Flowers at home - the reality

Like all florists, Jane from small but charming is always being asked about the flowers she has at home.

and so began the Flowers at home Monday, where we too would show off our floral delights.

My florals are not delights, they are dead, except the moss.



The very last few minutes of the daylight, the nights are slowly drawing out.

Stolen branches, after a day of gardening, i also dug up an old brown glass bottle and an inkwell.

I have a sudden desire to return to Africa, and we are having chicken Kiev for supper. With tomatoes.


Valentine-ing up the shop

This year we will be mainly selling tokens of love.

Quirky tokens of a botanical nature.

The shop will be filled with inspiration for both boys and girls.

Boys like flowers too, and bulbs in jars.

Thank you all for your comments on the last post, fabulous suggestions, and i have visited a few already.

In other news,

Cityboy1 whilst en route to the ski, has fixed the technical problem.
I am selling The Hound, he has been nothing but trouble all week. £2.99 o.n.o.
and that glove is still here.


Audience participation

Technology and i are not friends.

I have managed to lose 3 hours work, my ipod has a sad face, and the internets are intermittent.

I put a call into Cityboy1, I have been admonished for googling the problem, a little knowledge in the wrong hands is a dangerous thing.

This post might not make it to the blog, and the pictures are from days gone by, but I am loving the pastel shades.

Instead hit me with your blogs, or just blogs you like, they don't have to be yours. Although shameless self promotion is allowed.

I am looking for some new ones, i am not a big fan of the "here is something i found on the internet" type blog, i like people blogs from people that actually do something.

I await with bated breath.

43 days 6 hours 53 minutes and 10 seconds

and we get to do it all again.

The new season is in sight, Herr Schumacher has travel sickness*. Mr Hamilton has been cross country ski-ing, and this post is of no interest to 99% of you, and it is going make the blog look messy.

But for that 1%

Squeals of delight, the mighty McLarens are back.

*actual fact confirmed by Ferrari.


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I am a bit over red rose bashing now. I think mixed with hot pink they make a pretty passionate offering for Valentine's. Sampling up, actual bouquets to follow, along with the window. Valentine's is to have a sense of humour this year.

Old floral pictures from my new obsession of sale rooms. Just don't allow The Mother Hen to bid, I don't think she has quite grasped it isn't a competition to see who can bid the highest. Thankfully we were not at Bonhams

Daffodilions in old pots.

Lemon tart from Hambleton Bakery, a very kind customer brought me, then another brought cocktail sausages for The Hound, others chocolate bunnies, and the tastiest pork pie. I love my customers.

In other news, we have been power walking for 2 hours a day for 10 days now, i am still not a size 6. I want my money back.

so that i can go and buy a lemon tart.


Smoked mackerel and a geranium

Impulse purchase of smoked garlic and whole mackerel.

Gut the mackerel, one swift cut with a knife from belly to head is all it takes, defin and de-gill, i will admit that de-gilling is not my forte.

Slash the skin and season with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with smoked garlic cloves and lemon quarters.Roast in a hot oven for 15 minutes or so.

This would be lovely served with a crisp green salad, but we added more lemon juice and greedily ate them straight off the baking tray with bread.

We had a Berocca to make it a balanced meal.

I found this geranium on the windowsill, seemingly they thrive on neglect. Or maybe it isn't thriving, perhaps had it have been watered it would be 5ft tall by now?


Market buys

The Hound went to market.

1.He has returned with magnolia branches,
2.Indoor grass - it says on the pot a delicious snack for cats (?) he is using it as bait. Cats a delicious snack for Hounds.
3.Double tulips the colour of ice cream
4.and a window shot. Which explains why i don't often photograph the window too much reflection.

and somebody asked about the rose, it is Quicksand, we have been using it for years, and it is still popular, pink without being too pink. I think i have said that to a lot of brides today.

and the book is out in the summer, it is a how-to, a ramble, some recipes, a lot of The Hound, and some physics.

Have a wonderful weekend.


How to make spring in a jar

I have filled the window with these jars of Spring, and they have captivated the good people of Stamford, especially the men. There is something a bit scientific looking about them.

I don't think there is anything simpler to make, provided you have the right bits.

