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Bloom town

Picking flowers for Mother's Day

(Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff)
By Marni Elyse Katz
April 24, 2011
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Florist (and beekeeper) Louanne Colombo’s charming Bee & Blossom shop offers not just beautiful blooms – flowering branches, like cherry, quince, and forsythia, are particularly nice now – but pretty gifts, too, including local honey. It’s an open secret that she’s often contracted by Boston’s Winston Flowers for Cape orders. FOR MOM: a low, compact arrangement that would work easily anywhere, from a coffee table to the kitchen counter

675 Main Street, Hyannis, 508-771-3345,

Shelley White’s creations at Bow Street Flowers in Somerville have a wild-looking, gardenlike style, with lots of texture. “We like a lot of flounce,” she says. FOR MOM: “We’re really partial to pink here, so lots of Miranda garden roses and pink peonies,” she says. “Anything fragrant that we can find in the market.”

108 Beacon Street, Somerville, 617-492-0080,

Although Jacqueline Albanese recently shuttered the retail portion of her business, Fiddlehead still very much lives on for deliveries and events (call or stop in to her Salem studio to order). Albanese specializes in compact arrangements, jampacked with premium flowers. “If I use any green, it’s to accent, not fill in,” she says. FOR MOM: an arrangement in spring brights, like purple, orange, red, and lime green

24 Front Street, Salem, 978-745-0008,

In addition to fresh flower arrangements, Carrie Chang’s Floral Lab uses preserved flowers – mostly roses – to create moody artworks that last at least a year. (Chang says the processes are secret, but that the flowers are dried and their colors preserved with eco-friendly dyes.) While she doesn’t run a retail space – Chang lives and works out of her Fort Point loft – she offers deliveries through her website and also books one-on-one appointments. FOR MOM: a moss-covered wire “handbag” packed with dried blooms

Hiroko Takeshita, who hails from Kyoto, describes her signature style as a Japanese-French fusion. The Cambridge designer counts sculptor Constantin Brancusi among her inspirations, his influence evident in her stark vertical creations at Hanaya Floral, often composed of a single flower type offset with graphic greenery, like a heart-shaped leaf. FOR MOM: Takeshita says, “I would create a flower sculpture, very dramatic, with a peony.”

292 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, 617-547-1770,

At his chic South End shop, Ilex, Andrew Anderson creates lush, modern arrangements – not “minimal modern,” he’s careful to say – by juxtaposing lots of different textures to achieve a sculptural quality. Which textures? This month, Anderson has had extra-large ruffly French ranunculus on his desk at work, in white with green centers. FOR MOM: scented hyacinths surrounded by tulips and garden roses

73 Berkeley Street, Boston, 617-422-0300,

Lyndsay Maver’s terrariums (she calls them, and her business, Lynzariums) are long-lasting alternatives to traditional arrangements. She plants succulents, cactuses, and air plants among moss, rocks, and shells in recycled and found vessels, from Ball jars to copper basins. She sells through her website and at the two local Hudson stores. FOR MOM: colorful succulents and blue mussel shells, stacked in glass so the layers are all visible; Hudson, 312 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, 617-292-0900, and 61A Central Street, Wellesley, 781-239-0025,

The inventory at New Leaf Flores is kept intentionally low because most of the work is custom, according to Daniel Lopez-Ospina, who owns the JP shop with his partner, Jeb Taylor. “We try not to duplicate any arrangements we create and to find the more unusual products at the market,” he says. FOR MOM: peonies, ranunculus, sweet peas, and tulips

601 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, 617-522-1101,

Having worked as a floral designer for Winston’s for years (David Winston hired her), Tracey Scott brings a similar contemporary European sensibility to her two North Shore Roses and Thistle shops. She tends to work with groupings of specimens clustered in glass containers rather than blending the blooms, so each type functions as a pop of color on its own. FOR MOM: parrot tulips, sweet pea, hydrangeas, and roses

51 Atlantic Avenue, Marblehead, 781-631-1027, and 26 West Street, Beverly Farms, 978-922-2021,

Based in Newmarket Square, not far from the Boston flower market, Spruce Floral makes monochromatic architectural designs. Co-owner and head designer Sarah Matteson characterizes her delivery- and events-only studio’s look as “blocky,” clean, and simple. FOR MOM: a mix of fragrant narcissus and feathery parrot tulips accented with a geranium leaf and arranged in a yellow-glass or a fabric-wrapped vase

Stapleton Floral is a neighborhood florist with high-end boutique style. The South Boston store (there’s a newer World Trade Center branch), which Yianni Tsaousidis and his wife, Bety, bought 23 years ago after she worked at a flower shop on Beacon Hill, has a sophisticated signature look: tight, compact designs in leaf-lined glass containers. FOR MOM: pink roses and tulips with white hydrangeas and chartreuse cymbidium orchid blossoms

635 East Broadway, South Boston, 800-338-7271, and 200 Seaport Boulevard, World Trade Center, Boston, 617-269-7271,

Andrea Halliday takes an intensely personal approach to the floral business, custom designing every arrangement. Her Table & Tulip is established as a store-in-a-store at the Chestnut Hill boutique Portobello Road, where customers can pick a container (perhaps a sleek Lucite box) or bring one in (like an heirloom cut-crystal vase). FOR MOM: a vase Halliday calls “the cloud,” a collection of handblown glass orbs that she’ll fill with specialty flowers

Portobello Road, Chestnut Hill Shopping Center, 617-264-2020,

Known for round arrangements tightly packed with different varieties of flowers, Winston Flowers began on Newbury Street in 1944 and now includes six shops in Boston and its suburbs. Co-owner David Winston likens the design philosophy to cooking. “We take full advantage, like any good chef, of using ingredients that are right in season.” FOR MOM: garden roses, peonies, lilac, and sweet pea

11 Florence Street, Newton, and other locations, 800-457-4901,

Marni Elyse Katz, a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine, blogs about design at Send comments to

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