Flower napkin detail

Napkin details are very pretty, and are often something that bride likes to attempt herself. Here are a few top tips:
1. If you are having 150 guests, you will need to make up at least 150, you might think this will be a lovely job to do the night before your wedding with your bridesmaids, but trust me when I say it gets boring after number 27, or when you start counting them after you have made each one, willing another 10 to have magically appeared.
2. If you are using fresh flowers and they are out of water they will be dead by the time you get to sit down.
3. They will end up on the floor being trod on as soon as the starters have been served.
4. Where possible pay somebody else to do it for you.

Still want to have a go? Good, they do look beautiful. First you need to acquire some plastic phials to put the stems in, you can get these from a florist. They have a valve top to prevent the water spilling out. Fold the napkin to create a pocket which will hide the phial, finish with fancy ribbon if your heart desires. Remember eventually your guests will need to unwrap your creation, so leave a vase or a Bonne Maman jar on the top in which they can all be placed, adding extra decoration to your table.

Repeat as required with all kinds of different flowers depending on your mood.

Next week, ideas using things that aren't flowers.


And the winner is.......

We used a very lovely vintage Bretby vase, and fancy purple ink. So ladies contact me on flowers (at) misspickering.com with addresses and the book or marmalade jar will wing it's way to you. Thank you to everyone that entered, for all your lovely comments, and birthday wishes. The Hound is still hungover, his party got a little out of hand, I fear it will be a long time before he can look at a bottle of Bourbon again without suffering a flashback......he didn't get her name but has assured me she was a quite a looker.

I thought I might also use this post to discuss the issue everybody is talking about. It was so pressing that one gentleman interrupted my quiet dinner last night to inform me....you know to whom I refer.

He may be a 7 seven times World Champion, although to have raced for that long, one might imagine he would be better acquainted with the rule book. My fear is not that he will come in and win, or even shunt a few drivers off the track in his attempts, but that he will be mediocre.
Think ahead to 2020.

"Do you remember that Michael Schumacher?"
"Didn't he drive in 2009 for a bit and score a point for Ferrari?"
"Yes, but before that he was 7 times World Champion"
"Was he? I just remember Valencia 2009 - awful drive, guy didn't know one end of the car from the other"

Sometimes heroes should stay in the history books....unless of course Mr Ecclestone offers your team boss an awful lot of money to produce headlines that will sell a few more tickets?
Mr F is in a state of euphoria at the return of his hero, helped in part by some post surgical analgesia.....it would be such a shame if the bubble was to burst.

Tomorrow I bring you napkins, and flowers, oh so many flowers.

I kissed a girl

just to try it, hope my boyfriend don't mind it.

It was the first song we heard this morning....don't start a rumour.



The story of how The Hound came to be

3 years ago today, I collected The Hound from 3 counties dog rescue. He ran into the house, up 2 flights of stairs jumped on the bed, and went to sleep. Later we walked round to Chez Mother Hen, she will recall watching me nearing the house with a skinny white dog on the end of a rope, he relieved himself on her cucumber plants. She was less than impressed.

The first 2 weeks were awful, he kept running away,I spent most of this time in tears, whilst he was blackballed by all of Stamford's dog walkers.
I bought a book that talked of pack leaders and how you needed to be assertive and show them who was boss, sit in their bed, pretend to eat form their bowl...I did all of this, I tried clicker training, all to no avail, and decided he had to go back, that we just weren't compatible. Then we bumped into somebody who had known him before, it became evident that his Houndini talents had led to him being in several dog's homes as one by one people had had enough.

This was all the information I needed, this time he was staying, besides I had spent a small fortune on beds, bowls and fancy collars, and after reading an article that owners morph into their dogs, was looking forward to becoming a lithe blond with a marvellous set of pins. He had also become quite adept at handtied bouquets and was progressing nicely with his buttonhole training.

He will still run off, it's just the way he is, but we have at least reached an understanding that he won't do it whilst we are in the middle of a wedding.
I am under no illusion as to who is boss, I run round feeding him roast chicken, ensure he has a soft enough bed, he has seen off several suitors, and encouraged one or two as well. He refuses to leave the house if the weatherman suggests it might be damp, he walks so elegantly he could have been a dressage horse, and the whole town of Stamford is besotted by him. He was the cause of Mr Ferrari falling in the river, and my nettle stung feet, he leaves a trail of blond fur wherever he goes, and would probably rather celebrate his birthday with a bottle of Jack Daniels and a cigar (he will be having a party, goodie bags, cucumber sandwiches and fairy cakes).

