Amnesia rose

An appeal to all florists and brides, please can we calm down on the Amnesia usage?

It is such a beautiful rose, that when I first encountered it a few years, I thought i would never be able to love anything else again. Now my love for them is fast dwindling, they are everywhere, in every bridal magazine, every "stylist" is using them, and I fear they are losing their cache.

Shall we make a pact? Let's give them a rest for a while, and use something else. Perhaps Cherry Brandy could be the next big thing?

If you simply must use them, here are the answers to the FAQ's in my inbox.

Bride: My florist can't get them, where do you get them from?
Miss P. They are available through any decent wholesaler, if your florist can't get them, change florist. Harsh, but any florist is only as good as their suppliers....

Bride:I would love to grow them in my garden, do you sell plants?
Miss P. No it is not a rose available as a rooted plant. Try Intermezzo from Beale's roses.

Florist: How dare you suggest I shouldn't use them, who do you think you are?
Miss P. Calm down dear it's only a commercial.

The Hound: Please can we go home now?
Miss P. Not yet

Reader: Is it annoying that your computer crashed 17 times whilst trying to write this post?
Miss P. Yes

Reader: It has been a strange week on this blog, when will you get back to posting twee pictures?
Miss P. Tomorrow

Reader: What does an Amnesia rose look like?
Miss P. It is the one on the far left, I used these images, as I still can't get over the fact that I took them and they are completely unedited.

Nobody does it better

I have acquired the recipe.

Mr Ferrari's mystical green elixir
or Watercress sauce is the new ketchup.

You will need
3 cloves of garlic
200g watercress
40g Tarragon
300g Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp lemon juice
200g melted unsalted butter

Blitz greenery and garlic, add lemon juice and mayonnaise, pour in melted butter.
Serve with poached salmon, roast chicken, chips, or just dunk a piece of bread in it.

How'd you learn to do the things you do?


Girl meets boy

Who doesn't love a film, where the heroine/ hero is a florist?
Will Jennifer Aniston be convincing as a floral goddess? I for one will be growing my hair and wearing woolly hats with sparkly scarves this winter....watch the trailer.
Is Bed of Roses still your "favourite use of florist in a rom-com" ? I have this film on VHS, I have no VHS player.
Have you ever been tempted to run off with the groom or bride?
Do you know of any other films featuring florists? Did you run off with the girl making your buttonhole? Did you ever send flowers to someone just to make them smile? Could we make a Jeremy Kyle* show out of this?
*Mr Kyle is the British Jerry Springer.


Vintage packaging

We are finally getting around to finalising text and photos for a new website....please take note Mrs P...x

I have been looking at at old packaging as inspiration. The gummed labels were 10p in a charity shop, the tin of drawing pins was full, bonus.

In particular I love the fonts, a font is a very important thing, sometimes it is more influential than the words. The Hound refuses to shop in some stores because of their logo, but then he is prone to moments of pretentiousness, and is being particularly awkward this morning.

A great blog for fellow font fanciers.

Other things we are organising include Christmas.......we have a magazine photo shoot next week, all blue spruce and hyacinth bulbs, and I might yet get around to using those road maps.


Wedding bells (again because blogger seemed to have lost the photos)

My name is Miss Pickering and I cry at weddings. In my line of work this equates to a lot of tears. I think it is a culmination of factors,
1.I generally get quite attached to my brides.
2.Weddings involve a lot of late nights and early mornings.
3.Being a part of what people will later describe as "The best day of my life" can be a bit stressful 4.I quite often bang my knee, stub my toe, or burn my finger on the glue gun in pursuit of floral excellence.
5.I am a sentimental old fool

6 poached salmon

There was a party. The salmon were poached, the chicken Elizabethed and a rabbit went in the pot.
A beautiful girl in an ivory dress, a boy with a suitcase and a man with an amazing sleight of hand. Not to be outdone The Hound took a turn of the room and wowed the crowds. Of course there were flowers, roses and mint, hydrangea and dahlias, and some cheese and chutney, and a green elixir of which I shall bring you the recipe, should Mr Ferrari oblige...

