August 2008


We were at the studio today preparing for our wedding this weekend. We had one of those glorious days – such perfect weather that we were able to work outside!

About the Bouquet:
Our bride had a vision for her bouquet with a soft palette of peach calla lilies, ivory and white roses, and white calla lilies. The palette was dramatized slightly with gorgeous more saturated orange “Mokara” orchids.

Starting the Bride's Bouquet

Starting the Bride's Bouquet

Adding a few more flowers

Adding a few more flowers

Discussing the Bouquet with Apryl

Discussing the Bouquet with Apryl

This is always the fun point in making any bouquet, you’re almost there, but putting the finishing element in, looking carefully, adjusting, and discussing. I think all all those art class critiques in college are finally paying off!

The Finished Bouquet!

The Finished Bouquet!

We particularly got lucky with very gorgeous spray roses with a variety called “Majolica.” A lovely subtle creamy ivory with some roses having just a hint of warm blush pink, almost imperceptible but just enough to warm the hue of the flowers.

We wanted to post a few more photos from one our July weddings as we just got lovely professional photos from the wedding photographer, Sue Lynch.

Bride & Groom

Bride & Groom - Photo by Sue Lynch Photography

And here is one of our favorite pictures because it conveys just how lovely this bouquet smelled with the gorgeous Yves Piaget garden roses.
See? Sometimes even guys like flowers!:

Smelling the Roses

Smelling the Roses - Photo by Sue Lynch Photography

And two photos from the table arrangements:

Dining Table Arrangement - Photo by Sue Lynch Photography

Dining Table Arrangement - Photo by Sue Lynch Photography

Sweetheart Table - Photo by Sue Lynch Photography

Sweetheart Table - Photo by Sue Lynch Photography

The Bridal Party - Photo by Sue Lynch Photography

The Bridal Party - Photo by Sue Lynch Photography

About the Bouquets:
Our bride wanted to incorporate gorgeous bright saturated colors of magenta, red, and purple. Here you can see how the bride’s bouquet incorporates all these elements while each bridesmaid’s bouquet has one element: the textural red bouquet of gloriosa on the left; the delicate purple-magenta of the dendrobium orchids, second from left; the bride’s bouquet at center; and the maid of honor’s bouquet on the right with delicate phalenopsis orchids all hand-wired together.

See our other post too for more detailed photos of the these bouquets.

Thanks again to our lovely bride Michelle for letting us use these wonderful photos and Sue for taking them!

Floral Design by Petalena

Photos by Sue Lynch Photography

Location: Langham Hotel, Boston

Blue and Lavender Color Combination- My trip to Mount Desert Island last week to visit the Thuya Garden, Asticou Garden, and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden was such an inspiration! Here are a few photos from Thuya, well worth a visit if you’re up in Maine in the summer and looking for some color inspiration.

Meadow Rue and Monkshood

Meadow Rue and Monkshood

I just feel in love with this color combination, that deep, deep “Blue Ribbon” blue color paired with a cool lavender. I’m not going to wax poetic on color theory here, but this pairing really reveals how putting two related but different colors enhances each color. The blue becomes incredibly deep and saturated while the lavender almost lightens, becoming ever so slightly pinkish by its pairing with the blue.

Blue Monkshood and Lavender Dahlias

Clearly Thuya Gardens loves this combo as much as I do! Here is it again (above) with lavender dahlias paired with the deep blue Monkshood.

Here is the entrance to Thuya, an incredible carved garden gate embellished with botanical elements.

Garden Gate at Thuya

Garden Gate at Thuya

We’re so happy to announce that Petalena is featured on a fantanstic floral design site, uBloom this week!
One of their lovely staffers emailed us the other week to introduce herself and asked us if we wouldn’t mind having our blog and website mentioned in the ubloom weekly blog. We’re tickled!

"Take a Peek at Petalena" from the uBloom.com blog

Wait, all of a sudden I’m feeling like a goof ball for writing a blog post about being mentioned in another blog? Oh well, we’re doing it anyway! Thanks again uBloom!

Late Summer Early Fall Flowers

Is it terrible to write about fall already? On these cool August nights, I keep thinking that autumnal winds have arrived in Boston. I don’t mind so much, spring and fall are my favorite seasons for their transitory nature and short-lived beauty.

Late Summer Early Fall Wedding Table

Late Summer Early Fall Wedding Table

Here is a floral design we did earlier this year for an intimate wedding dinner party. The color of the orange Mokara orchids and chartreuse Lady’s Slipper orchids in combination with a burgundy orchid have slightest suggestion of fall that seemed timely.

