Ridin' around in your jeep or your Benzos

Summer summer summertime Dj Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

It has been a gloriously sunny week too bloody hot, but the forecast for the weekend was somewhat apocalyptic.

My heart goes out to brides sometimes. All those cliff top Big Sur weddings on their pinterest boards, all those al fresco tables under festoon lighting. The constant checking of the weather forecast, Flipping between the iPhone and the bbc weather app, and going with the one that looks best. The contingency plans, the white umbrella hire company, and the cheery florist telling you it is good luck if it rains on your wedding day. Not helpful.

Thankfully this weekend it missed us
10 miles away apocalypse
here sunshine
Good times.

The sun continues to rain down on us, the yummy mummys have decamped to their homes in Norfolk and been replaced by the tourists.

The Americans are the most enthusiastic. You can blow their minds by telling them the shop was built in 1463.

To be fair it blows my mind most of the time.

We chat of the differences between the two great nations Sometimes they ask questions and i don't know the answer, it makes you realise how ignorant you can be of your surroundings.

I send them to the library for the answer

or if thats closed just make it up.

also German grand prix, best race of the season so far?


The world was on fire and no one could save me but you

There has been a lot of pink lately, and some starfish. 
Which smell,
potentially even worse than gyp.
Add stocks and mint

It is summer "add stocks and mint" is generally the answer to most problems.

and it is very hot (by English standards) which means that the whole town is animated. There is nothing we like more than a good extreme weather front to moan about.

People you have never spoken to in your life will cross the street to say

"hot enough for you?"

"we shouldn't complain should we? but a drop of rain wouldn't go amiss"

But we do complain, 20 degrees really is the maximum we can cope with here. We know what to do, what to wear.

Above that men start taking their tops off, and i mutter under my breath that this is not Puerto Banus.

Surprising how many people have tattoos that you didn't know about.

and then do you ever get that thing where you hear a word or a place and then it is all you hear for evermore? sort of like Deja-vu but nothing like it. There is town not far from where i grew up that I keep hearing, and then i had a enquiry to do a wedding there. Is it some sort of sign? Or am i part of a weird Derren Brown tv experiment?

Either way.

Road trip.

Chris Isaak


Of nominations and churches

Yesterday The Hound and I discovered this very blog had been shortlisted for a Wedding Magazine Wedding blog award.

I didn't even know we had been nominated, so being shortlisted is lovely. Thank you to whomever nominated us.

We are in the Wedding flower blog category. People who have never read this blog before might find us and think

"What fresh hell is this?"

We aren't exactly big on the wedding flowers lately are we? More grumpiness and the odd bit of food, an half hearted attempts at chiaroscuro.

So here are some wedding flowers from a May wedding, these were taken by my wonderful friend Clara Molden (who wasn't the wedding photographer) i hope to bring you the wedding photographs too with a bride and groom under the arch, and all the tales. It was a glorious wedding.

Bound to win now.

You can vote here if you like.

I should probably mount some sort of kind of campaign to gain votes, but i fall into the camp of self deprecation and awkwardness when it comes to this sort of thing.


My salad days

When I was green in judgment: cold in blood,
To say as I said then! But, come, away;
Get me ink and paper:
He shall have every day a several greeting,
Or I'll unpeople Egypt.

Cleopatra by Shakespeare

My garden is so very green, only the lavatera flowers, and as soon as it does I am out there with my  chopping it down for the kitchen table. I seem to have gone so terribly wrong in my planting scheme.
Of course the reality is that my garden is full of roses and cosmos the last of the foxgloves, hydrangea and the like, but I have to snip at everything. I can't help myself. At least you can eat greenery, with a roast chicken stuffed to the gunnels with lemon, garlic and rosemary. A light dusting of salt and pepper and a gentle massage with a bit of olive oil. The crisp crunch of the skin, offset by endless kale smoothies.

Also on the table, dead flowers, they dry in the heat, even in water. People always ask me about drying flowers, i don't know the scientific methods, which involve silica powder, those little bags tucked in bags of beef jerky and new shoes. Save them.