Three counties were offered up as God's own, plans were made, and those shoes had an outing.

Later we all took time out to remember Frank and Ruby.

Will you forgive me an indulgent post?, littered with private jokes known only to a select few. Perhaps if I list the flowers used in the tablecentres? Would that help?

Roses: Sweet Avalanche, Chaim soutaine, Rannucular, Milca sensation, Magic pepita and Black Baccara. Hydrangea, dahlia, viburnum tinus berries, copper beech, rosemary, mint,oak, lisianthus, cotinus, nerine and eucalyptus.

Parce que vous le valez bien


Spiced peach chutney

The Hound and Mr Ferrari have been spicing peaches.


I am addicted to this song. I am not sure what this says about me as a person. Flo Rida and a X factor winner? Really?

Where are you weekending? Be good, but if you can't....don't get caught.



A kiss to build a dream on

I am not feeling very wordy this week, do you ever get weeks like that?


She's in fashion

Like skirt lengths and heel heights, flowers and plants go in and out of fashion. Every florist has their default cream rose, favourite white lily, basic foliage, sometimes there is a rose you want to put with everything and you overdose on it. Enter Chaim Soutaine - the striped one, 4 years ago it was difficult to walk the mean streets of W11 without seeing buckets of these, then we all got bored of them, I am having a renaissance. Other flowers we get fed up with for different reasons, inconsistency, discrepancy in colour, I am of course talking of Illusion.
Then there are the fads, which hopefully you didn't all embrace, the black Christmas tree, those Harlequin roses - rainbow striped....nice!
I am not a dedicated follower of fashion, I prefer to do my own thing.

"But" I hear those supermarket developers cry
"we need to know what the next big thing is"
Purples? Taupe? Who knows?, although if you do know could you let me know? I have to sound very intelligent and informed when I speak to a glossy magazine in the morning.


Dog days, sunny lunches, and gourmet evenings

Over Sunday's breakfast we suggested to The Hound that he might like a trip to Rutland Dog Day. He popped his head over the top of The Telegraph, took a sip of his macchiato and gave us a look that suggested he would not.
He was dragged there anywhere, he recoiled at the dancing dog group, ate a few treats and humoured a child by playing with a stick.

Later that day I joined the lovely Kelly for lunch, glorious sunshine, delicious roast beef and talk of baby names, cakes, books, old school friends, and recipes.

To round off the weekend, a party at the Tobie Norris, a thank you to their regular customers, the wine flowed and the food....the food was divine. Morsels of hot salmon and roast haddock, mini pizzas, hamburgers with Stilton and black pudding, and chocolate brownies. Thank you so much for thanking us.

Question. How do you spot a blogger?

Answer. They are the ones photographing rather than eating their food.

Chicken a la Miss P
1. Perform tomato harvest.
2. Brown off chicken legs.
3. Chop dried up head of fennel and the last red onion - it might be best to just use half an onion, but do you ever use up the second half?, or does it just sit in the fridge wrapped in cling film?, might as well use it all.
4. Return chicken to pan, pour over white wine that was probably opened too long ago, add handfuls of herbs from the garden.
5. Cook on the hob for a bit, add a tin of rinsed cannellini beans, and the halved tomatoes until warmed through.
6. Arrange in fancy white soup bowl, but draw the line at wiping the bowl clean of juice drops - that is far too pretentious.

Aren't Mondays meat free? Is this turning into one of those "lifestyle" blogs? Is it black or grey bins tomorrow?


Until death do us part

Whilst I was sitting discussing ribbon colours with a bride, a lady came in to buy flowers for her husband's funeral. He died 48 hours ago, and will be buried at a green burial site tomorrow.

"It must be dahlias, that's what we agreed"

She had nursed him everyday for 16 years. After she had left, the bride and I fought back a few tears and decided that getting the exact shade of ribbon didn't seem as important as it had done 15 minutes earlier.