1. An old jar of interesting shape, most of mine are really old blown glass, this is not the time for your Bonne Maman.
2. Bulbs in the green, the cheats guide to spring, i think these are the most versatile, effective and inexpensive things you can buy. Maybe you spend your Autumn months forcing bulbs, and don't need to buy them. Whatever.
3. Moss in a punchy green colour, that makes you think of baby lambs gambling across a field. This is known as sheet or flat moss, it comes in polystyrene boxes in scarily perfect rectangles, available from all good florists.

Take a piece of moss green side out and place in the bottom of the jar, water the moss lightly. Remove the soil from the bulbs, they don't need it.
Curl the roots round and sit on top of the moss, finish with extra moss if you like.

Await flowers.



The (as yet) untitled book is going to require some photo shoots.

It isn't a novel.

I am not one for filling a page with text when a photograph will do that for you.

In preparation for this i have been hunting out interesting props from my cupboards.

Because a book isn't a book without a coy duck.


Flower School 2011

Mesdames et Messieurs,

I proudly present the Flower school courses and dates for 2011.

Flower School with Cameras May 10Th 2011 £385.00
with the lovely photographer and TV star Miss Quinton. A morning spent learning floristry techniques making arrangements and the afternoon learning photography techniques, photographing your arrangements. Read more about it here.

Flower School for brides June 6Th 2011 £300.00
An introduction to wedding flowers for brides, whether you are fancying to do it yourself, or just want a better understanding of flowers for when you choose a florist. The date is in the middle of the peony season......there will be a lot of peonies. you can read more about it here.

How to be a floral goddess, or flower school for married ladies and spinsters
July 11Th and September 26Th. £250.00

A day of learning basic principles of the hand tied technique, how to select flowers and vase types, which foliage to cut from the garden,how to wear flowers in your hair, how to wow your friends with flowers on the dining table and other such trade secrets. Read more about it here.

Each course is for a full day, 9.30 until 5p.m
There is no need for prior florist experience, no need to know the names of any flowers, you will need enthusiasm, the ability to giggle, and a thirst for learning something new.
You will be fed and watered at The pub.
You will leave with a lot of flowers, so lease bring a twee vintage wicker basket, or practical plastic box.
You will also leave with a pair of pro florist scissors, and a Miss P. bag to take them home in.
All tools, aprons and flowers are provided.
Most importantly you will be granted an audience with The Hound.

To book or for further information, including details of local accommodation email us flowers@misspickering.com


How the devil are you?

Another random selection of photographs from days gone by. Another day of the camera sitting on the kitchen table.....It's the last one you all want to see, i am under no illusions.

It is all go here.
Valentine's Day is 3 weeks away. It's a Monday.
The Book is coming along. I am having palpitations of excitement.
We went to Top Drawer, some of it was just lovely, some of it really wasn't.
I finally met Jane of Snapdragon, she was some of the lovely.
I have started power walking again.
I could gaze at Rufus Sewell against a backdrop of Rome for a very long time. Or Colin Firth, who keeps making lovely acceptance speeches. Posh boys are once more en vogue.
My film came back from my first attempts with the Diana camera - not as easy as it looks, one picture on a roll of 12.... hello, photography for bloggers course

but finally we have announced the start of the Bridal flower school..

More courses to be announced tomorrow, for those who are already married, or spinsters like me.

What have you all been up to? Fun things? Do share.



are most definitely floating the boat this week.

1.Bridal Crown, leftover from Christmas, cut from the bulb, and given a new lease of life in old bottles.
2.Planting inside jars with a little moss.
3. flowers in amongst the paintings and books, or books and paintings in amongst the flowers?
4. A special visit from Sally Page and Billy Kelly, en route to be married today, a pit stop for a gin and some extra roses.

and did you see our flowers featured in this shoot?

do you have fabulous plans for the weekend? are we allowed to drink and eat chocolate again yet?


Side salad

The living salad boxes in supermarkets are a useful thing.

Potted up into a chintzy pot, and served with scissors, they make the perfect side salad, or edible table centre.

They also turn a humble offering of bread and cheese with honey into something you can serve friends for lunch.

Styling it up.


For a very good man

For a man with the coolest middle name, Griffin.
Who was born on the 29th February, which made him 82......or 20.
Whose vintage Mercedes sat in a carpeted garage, and for whom "up-cycling" was invented, you just never know when a piece of wood, or 300 jam jars might come in handy.
A brother, a husband, a father, a father in law, and a grandfather.

Our grandfather.

p.s. they did you proud yesterday.