August 2009


Pomanders can be a fun choice for little flower girls walking down the aisle. And as any floral designer can attest, some flowers work better than others. Mini, mini roses are ideal – like these completely adorable ones we used this weekend. Teeny tiny with green and soft ivory at the edges, darkening to pink at the center. Isn’t this adorable? Makes me happy just looking at it!

Adorable Rose Pomander

Adorable Rose Pomander

When we meet with clients and suggest a pomander as one of the many options for a flower girl – we’re often asked, why is it called a pomander? So I’ve finally looked it up and it turns out pomander comes from the French word ‘pomme de ambre’ which translates literally to ‘apple of amber.’

Back in the Middle Ages when there was lots of unfortunate smells and disease, pomanders were used to ward off  such things. They were a mixture of aromatic things like cloves, incense, etc. held in a perforated container that could be carried around one’s neck or waist – as seen in the portrait of a lady below by the painter Pourbus:

An Unknown Lady, Holding a Pomander on a Gold Chain.

An Unknown Lady, Holding a Pomander on a Gold Chain.

Another kind of pomander that dates back to around the 15th century, is an orange embellished with cloves that are tucked into the orange’s peel. This kind of pomander is often part of seasonal Christmas display – but is also a natural air freshener for a home, closet, etc. I still have absolutely no idea how this phrase then became broadened to include flower balls like the one we made above, but it’s still interesting to know the word’s origin!

An orange and clove pomander

An orange and clove pomander

Petalena

It’s been far too long since we’ve blogged. What can I say? The wedding season has been sooo busy – we’ve been doing so much designing with lovely flowers we’ve just not had the time to sit down and write about it! Tonight I am making amends, I promise.

Here’s a sneak peak of flowers for a wedding tomorrow at Marina Bay in Quincy. I CAN’T believe this darn hurricane Danny is coming – but we’re going with the flow. All will be gorgeous even if there are 30 mile an hour winds and rain!

Table Design with Garden Roses, Dahlias, & Orchids

Table Design with Garden Roses, Dahlias, & Orchids

This the peak season of dahlias and garden roses – both are a bit fragile but with a gentle touch, they are so worth doing for a wedding!

Another Table Design with a 'Cafe au Lait' Dahlia at the center

Another Table Design with a 'Cafe au Lait' Dahlia at the center

Apryl & I are just mildly obsessed with ‘Cafe au Lait’ dahlias – they vary – but their colors tend to be milky pinks, warm creams, just lovely.

Table Arrangement in the foreground, Apryl in the background

Table Arrangement in the foreground, Apryl in the background

And the bridal bouquet – softly tonal with ivories and small touches of blush and peach, I could just stare at these beautiful flowers all day. Especially the ‘Fair Bianca’ ivory garden roses. They are tiny, with so many petals and a soft old-fashioned rose fragrance. I think these are a new favorite for us.

Bridal Bouquet in ivories and blush

Bridal Bouquet in ivories and blush

Blush Tonal Bridal Bouquet

Blush Tonal Bridal Bouquet

I could just eat these flowers, they are so lovely! The ‘Fair Bianca’ roses are at the center. Such loveliness is almost unbearable.

More photos post-wedding, post-hurricane, so stay tuned!

Photos & Design by Petalena

I took some photos while we were working in the studio on a very pretty wedding at the end of July. I thought they might be fun to share, showing the behind-the-scenes prep and the transformation of the flowers from what we pick up at the flower market into designed arrangements.

Flowers in buckets, resting.

Flowers in buckets resting at the studio

Apryl & I are just so amazed by how well these precious flowers hold up – coming from close and far away distances, they go through so much. Lots of lovely growing and blooming at a farm, to being cut, then delicately wrapped and packed for air or truck shipping, to arrive at the flower market where they are unpacked for a day or two. Then a floral designers picks them, has them packed up and taken to a studio. Once we get them to Petalena Studio we like to give them a little rest with lots of love, water, and happy-time in the cooler. Then they are cut down to the right size, stems cleaned, and used to grace a table or a special bride’s bouquet. Each flower is really quite a little miracle.

Hydrangeas hydrating before their big day

Hydrangeas hydrating before their big day

And then there’s the after…
The flowers placed in pretty vases, combined with other lovely things. Like here, bright summery colors of cool hydrangeas in a deep purple blend with the most fabulous antique lavender colored roses we found. Then the festive fuschia of the Mokara orchids and the green-tufted curly willow add height and a sense of whimsey.

FInished Table Arrangement at the Boston Harbor Hotel

FInished Table Arrangement at the Boston Harbor Hotel

Another table arrangement at the same wedding with a slightly different color theme

Another table arrangement at the same wedding with a slightly different color theme

Hydrangeas can also be seen in this dreamy photo. But instead of that deep royal purple, the most fabulous blue-meets-green variety of hydrangea from Holland. We struck a cool silvery mood here, adding purple Mokara orchids, dusty miller foliage, and a few of those sweet little lavender roses that have such an elegant feel.

Photos & Design by Petalena