A labour of love by Crash Taylor

What is it with photographers and cool names? Crash Taylor photographed the labour of love wedding. I think the last one is set to become the most famous wedding shot ever
Have a look at his blog and website

Call him up and ask him to do your wedding,
"Hey Crash!"- who would want to go through life without ever saying that? I suspect you have to book very early to avoid disappointment.

Per Matteo


A peek at my drawers

I prefer old furniture, my flat pack days are over, Ikea fills me with horror (aside from the fabulous assortment of herrings, the meatballs and Daim bars) As I generally fail to grasp the concept of fit screw B in fitting A, I buy my furniture ready made. Charity shops are great for this, there is one opposite the shop that has had some gems. I purchased these bedside drawers at the weekend, it's a fine line between fabulous and not so sometimes and I can't quite decide if they work. It doesn't help that they are actually quite low, and me being a princess and all, my bed is very high, they do however have the most charming Bakelite handles.
Whilst I mull it over they are sitting in the shop window.

Other things being mulled over

Is Shakira really only 4'11''?
Nigel Slater, like his recipes, not sure about the television programme
Julia Mackenzie....is she just annoying as Miss Marple? I think it's the voice
Christmas...there I have said it.
Did I dream my smoke alarm going off at 5.09am?
3 bad hair days in a row, surely tomorrow will be the day it all goes right?
Piquet versus Briatore


Currently loving.....grey

I know I should be embracing this seasons purples, and there was a brief flirtation with navy, but I always come back to grey.
1. Grey vase works beautifully with yellows and oranges
2. Charcoals, seriously underused these days
3. Joining the quilted bag bandwagon
4. Needs no explanation


How to make Sloe gin

1. Acquire some sloes. The hardest part of sloe gin production. If you haven't got some already, you may have been pipped at the post by fans of Hugh Fearnley Whathisstall? Foraging has become very chichi and Boden welly wearers take no prisoners. Life is made much simpler if like me you have a marvellous friend with a stash in his freezer.
2. Put in jar/ bottle with sugar and gin, don't be deceived by the photograph, this is a 4 litre kilner jar.
3. Wait 3 months and drink, or decant into antique hip flasks and give as gifts at Christmas - homemade tags will add extra twee.

The ratio of Sloe:sugar:gin is a hotly debated topic in these parts, the lady at our local Co-op* thinks the less sugar the better, others think equal ratios of sugar and sloe. I went with minimal sugar, you can always add more.

* How is this for twee, do you remember our Co-op burnt down? Well it is now in a tent in the car park, yes a tent quite a robust one, but a tent none the less. The new store is being built alongside it, all Eco chic with a grass roof and curves.

Pick up rubber

A Saturday morning in the shop means one thing.....men.
Jostling the papers and a coffee, they form an orderly queue. They leave with flowers for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, or just because. Some come just for the F1 practice and qualifying. This is a hardcore group, generally fans of Mclaren or Brawn, with one notable exception, we stand around the laptop debating fuel loads, KERS, tyre choices and 2010 seats. It is an elite club, knock 3 times and bring a cappuccino (skinny, 4 shots) and a pig's ear (smoked). There is also a written entrance exam.
There was a very big "whoop" when Mr Hamilton got pole, and at least he went off in hot pursuit of 2nd place. Nobody but Mr Button could begrudge Mr Barichello his win at Monza, as our chances seem to be over for this year, I hope the enigmatic Brazilian wins the drivers championship.
I am starting a campaign to get Mr Sutil to Mclaren for next season

p.s. Mr Raikkonen, kindly do us all a favour and get thee to a barbers.


Flowers for a friday

A wedding of roses, a bit blurry but you know the sort of thing. The bouquets are badly photographed beneath a picture of Daniel Lambert. He was the fattest man that ever lived, and he died in Stamford. Quite the celebrity all sorts of things are named after him, pubs, ales and really big sandwiches.

I like the hazel leaves in the buttonholes.

Class dismissed.