Green thumb gear

Floral designer Andrea Halliday makes sure to stock Portobello Road with her favorite gorgeous vases, terrariums, and custom Lucite boxes, but for industrial supplies and the best picks in plants she heads to Russell’s Garden Center ( in Wayland. “They always have unique plants – it’s more of a specialized garden store.” The biggest tip? “Check out their gardening gloves – they are made out of wetsuit material and are very cool.”

Flowers 101

You have a black belt in killing greens? Time for you to learn and grow: “I offer floral arranging classes to groups of eight or more,” says Portobello Road floral designer Andrea Halliday. “I customize each class to what the focus and style is--modern vs. traditional, centerpieces, bridal bouquets whatever suits your fancy. These are so fun for Bridal Parties, Birthdays, or corporate events.” If you’re more of a Big Apple fan, sign up for Jane Packer’s classes ( “They just opened in New York and offer fabulous classes.”

Instant flower power

“Get a box of floating candles or pillars and fill all those plain  pedestrian cylinders you have stashed sway  with light at varying heights,” says Portobello Road floral designer Andrea Halliday. “They make beautiful hurricanes inside or out.  Also using those same vases you can drop a single stem in each and create a cool collection of submerged flowers. Or, just go for a walk in the woods to gather organic elements like clumps of green moss to mound in a  pretty piece of china or bowl.  Find an elegant blossom or leaf branch to create a simple architectural arrangement in a tall glass vase. Bring any bit of the outdoors in.”

How your garden will always grow

“Pretty rosette Succulents are my favorite - they are great on their own or lots together in a planter,” says Portobello Road floral designer Andrea Halliday. “They require very little water and thrive on neglect! Big groovy Terrariums are cool and self-sufficient as well.”

Roses are red, violets are blue….

How does your garden grow, Andrea Halliday?  Tall and strong, and well it should. After all, her gig is flower power. As the floral designer for the Chestnut Hill store Portobello Road (named for the hip London shopping district), she creates arrangements as memorable as her own skip-a-heartbeat vibe.

Portobello Road opened in 2007, the brainchild of BFFs' Kristina Hare Lyons and Marina Kalb, to offer fashions, furnishings and flowers for women of discriminating taste. They hired Halliday, whom they'd known from a past incarnation on Newbury Street, to add another element of grace to the store. She can fill a vase with a classical theme resembling an old-world Dutch still-life or something incredibly modern. Tulips are her faves, and she loves to turn flowers inside out - a Halliday signature style.
Andrea grew up in Medfield, often digging in the dirt beside her mother, an avid gardener. She says that’s where she developed her love for the art of nature. After college she did some floral work in Boston, then went to Venice, California, for two years to study flower arranging at a studio/flower shop called Floral Art. Learning was intense; she says temperamental teachers would throw vases of uninspired student work across the room. But they liked her stuff, and eventually the young disciple became a master.
Halliday spends hours putting together her pieces, turning a flower here and a flower there into something she hopes will be unforgettable. These days she’s a feature attraction at Portobello Road, designing centerpieces for weddings, parties, bar mitzvahs—you name it. Someday she may want her own shop, but right now she really enjoys Portobello Road -- surrounding herself with beauty by offering beauty to her customers. 


Table & Tulip at Portobello Road
47 Boylston Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

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