Or just leave the flowers in a vase in a warm room, and let them drink the water and dry slowly. Results  may vary.

and it wasn't until after i had emailed the bride that i realised the grey candles are wrong, it needs to be white, but taller.

These things matter, but to such a very small minority.

Which is easy to forget at times.


Rose covered cottages

This morning i was rudely awoken by the sound of cheeping and banging.
There was a blue tit in my kitchen.
Not in a Mary Poppin's way merrily doing the washing up but flinging itself against the window.
The Hound cowered behind me, he is useless in a crisis.
With the bird freed, I grabbed my camera and went for a walk, rose and hollyhock covered cottages, and flowers in a jug from my garden.
It wasn't until i lifted the camera to take a picture of the hollyhocks that i realised the bird had obviously spent a little time sitting on my camera

Shit happens.



It is that time of year, I neglect everything bar the flowers.

and it seems as though my shop and inbox are full of people wanting career advice on how to be a florist.

"I really love flowers" they say

and my retort is normally "if only that were enough"

Is there an official line on a proper reply? Something inspiring without sounding like a grumpy old woman? but still making sure people know it isn't really like Instagram would have you believe?

and you might be waiting a very longtime for me to blog our latest weddings, so watch this beautiful film instead.


Lately and in no particular order


Sometimes you do a favour for somebody and quite unexpectedly they repay you with a cookery book.

In this instance Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour.

Most recipes include the holy trinity of yoghurt, lemon and garlic.

If you like Ottolenghi, some of the recipes are a bit like that, but without the need to hunt down a rare spice that you can only buy at the souk in some far off land.

I can heartily recommend, especially as the once fat now mad turk doesn't have time to cook me lunch anymore.

I can hear them in the kitchen now, our windows are opposite one another. In the summer months everybody has their windows open. You over hear all sorts of things. Mainly people in the antique bookshop opposite being disappointed that their old books aren't worth a million pounds.

and sometimes 2 ladies on the street discussing the pro's and con's of leaving a husband.

"Of course you don't always get the house, look at F, she lives in that tiny cottage now, I think i would have stayed even given his behaviour with the secretary"

Small towns.

also Kimye. obsessed.


hashtag british flowers

Yesterday was spent Chez Naylor.

You'll remember Mr Naylor from that time we filled the shop with this delphinium in an attempt to show people what seasonal and local actually meant.

and people wanted lilies.

oh how we laughed cried.

he also grows sweet williams and peonies and alliums, and daffodils.

Of course this was years ago, and talk of british flowers has become de rigeur, and very trendy.

Personally i don't have the patience, or the time, i'd rather concentrate on arranging them and let the experts grow them.

But I am one of the most impatient people you will ever meet and I didn't get into floristry to wait 7 years for a peony to yield 10 stems,

i got into it for the instant gratification.


On quitting sugar

4 weeks on - I have still quit the sugar.
It's the latest thing in nutrition, sugar is the root of all evil now.

but it depends on who you listen to on what is allowed and what isn't.

I have decided to be team Sarah Wilson, one because i like her hair, and secondly because Dr Ian Maber seems to think the same things she does, and when i lived in London i used to see him a lot and he seems a genuinely nice man.


No sugar, honey, agave, banana, fruits other than berries, but you are allowed the odd slice of sourdough and the fat from a pork chop.

I have so much energy which is just as well given we are about to embark on all the weddings.

and i haven't craved a cream slice at all, mainly because the internets are full of recipes for sweet treats that are sugar free.

Admittedly you need to become friends with your local health food shop to make them, and be a big fan of coconut, nuts and seeds and have a good food processor. The above cake i made for TOMP's birthday, sugar free, dairy free, gluten free all the hashtags. It's from the merrymaker sisters, i swapped the honey for organic rice malt syrup.

A lot of the sugar free brigade seem to be Australian, perhaps because the weather is nicer, and they all leap about in short shorts? It does mean that all the recipe measurements are in cups, so make sure you have a set.

and because people will email saying

"loved the post, what is that rose called I'm getting married next year and it just matches my colour scheme perfectly"


"where did you get those ombre birthday candles?"

Bombastic and they are just sun faded Chanukka candles.