I can't imagine life without him.

Still plenty of time to enter the giveaway, thank you to all of those who have and all your lovely comments, I am quite touched. The Hound is not open to bribery.....x


A Giveaway - Celebration of post 351 and The Hound's Birthday

Would you like to win some flowers? Some flowers in an old marmalade jar? Well then this is your lucky day. It is to celebrate that this is post 351 (didn't quite work out for number 350) and that on Wednesday it will be 3 years since The Hound came to live Chez Miss P. It is also my small way of thanking you all for reading for all this time, and for all your lovely comments.

The giveaway is in two parts.
For those that reside in the UK, that marmalade jar filled with vintage roses, and homegrown herbs.
For international readers, the Flower Shop Secrets book, we will post it to you, and The Hound will even sign it if you like.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with your name, and whether you would like to win flowers or the book. You might also like to put something interesting about yourself...... you don't have to, it will just make the comments page more exciting and we can all get to know one another a bit better.

The Hound and I will put all the names in a hat and choose a winner on Friday morning, so entries close at 5p.m. BST on Thursday 30th July.

Mother Hen - you are not allowed to enter.

This is the first giveaway we have done, my fear is that nobody will comment, that I will look like a fool, so be a darling, comment, tell your friends, put it on your blog....share the love xoxo

If you don't win, you can always just ring us on 01780 482961 and place an order for yourself, we deliver throughout the UK, and the flowers actually come from our shop, travel overnight and arrive the next morning....all very clever.


Was this weekend all just a delightful dream?

1. Posies and champagne by candlelight - reality
2. Discovering that showgirl shoes are very comfortable, even when dancing - reality
3. The Hound dressing up in flowers - reality
4. A McLaren win in Hungary - reality
5. Mr Redford - sadly just a dream


Flowers for a Friday

Poppy heads, viola, mint, sweetpea, gladioli, larkspur, rose.....all there.

This weeks flowers are dedicated to a couple who packed up their trunki, and voyaged to distant lands to say "I do", congratulations Mr and Mrs W. They are also dedicated to The Captain's arm.

The napkin thing will come next week, it has taken on a life of it's own, I may also then have time to tell you of The Hounds encounter with a snake, a new recipe involving fresh lavender, a new cocktail, and tales of a wedding.

This week there have been a few florists sharing dark secrets.

Have a fabulous weekend, we will be weddings, listening to vintage Madonna, laughter, and wearing those new shoes. xoxo


I would like something modern and contemporary.

It is not often people say this, but when they do panic sets in. What does this mean? I have dark visions of parallel arrangements of liatris, bended steel grass and anthuriums. All very well if you like that sort of thing, but I do not, and nor do I have those types of flowers or the posy pad of oasis needed to do it in. (is that what you do it in? let's not forget I have no qualifications in floristry)
Then it starts.....the self doubt, perhaps we should be doing this sort of thing? Should we appeal to a broader market, not everybody likes old marmalade jars filled with flowers and herbs do they? Should we have paid more attention to the nice relay man that called in this morning? Is it bad that I have no idea what a massing Xanth is, and have never made a letter or a gates of heaven or an empty chair?
Then I (artfully) tie together 10 stems of that mottled hydrangea, wrap it in grey tissue paper and tie a big bow on it, the customer is bowled over and the self doubt passes.....until the next time.


Is there anything more twee than a rusty milk churn and dusty hydrangea?

Well perhaps a rusty old pint measure, filled with odds and ends
that have a very similar colourway to this necklace, which I have lost.
This Quattro keeps parking outside the shop, you can't tell from the photograph, but it is iridescent pearl.
Also I have sent one text message this morning, but it was just to reply to one, so I think that is ok?


More awkward vases

You could fill it with very tall flowers or you could get out the foam. Flowers for an Autumn fashion launch.

How to do something with an awkward shaped vase.

You know the type, thick cut glass that screams quality and looks beautiful filled with hyacinths or tulips in the spring. Come summer however, the flowers are taller, less uniform, and this type of vase sits in the back of the cupboard, or on the kitchen dresser filled with limes for margarita making purposes.

You could fill it with oasis foam and do something in it, but when hydrangeas are bountiful in florists and the garden who needs to be soaking foam? Simply cut the heads so that they sit on the rim. For a more finished look line the vase with leaves of aspidistra or even hydrangea. Don't forget to pop a bit of steri tab in, nobody likes murky water.

Coming up later in the week, interesting ways to decorate napkins using flowers and the like.


