Behind the Scenes

Great news for Petalena, our website and our blog are now all one happy virtual roof!

Moving forward, please visit for the latest floral creations and inspirations.

Photo by Matt Hakola

xo- Petalena 


We’ve got loads of pretty flower photos to go through from this and last weekends’ wedding but I wanted to do a quick post of this centerpiece design we did for a wonderful couple who were married at the Boston Public Library last weekend.

Vintage Elegance. Petalena, 2011.

More soon, we promise!

Photos and Flowers by Petalena.

We found the most beautiful lavender clematis for my friend Katherine’s wedding a few weeks ago at the flower market which we incorporated into the table centerpieces for the reception. But, not all flowers make the cut due to small spots or imperfections. This means lovely leftovers  like this little beauty which graced my mantle for close to a week before it passed by:

Lavender Clematis with Ivory Peony. Petalena, 2010.


After our wedding last weekend, I went up to visit my parents in Maine. I love visiting them in the spring, my mother’s wonderful garden is always about three weeks behind Boston so she has tulips and daffodils still growing long after my own have passed. She made this arrangement for me which until yesterday was residing on my bedside table. I just think it is so lovely.

Bedside tulips from my mom's garden. Petalena, 2010.

Beautiful without being overdone. Simple and sort of tumble-y with the trailing Bleeding Heart flowers and foliage joined with the tulips.

The red and white tulips in this arrangement might be my newest floral obsession – Carnival de Nice. I just adore them – they start off with very tight little small buds in the garden, growing to this wonderful full form (below) with layers upon layers of petite little petals.

Carnival de Nice Tulip. Petalena, 2010.

Once they open, they look look this.  Don’t they look like someone took a red paintbrush to them?


Today is such a lovely and gloriously sunny windy day, I can hardly believe it is part of the same weekend as yesterday with the crazy downpours and gray weather! Saturday’s wedding was at the Museum of Science Pavilion. Has anyone ever seen this space? It’s right at the mouth of the Charles, very low to it, with the most wonderful views. Gorgeous, even on a chilly May day.

The Tent at the Museum of Science. Petalena, 2010.

Here’s a little behind -the-scenes shot (above) while we were getting everything prepped.  Apryl and I both loved the lanterns in the tent (which the museum keeps up for the entire season).

Now onto the flowers:

Apryl working on the place card table design. Petalena, 2010.

Our bride and her wonderful mother wanted a color palette of tonal pinks with some touches of white and spring green. This really is the perfect season for this palette since there are unique green and white parrot tulips available as well as pink tulips in almost any hue a girl could ask for, and peonies of course too!

Table Arrangement at the Museum of Science. Petalena, 2010.

We added some trailing branches of white spirea and green hellebore to the table arrangements which gave the style a looser more garden-y look.  It was also great to incorporate these blooms since they can be sourced locally at this time of year and more unique because of their seasonality.

Lush Cake Flowers. Petalena, 2010.

Decorating the cake is always my department which is fun in a quiet, meditative way but challenging too. It seems like I am always, always, always on site at around 4pm absolutely starving whilst decorating some lovely buttercream confection! But I do love the hush that comes over me as I work on the cake, all the background commotion fades and I just focus. For this cake, I used lots of garden roses, a few peonies, and some lovely phalenopsis orchids to create this floral ‘waterfall’ affect.

Table Arrangement at the Museum of Science. Petalena, 2010.

Waiting for the Bride's Bouquet. Petalena, 2010.

For the bride and groom’s sweetheart table, we did a scattering of petals, garden roses and orchids. Simple, lush, and pretty. We like to do this whenever we have extra flowers since it can dress up the table a bit until the bride arrives and places her bouquet in the vase.

Table Detail. Petalena, 2010.

I love the interplay of colors and textures in this photo. The green and white do so much to freshen and brighten, and the pinks are so lovely.

And lastly, here’s the view from the pavilion – a little gray, but I think it might have cleared up a bit by the time cocktail hour began!

View to the Charles, Museum of Science. Petalena, 2010.

A special thanks to Leigh-Ann French at the Museum of Science and the entire staff there.

Cake by Cake For Occasions

Photos and design by Petalena.

Spring Tulips and Green Ranunculas

Spring Tulips & Green Ranunculas

We’re getting ready for a bridal show tomorrow morning, preparing some spring blooms for our lovely colleague Sue Sambrano of Elegant Venues! We’ll have some lovely tall flowering quince branches (more photos shortly!) and I did these table arrangements this morning as well. They will grace my dining room table until morning.

Spring Greens & Pinks

And I made nice little petite arrangement for myself too with some other more mauve hued parrot tulips and astrantia, a unique little star-like flower:

Tulips, Astrantia, and Green Ranunculas

Parrot tulips, green ranuculas, and astrantia

I love the pale fresh colors of spring!

Design by Petalena

We’re still resting our minds, hands, and feet after this weekend’s wedding with a fantastical woodland theme. The bride had a vision for flowers and design that would evoke stepping into the forest – lots of mosses, ferns, and orchids. We have soooo many photos from this wedding that I’m still going through them and struggling to pick our faves. Since I need a few more days, here is one lovely shot of the small posy bouquets we did for the six bridesmaids:


Bridesmaids' Posy Bouquets of Fantastical Orchids

It was so completely lovely. More soon….

Photo & Design by Petalena

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