The Book

Finally The Book will be in the shop this Wednesday - hopefully, warehouse backlogs and transport not withstanding, perhaps we should say Thursday to be on the safe side. It features pictures of the shop, the historic town that is Stamford, and Mr Naylor's fields of golden daffodils. Sadly The Hound is not featured, he is devastated as he was hoping it would be a springboard for a career in television.

Fiori nunziali

Wedding flowers is a title that could become slighlty overused. Using the Italian lends a more romantic tone, and allows me to show off my prowess in European languages, Spanish, German, and Ancient Greek titles coming soon.


Bang and the dirt is gone

The other Miss Pickering and I have scrubbed the shop to within an inch of it's life. Deciding against painting we attacked it with the Le bang de cillit. I know we should use Ecover, but you need to use 10 times as much of it, which I am sure defeats the object.
The Hound, now a qualified interior designer, had us rearrange the assorted dressers and washstands to a layout that seems to make the shop look twice as big. The position of the cream dresser still bothers me, but it might be that it just needs painting taupe.
This weekends Grand Prix in Valencia promised to be full of action, street circuit, a bridge and the pits housed in an old fish market. Sadly it was all a bit of a damp squib. The McLaren failed to reach the pace of the Ferrari, which doesn't bode well for the rest of the season. We can only hope Ferrari's reliability issues continue - not very sportsman like I know, but after that stewards decision.........!

A culinary bride

A wedding at Stapleford Park for the very lovely Rachel and Al. Silver bowls were filled with herbs, roses, veronica, snowberries, and trails of passion flower. The bride made her own cake, which we filled with roses, and snowberries.

Not that sort of girl

There is a large blackboard outside the shop, which we use to advertise various things. At the moment it reads "How to be a floral goddess" Late one night somebody rubbed out the f and l of floral. I would just like it known that we will not be teaching that sort of thing.


How to be a floral goddess or Flower School now open

Buy a new pencil case, and some Clark's shoes! Our flower classes start in September. In true Miss Pickering style they will be a serendipitous affair, suitable for all abilities. We are running four different classes, choose to do one or all four. Coffee on arrival, a cacophony of flowers, followed by lunch and a glass of wine.

How to be a floral goddess
15th September or, 13th October or, 27th October £75
An Introduction to flowers, insider tips and handtied bouquets, vase types, conditioning etc.
You will make 2 bouquets, 1 large and 1 small.

Dinner party flowers
29th September or , 20th October £75
How to make wonderful table centres for soirees and full on banquets! 1 modern and one eclectic arrangement will be made.

The Christmas table
17th November £75
Ideas on how to decorate the table at Christmas, tablecentres, decorations and other lovely things. 2 arrangements will be made.

Christmas wreaths
24th November £80
Making the perfect door wreath for your home. Each person will have the choice of materials to make a traditional, or modern wreath.

Email us at flowers@misspickering.com, or leave a comment and we will dispatch further information and a booking form.


Taupe or not to Taupe? That is the question.

Since visiting New York, I have been mildly obsessed with the colour taupe. It is everywhere in NYC, all very tasteful, and occasionally mixed with a hint of cerise or aqua to keep it edgy. I would really love to paint the walls of the shop in this colour, but worry it would look too dark.
I have polled several people who all say they like the blue, one architect said it reminded him of a fridge which he thought was a good thing in a flower shop. It is for precisely that reason that I want to change the colour, this shop is cold enough in the winter, without the decor suggesting the Arctic. Also, I think a taupe colour might be more flattering to my seriously pale skin tone. Farrow and Ball paint charts are covering the work area, and preventing any of the orders being made. Do people really paint their walls Drab or Dead mouse?


The Book

A sneak peak!

The books will be available to purchase from the shop, or by mail order next week. Although I must warn you that once purchased, you may wish to hand in your notice, buy an old camper van, and spend your days travelling the length and breadth of England, visiting all 12 shops.

The long way home

Over bacon and black pudding the next morning we resumed our discussion over the correct pronunciation of Hypnose roses, howled with laughter at the cautionary tale of attempting a Fire and Ice wedding, bowed down to the Yoda of the florist world Mr Spriggs, and wondered if we had ever met a more elegant and poised man than Theo. The hound is looking forward to one day meeting Clara Spriggs, a daschund with a prize winning coat.
Eventually we had to leave one anothers company, and head back, with book in hand we loaded the sparkly clean van with shoes.

My dear Mr Banks - how we missed you.

