Categories: Petal Pushers

Baylor Chapman & Lila B. Design

Baylor Chapman & Lila B. Design


Baylor Chapman & Lila B. Design


Some of the most forward thinking living arrangements are the handiwork of Baylor Chapman, author of The Plant Recipe Book. I happened upon her shop, Lila B. Design, springing from a shipping container in a space shared by The Stable Cafe, a center piece of the Mission District of San Francisco. It was a fortuitous moment.

I had just discovered a treasure. Life in the city in the shape of succulents, floral design and all things green with a wonderfully authentic, modern appeal. This is Growing What You Love.

My next moment of fortune came when I met with Baylor, in my mind, “Lila B.” Who is this person?

Here is some of what I had to know. Question and Answer with Baylor Chapman:

What is one of your formative gardening experiences?

My mom had a garden. We lived out in the country, in Illinois with a driveway a mile long and she grew every vegetable imaginable. There’s something about walking outside, plucking a vegetable from the earth and eating it — right there and then. YUM! 

Was there a singular event compelling you to do the work you do now?

I spent several years in New Mexico working with non-profits in anthropology. When I ended up buying a house it was from a landscape architect who had tended his garden with care. He walked me through the basics and I was hooked. I spent my weekends in the garden, took organic gardening classes, permaculture and more. I worked side by side with an experienced gardener who taught me tons.

Eventually I moved to San Francisco and went corporate. When the economy tanked I took it as a sign and went back to school for landscape architecture and garden design. I said, “I’ll try it for one semester,” and again, I was hooked.

How would you describe your work?

I like to create things that draw people in, making people come closer to a plant and wonder what it is. Crafting designs that are question provoking with a twist, where curiosity meets beauty. Such as living centerpieces that rival the style and bounty of cut floral arrangements but last longer.

What is your go-to plant at the moment?

Begonias. I just love them. Rex Begonias, Tuberous Begonias… and their beautiful, crinkly leaves. I know I should say succulents but at this moment it’s begonias. It could change tomorrow! There are so many goodies.

Who or what inspires your work?

I was lucky enough to work on an eco-friendly private estate with some talented folks. Del McComb and Emily Morris were two people that really taught me a lot. They both have such creative and horticultural talents and were a huge initial influence on me.

Oh, and books with photos of gardens by Piet Oudolf make me joyous!

What projects do you have planned or dream of doing?

I love teaching, giving demonstations, and getting my hands dirty with groups of plant design and flower enthusiasts! I’m in the process of scheduling workshops, such as the one coming up in October at Wing Haven in Charlotte, North Carolina.

But right now I’m traveling and soaking in information and inspiration from Thailand (I met with Baylor the day before she left for Bangkok). Their floral and plant design is different than what I do. Much more contrived and manipulated than my wild and woodsy look. I’m thrilled to learn more about it and how to incorporate some of their techniques and ideas into my work.

What do you listen to while driving?

Oh gosh, I wish I could say I blast disco, hard rock, or something a bit more fun but I usually listen  NPR. Their programs like RadioLab, Fresh Air, and Science Friday keep me curious. And I love the Slow Flowers Podcast with Debra Prinzing.

What book(s) are you reading?

A book on Feng Shui, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and my friend’s amazing manuscript about agaves, mescal, and Oaxaca adventures!

Learn more about Baylor and Lila B. Design at her website:

Enter to win Baylor’s book, The Plant Recipe Book, 100 Living Arrangements for Any Home in Any Season or find it here: The Plant Recipe Book: 100 Living Arrangements for Any Home in Any Season


The Plant Recipe Book, 100 Living Arrangements for Any Home in Any Season by Baylor Chapman


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Earn up to 15 extra entries by following Pass The Pistil on Pinterest, Facebook and subscribing to the Grow What You Love newsletter.

Winner must come forward within 24 hours of the announcement or a new winner will be drawn.

Bloom Pucks Reviewed
How to Make Wild Plum Sorbet


Grow what you love podcast
Grow what you love podcast on Spotify
Grow what you love podcast on itunes
Grow what you love podcast on Google Play
Grow what you love podcast on Stitcher
Grow what you love podcast on Tune In

Buy The Book

Buy the book

Special offers

Begin Composting Today With SubPod

Newsletter Signup


Yes, you can tell me about your other products and services! Privacy Policy



Pass The Pistil is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate programs such as Etsy, affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to curated affiliate sites.


About the Author: Emily Murphy

I’ve learned there’s something wonderfully powerful in the simple act of growing. Here, in our gardens, we can repair ourselves and our plots of earth with our own two hands. GROW WHAT YOU LOVE and GROW NOW!

Related Articles


  1. gwendolyn rose August 13, 2015 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    I checked this book out at the library. Love to have this for my permanent reference collection.

    • Emily Murphy August 13, 2015 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      Good idea! Some of the techniques and arrangements are complex. Ideal to have it on hand. :)

  2. LaJuana. August 10, 2015 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    BTW subscribed and following on FB and Pinterest! ?

  3. LaJuana. August 10, 2015 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    After a recent fail at an attempt at a similar planting, I NEED this book! Perfect timing! Thanks for sharing!

  4. baylor August 10, 2015 at 10:55 am - Reply

    YAY! Honored to have the book as a give away. Love what you do Emily.

  5. Patty Lee Vasil August 9, 2015 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful book – would love to try growing the indoor gardens.

    • Emily Murphy August 10, 2015 at 10:40 am - Reply

      I wish I had more copies so I could send one to everyone! The arrangements Baylor demonstrates in the book are amazing! :)

  6. Cheryl August 8, 2015 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    The cover is stunningly beautiful. I would need to open the book if I saw it in a bookstore.

    • Emily Murphy August 8, 2015 at 10:15 pm - Reply

      It’s a fabulous thing when you can visually lose yourself in a book and it’s full of do it yourself information. <3

  7. susan Madigan Mchugh August 8, 2015 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    great prize…fingers crossed :)

    • Emily Murphy August 8, 2015 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      There are so many wonderful ideas packed into this book! And it’s beautiful.

  8. Gwendolyn Rose August 8, 2015 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Love the gardening enthusiasm.