New things

I haven't decided whether to hang it in the kitchen or give it to a gentleman I know, Monsieur le Grump.

I am also experimenting with red lipstick, and have decided to stop using text as a method of communication. Instead I shall telephone, or perhaps even write a letter. I give it 2 days.


if in doubt cover it with chocolate fingers and put a bow on it

Today we are heading to a birthday party, I am in charge of the cake. I opted for a chocolate sponge, but it would appear I do not have 2 sandwich tins the same size. My knife skills are not great and the end result was a little "rustic". Enter 3 and a half packets of chocolate fingers, a lot of summer fruit and a big bow. I should probably stick to cupcakes.
Soundtrack to this baking extravaganza has been Rod Stewart Body Wishes, and I have been transported to childhood journeys to Richmond swimming baths, I can even smell the chlorine, and taste the hot chocolate sipped in the cafe.
Sing along

You're like rock and roll and champagne
all in one

Something you've got is something I need right now
Let's not mess around any more
I'm down on my bended knees honey

What am I gonna do I'm so in love with you
What am I gonna say if ever you go away
What am I gonna do I'm so in love with you
What am I gonna say if ever you go away
I believe Rod Stewart to be a pioneer of the music video.


Hold the front page

On the day that I bring you twee, Joules have announced they are to open a shop in Stamford. How wonderfully this is all dovetailing. If you don't know Joules, they are like Boden but with more fleece. A Waitrose, Joules what could possibly be next? we are turning into Southwold, but without the sea.

I thought I should just provide a little explanation to new readers (imagine if you stumbled across the blog today, and weren't in our little gang of understanding- what would you think? )There a lot of you, I know not from where you come, but you are very welcome. This blog is predominantly about flowers but with extras. There are a lot of flower blogs out there, some are just too sickly, you know the ones, need to come with an inflight paper bag. Others are too factual, too many words, or play music - is there anything more irritating? some are just marvellous a perfect example of creativity and originality.

This isn't like any of those, it is a wry take on a life of flowers, self mocking of a fascination with Country Living magazine, and vintage teacups. Originally only read by supermarket flower designers and ex-lovers, yes you, I know you read it, you will need a sense of humour to read it, but do read, and do comment, it feeds my narcissism.

The Hound embraces twee

He has shunned Boden in favour of a big bow, you can see the excitement on his face. Enough of this nonsense I have several thousand of these to make for a wedding tomorrow. Pretty? are they not?

Next week we have some "How to" instructional posts, on how to make nice things with flowers, and more twee - you really haven't seen the half of it. Hoping you have a simply marvellous weekend, we will be weddings, birthdays, and new shoes (sledgehammer approach works a treat)

Are you sitting comfortably? Then let's begin

I make no apologises. There is more to come, can you handle it?


Preparation for tomorrows post

The tweeness is coming tomorrow, it is just not going to happen today. In order to appreciate it fully I am issuing a dress code for tomorrow. It's a bit like Heston with his food, listen to waves crashing on an ipod whilst eating your sea inspired starter. If you are dressed head to toe in Boden the tweeness will reach new levels.

I shall wear a white cotton skirt with frills, a pair of Hunter wellingtons and a "vintage" tweed jacket, maybe with a panama. Gentlemen ( a high proportion of our readers are men) use the above picture of a guide. Mr Redford now married, hearts they are a breaking.
Try and avoid the look I have gone for today a pussy bow blouse which turns out to be sheer. secretary at Playboy in the 1970's was my inspiration. I have put a cardy on, fear not.

See you tomorrow,sorry no links, if you don't know what Boden or Hunter wellies are, should you really be reading this?

I am building this up too much, prepare for disappointment, just be on the safe side, I will use low levels on saturation, perhaps add a little film grain and fill with light.



Love-lies-bleeding, great flower but what the devil does the name mean? The man I love is wounded lying on the floor bleeding, or my love for you has bled away? Romantica
Please note change of table, gone is the yellow and blackboard top (well actually it is still lurking on the corner, I can't lift it to move it out) but we are now all about the wood.

Also I have enrolled on a fishing course and will once again be ordered to wear "sensible clothing" evidently in the world of fishing this also means a baseball cap - oh joy. I am just one step away from a velour tracksuit, did somebody say hoodie?...count me in.

Somebody asked me why I blog? Answers on a postcard please. Is it to send subliminal messages, the first letters of each sentence, backwards......in Russian?

Tomorrow I bring you twee in all it's glory, in the meantime

Put down that tuna mayo sandwich and get Jive Talkin'