Bay Trees, Books, Roast Beef, and Hypnose

Over a candlelit breakfast, it became apparent that we didn't actually know what time the lunch was, although a rumour had started that there was a champagne reception at 12 noon. With trepidation, we headed to The Baytree Hotel, very lovely and not at all Fawlty like. The trepidation was two fold; seeing the shop and myself in print, but mainly because i had decided to wear my newly purchased sale shoes (Very high and a size too big) and there are a lot of uneven pavements and cobbles in Burford.
We were greeted by the very lovely Sally Page and Billy Kelly, and handed The Book. It is so beautiful, Sally captured the spirit of the shop, and I feel very proud to be featured in it. This morning I have showed it to everyone and anyone that will give me the time of day, making several people late for work - apologises.
Lunch was delicious, and a chance to catch up with the other shops in the book, it is strange to think we have only met a few times, but people like Marcelle and Simon have become great friends, as has Leen, the worlds most photogenic florist, and Alex who has the prettiest florist van in all the land.
After an evening of roses, weddings, gin and much laughter we headed to bed, should you find yourself at The Baytree, and in the Sycamore room, i would advise removing high heels before attempting the stairs.

Fawlty Towers

This weekend was just fabulous. Wedding done, The Mother Hen and I headed to the town of Burford in the Cotswolds. One of those beautiful chocolate box towns, where the high street is packed with purveyors of antiques, cream teas and walking socks. The purpose of our weekend was to attend the preview of The Book. Saturday saw us checking into Fawlty Towers, and possibly the worlds darkest room. It was an evening when only steak, chips and onion rings will do. Deciding on an early night, I had just slipped into my nightie, when a knock at the door revealed itself to be my beloved Marc and Keith. A new outfit, high heels, and a dash of lipstick later, much Gin was consumed.


Getting old

Today a young chap came in to buy flowers for his girlfriend who had done rather well in her A-levels. He was a little stumped as to what she would like, and so trying to help I enquired what sort of a girl she was. He replied "She's a ska reggae kind of girl"
I don't profess to have my finger on the pulse of youth culture, but I do Facebook and have been known to watch Gossip girl (xoxo), having to enquire what "ska reggae" was, I fear has forever placed me in the group of adults that younger ones roll their eyes at.
Later a new policeman walked past the shop - he was 13.


A wedding on a Wednesday

Not the most popular day of the week for a wedding, but a wonderful occasion none the less. An intimate celebration at Hambleton Hall, with a theme of the palest Wedgewood blue and ivory. Big bowls of blousy roses and hydrangea, were teamed with the silvery of eucalyptus. A delicate posy of white freesia, was carried down the aisle, and matched the buttonholes.
The Hound has spent much of the day trying to finish Saturday's Telegraph GK crossword without the aid of the google, and listening to Zero 7.


Mobile telephones and afternoon tea

Yesterday I left my mobile telephone at the shop. I am rather lost without it, it is my watch, my address book and my contact with life outside Rutland. By 10.30p.m. I had to resist the urge to drive the 22 mile round trip to collect it. I have had a mobile phone for as long as I can remember, the first whilst at University, was the size of a whimsey red, and only worked inside the M25. At 2p.m. today I caved, and reclaimed it. 9 missed calls and 3 messages. Over afternoon tea chez Mother Hen, I decided I might like some peacocks.
I always buy books from second hand shops, it turns the book buying process into a literary treasure hunt. Sometimes you have to wait months to find a book, other times you find it straight away - The Oxfam bookshop on Portobello Road is fabulous for those who are impatient. I have been looking for "Love in the time of cholera" for a very long time, today I found it, albeit in French. Tonight an early night with "L'amour aux temps du cholera" by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, and a cup of Earl Grey. Perfume of the day has been Maitresse by Agent Provocateur.



All the 8's, lucky for some! and us. We made the flowers for "Possibly the most relaxed bride in the world" A Bouquet of roses with honeysuckle trails, myrtle and eucalyptus. The honeysuckle was cut from my own garden, checking on it everyday, sheltering it from the hard showers with some tarpaulin, and ensuring it opened to perfection was no mean feat. Cut on the morning of the wedding it looked and smelt divine.

Home grown delights

Today has been such a grey day, but was most definitely brightened by a gift from one of our regular customers, Allison. The brightest dahlias, and some very fancy courgettes The Hound will doubtless hit the Larousse gastronomique, and come up with a deserving recipe.
I love the combination of deep burgundy, red and hot pink, a mix of roses in these colours with a hint of deep lilac makes a very beautiful wedding bouquet.


Most unexpected

The Hungarian Grand Prix once again threw the cat amongst the pigeons. A McLaren front row on the grid looked like a jolly good start, until Mr Massa smashed through it with an impressive and daring drive. A puncture for Mr Hamilton left him finishing in P5, and so it was left to the understated Mr Kovalainen to take the premier spot. Driver of the day has to be Mr Glock, who drove like the wind in his Toyota. Whilst Ferrari failed to get 2 cars round the circuit, their race pace was impressive, and perhaps that shark fin engine cover was useful after all. We await Valencia with bated breath.