A tall stalk of larkspur here, a rose and bloom of anemone there, and a final sprig of eucalyptus tucked into the back.
“It’s lovely,” Megh Burgess said as she tied twine around the small bouquet wrapped in brown paper.
It doesn’t take much to turn a single stem into a bouquet filled with texture and color, she said, and the perfect flower arrangement looks vastly different depending on who you ask. Arranging flowers is a true art form and outlet for creativity, something Burgess said her life was seriously lacking before she opened her venture The Petal Bar – a truck toting fresh flowers that she drives to events across the South Shore.
“It’s all personal. It’s not going to be your standard, run-of-the-mill bouquet from the grocery store,” Burgess said of the arrangements created at her truck. “Everybody will choose something different, and that in itself is so beautiful. What makes it amazing is its own unique personality.”
The Petal Bar, which Burgess calls “your friendly neighborhood flower truck,” made its first trip on Mothers Day weekend in 2021. She and her husband worked to refurbish a 1989 Suzuki flatbed truck, painting it an eye-popping blue and creating the perfect flower storage system in the back. The bed is filled with metal buckets that each hold a different type of bloom, and visitors can walk right up to combine the flowers they like into a personalized arrangement.
Burgess, who has some floral experience, is on hand to provide guidance when asked, but said she likes to let customers pick whatever their eye is drawn to.
“I get a lot of people who immediately say ‘This is so cute, but what do I do? How do I create a bouquet?'” she said. “But once they get going, they get really into it and are amazed they created something so beautiful.”
On a recent weekday, The Petal Bar joined a small event in Hingham hosted by home goods store Thacher & Spring. The shop sells coastally inspired items in neutral tones, so Burgess kept the truck’s selection muted with peach carnations, beige roses and greenery. She tends to stock pinks in the spring, bright colors for Easter and Mother’s Day, and deeper burgundy and purple flowers into the fall.
A flower wholesale buyer, much of the blooms come from farms in California and other states. When she can, the Duxbury resident sources from small farms and backyard growers in Kingston and Plymouth.
“The unsung hero is always the carnation, they come in so many beautiful varieties and I love a peony,” Burgess said. “A good statement flower, a little bit of accent and some greens – you can’t go wrong.”
While her passion for flowers clearly shines through, Burgess said she was surprised to find that creative outlet – the entire reason she started her business – isn’t necessarily her favorite part of the day to day.
“The flowers are one thing, I love to play with them, but more than anything I love meeting new people,” she said. “I’ve never met a mean person at the truck, everyone is just so happy. How could you not be?”
Photos in this post were taken by Thomas Gorman. They were originally published in The Patriot Ledger.