Flowers for an Early Fall Table

Flowers for an Early Fall Table


Floral Design by Petalena

A Table for a Birthday Fete!
A follow up to our last post about incorporating herbs in floral designs, below is another example from earlier this summer. In this case the flowers were not for a client, but none other than Apryl!

I did these arrangements for her birthday fete at my house, picking up some beautiful “Sancerre” tulips, “Green Goddess” calla lilies, and purple-blue hyacinth flowers for the birthday table. I also plucked a few of my own “Ultra Violet” scabiosa flowers from the garden and simply floated them in antique champagne glasses with mint. Simple and lovely!

Spring Mint

Mint and Scabiosa in Antique Champagne Glasses

Mint for a Mint Julep Arrangement – We wanted to post this picture of darling little arrangements we did for a cocktail party with little mint julep containers filled with dahlias, sweet peas, ivory roses, and mint.

Mint for a Mint Julep Arrangement

Mint for a Mint Julep Arrangement

Whenever it fits the aesthetic, Apryl and I love to incorporate herbs into arrangements. Herbs are so tactile and touchable (we personally love it when people want to touch arrangements since touch is such a part of our experience!). And best of all, most herbs will release their wonderful scent when touched even lightly.

We are also finding the mint julep style container to be very popular with brides – it gives that touch of contrast and elegance with silver but it also diminutive and delicate.

The Mint Julep Cocktail is traditionally served in this style cup (normally in pewter or silver) and the aromatic nature of the mint softens and blends with the bourbon and sugar. Simply summery deliciousness!

Floral Design by Petalena

A visit to the Boston Public Garden last week was such an inspiration. The garden beds there are so dramatic and varied, it’s such a feast for the senses! I had the loveliest afternoon there the other day after visiting the Taj to check out one of their function spaces for a wedding Petalena may do.

Hibiscus Flowers

Hibiscus Flowers

Picking up a kiddie cone of half vanilla half chocolate from the Mr. Frosty truck on the corner of Boylston and Arlington, in I blissfully strolled. Sigh, it felt like ages since I had been. Parks are such deeply democratic places, here you see construction guys eating their lunches from igloo coolers, preppy financial types eating sandwiches from Au Bon Pain, moms and nannies strolling babies around, and lots and lots of tourists. I love it! Visit the Friends of the Boston Public Garden website, they keep the park beautiful!

Our Petalena blog will be quiet over the next couple of days, I’m off to Maine to visit some gardens on Mount Desert Island with my mom, hopefully I have loads of inspiration from the visit and great photos too to share!


Sweet Little Daisies
Wow, who knew we would be on such a roll exploring the beauty of small things? Either I’m a little obsessed or it’s one of those things, that once you start thinking about it, it just keeps percolating up. These mini-daisies are just such completely happy-looking flowers in all their smallness.

Dasiy Arrangement for a Mom's 60th Birthday

Daisy Arrangement for a Mom on Her Birthday

In follow up to our post yesterday “Back from the Market” here is little photo (please excuse the photo quality!) of the arrangement for a friend’s mother on her 60th birthday. Daisies have a special sentimental value to her since she had them in her own wedding bouquet years ago, so this will be thoughtful treat and surprise from her daughter at her birthday dinner at Aquitaine tonight!

This was fun one because we rarely use daisies, Apryl and I both love using local flowers, but daisies just aren’t part of our flower vocabulary most of the time. But it’s always a good experience to work with material you normally wouldn’t!

Photo and design by Petalena.

Orange Spray Roses

Orange Spray Roses

Just got back from the market a couple of hours ago where Apryl and I plotted out our flower order for our client’s big wedding over Labor Day weekend. Everything is going to be gorgeous with raspberry pink dahlias along with garden, spray, and tea roses in the same color and orange calla lilies, roses, and Mokara orchids. Looking forward to posting more about this wedding!

I wished I had snapped more photos but here is one of some of the orange spray roses at left and some peach calla lilies below that we will use in the bride’s bouquet.

Peach Calla Lilies

Peach Calla Lilies

We also picked up a few things for a small birthday arrangement for a friend’s mom. Occasionally we do smaller orders and this one is a really lovely and personal example. This friend’s mother adores daisies. She had them for her wedding bouquet years ago and now my friend wanted to give her arrangement of daisies on her 60th birthday, so sweet!

We love doing these kind of arrangements that have a real personal element to them and creating something that has a lot of meaning for the recipient.

For her arrangement we picked up some adorable mini daisies, yellow Billy Balls flowers, and some interesting foliage. The flowers are happily relaxing right now and I’ll arrange them later today.

Prep Photos

Prep Photos

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