei making turned into a business for her, but she never made one lei that was not completely filled with Aloha.  She always thought of her client and their personal look and likes and catered each lei to match them. She shared her lei in the most giving way with nothing expected in return.  With all that being said, yes, I can completely attribute my love for lei making and the spirit of sharing a lei to my Tutu.  She was also known for her wreaths, puakenikeni leis and frequently did large projects such as weddings and funerals, taking on any floral challenge.  

My cousins and I would help her or just sit at her table and talk to her while she worked and we were always adorned ourselves, for EVERY occasion so it is ingrained in all of us.  Personally, my own passion for lei making developed recently since she has passed and I LOVE to make Haku leis.  I love the architecture and color combination of a Haku lei.  My cousins make the most beautiful Puakenikeni leis and mine are terrible!  My sister loves to Haku as well, but makes the most stunning bouquets, using her techniques.  We all have something we have gravitated to.


Do you follow the same technique as your grandmother or is your style different?

Yes, I follow and teach the same Wili style of Haku Lei making that she used and taught.  In the past year I have also enjoyed learning different techniques for different styles of leis… if there is a particular material I want to work with, I play with different techniques to make that flower or fern shine!  I definitely have a different style that my Tutu… I will never be as good!  I try and try but its a work in progress!  She had an effortless way with flowers… they obeyed her, she loved them and anything she touched turned out stunning.

Do you have a favorite haku flower combination?

I can’t say I have a complete favorite, but I am a LOVER of color.  Any chance I get to use Mamo, the bright yellow Lehua I am thrilled.  That combined with some hot pink ti-leaf is gorgeous!  I love to use the native Palapalai as my fern…. its not always easy to find and its delicate, but so so pretty.  



Whats the last haku plant material experiment that was a success? Any that were failures?

I made a lovely anthirium lei for a photo shoot.. I was suprised it came out!  I had a lei flop using big hibiscus.  I couldn’t resist trying because the colors are so fantastic, but it didn’t survive for more than an hour!  


What’s most interesting to you about teaching haku?

I love how every student just goes for it!  Maybe I am used to workshops where you were told the lei had to turn out a certain way, but people are so creative!  I love that every student takes my instruction and just goes for it and everyone is so stoked and proud of their finished lei, when none of them look at all the same!  I am also so impressed with how fast everyone makes a lei!  It would take me 5 hours when I was younger!  I love sharing this skill, it is so fun and gratifying!