Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad and all that

The last wedding of the year

The flowers have been sold

And the Champagne has been cracked open

Wishing you all a Christmas filled with joy, merriment and Hollywood kisses under the mistletoe.


Good things

These were supposed to be the last of the wreaths.......made another tonight, I am just a girl who can't say no. Possibly my favourite of the year, blue spruce, viburnum tinus, Skimmia Kew Green and eucalyptus pods.

The flu still has a stronghold, today's remedies have been Buttercup syrup and Golden Newt (I know so unladylike - I drank it straight from the bottle as well) It has helped numb the pain of a pulled muscle in my neck and my left hind wisdom tooth that has decided to make an appearance.

We have a couple of copies of The Flower Shop and Friends left, and a few of the little book Flower shop secrets, perfect stocking fillers, and features photographs of yours truly.

I had one of the best presents in the post on Saturday, Nicki from White Garden
in Henley sent all the florists in the book a compilation CD of all our favourite songs. If you want to know what mine is, or what Marcelle dances to of an evening...buy the book.


Camera battery charger found

So back to posting pictures of actual things. More wreaths, blue spruce, pussy willow and eucalyptus pods.

Today a man came into the shop, and asked for four candles, I started giggling, he had no idea why, so in case he is reading here is the reason (it is not because I am demented)

For the last few days The Hound has been looking a little glum. He is fed up with pine needles landing in his bed, and I haven't had the time to keep fetching him cocktail sausages from M&S.

As a treat today he has spent the day with The Mother Hen and The Captain. He is now looking very smug, and snacking on some garlic bread.


Miss Pickering and the case of mistaken identity

Dear Lady on the checkout at M&S,

Thank you so much for not recoiling as a coughing and spluttering, dishevelled blonde, eyes heavy with cold, came towards you this evening. Thank you also for not looking horrified as she dug in her pocket for money, and pulled out a few coppers, stub wires, pine needles, and half a dog biscuit.
It wasn't always like this, I used to live in W11, and wear beautiful shoes, and drink cocktails - I just wanted you to know.

Yours in heartfelt appreciation

Miss P


Flu remedies - helpful tips from my customers

The fact that I am under the weather has not gone unnoticed by my customers, some have leapt to my aid and starting making wreaths - thank you Allison. Others have merely pointed out how terrible I look - thank you Mr B.

I thought that it might be helpful to share with you some of those tips.
Lemon and honey - the vintage remedy, favoured by ladies with the scent of home baked mince pies.
Stick your head in a bunch of eucalyptus - easily done if one is a florist, but I have yet to see any clinical data showing effectiveness.
You should go to the Doctors. This is like a scratched record, and people have started shouting at me now - when they start offering appointments at 6am I will.
You need a week in the sun - by far my favourite remedy, I would favour St.Barts over Tenerife
The most popular is a whisky - personally I haven't drunk whisky since that fateful summer in France. His name was Xavier

Girl flu

Unlike the Man variety, girl is flu is all very real. I have been in a fog of fever, delirium, aches and pains for the last few days, my apologises to anyone who has tried to engage me in conversation. Creatively I may also have been a little off, if you have something odd on your wreath, your advent tablecentre is in an unusual shade, or if you were the unlucky lady that I managed to convince turquoise disco glitter twigs were the only thing to have this Christmas - my apologises.


Men I would like to eat Tuna Carpaccio with, version 2.0

Ladies and gentlemen I give you Mr Owen.

Meanwhile......back in the shop

We now have some of Kelly's lovely pieces for sale in the shop, I have purchased some of these pretty magnets for my fridge.

Christmas pudding bowls filled with hyacinth

The Hound has been sitting about looking pretty, and for the florists among you - is there a better tulip than a Ronaldo? Do you prefer a Webber, or a Rococo, perhaps you can't live without a Silver dream, do you love Purple Prince more than ice cream?

Hot topics of conversation have been
The size of pigs ears - they seem to have shrunk, have they been GM'd?
Wondering what effects the FIA cost-cutting plans will have on Formula 1.
Discovering that Smarties now do big tubes of just pink ones.
Wearing gloves - as a florist is it worth the added warmth when you keep getting stems caught in your mittens, and do fingerless ones make you look like a tramp? Tramp as in "Lady and the", and not street walker.
Can I pull off a beret?
Song of the day has been Kings of Leon Use Somebody, are they better than TT?


Guided home by satellites

Yesterday, I received another fabulous present you will recall this one, and these. It is the power of navigation by satellite, rather like The power of Greyskull, except without the evil forces of Skeletor or the sword - watch the clip.
The Hound and I, are comforted to know that after all this time, we have been taking the right route home of an evening. We are now planning a long trip around the British Isles, just so we can listen to the silkened tones of Tim - the voice of the satellite.

Edit - The Hound - a whizz with technology accidentally pressed another option and has given us a whole host of new men to choose from. We are currently flirting with Antonio the man from Espanol, Jacques the man from Francais, and the divine Roberto from Italiano. O Mr Ferrari - we thank you.


Christmas flowers for delivery

Did you know we send our flowers nationwide? Wrapped up in swathes of tissue and sent in our rather smart boxes, they arrive in the morning to delight friends, family and lovers.

Traditional wreath made with Blue Spruce, holly, berried ivy and lots of scented cinnamon, pussy willow and dried fruits £55.00 delivered nationwide

Large mixed foliage wreath with hydrangea and Grand Prix roses £120.00 delivered nationwide
Christmas in reds and blues, handtied bouquet in 3 sizes £40, £60, £80 delivered nationwide

When only white flowers will do darling, handtied bouquet in 3 sizes, £40, £60,£80 delivered nationwide

Christmas in a tin, arrangement in a pail £50 delivered.

Order by 2pm now for next day delivery, last delivery date is the 23rd of December. Call us on 01780 482961 to order


My Birthday

Today has been my birthday, we have mainly been feasting on belly pork, roast beef and puddings at this fine establishment

And a bit more pudding

And despite the disappointment at the lack of a horse, I got some lovely presents.

Hanging out with The Small Child means that The Other Miss Pickering and I have learnt some more "street" talk. If you happen upon an attractive and dapper chap, one might remark that he is "Dro", likewise should you meet a gentleman who doesn't give you butterflies, and you would rather he wore a paper bag over his head, one would remark that he is "Dirt". Who said old dogs can't learn new tricks?

A whole lot of roses

I love decorating long tables, long lines of roses and Guinea fowl feathers wrapped in the bark of silver birch trees.

Antique french planters filled with foliage - very blurry pic

A new window, The Hound has worked his portrait into the blue and red scheme.

"OOOOO Katie look at that window, blue and red works well at Christmas"
" It's very Nigella"
"It is......that reminds me has the Brora sale started? I need a new cardy"


Oh my

You will recall The Hound completed his interior design course. This evening he is measuring up for some lovely wallpaper from Osborne and Little. With pencil behind ear and a Smythson notebook in hand, he is evidently planning to put it in most of the rooms.


Oh joy

You get up before the birds, drive through the snow to market, work hard all day, and then get pine needles in your mulled wine. Yes it is 16.15 pm, and yes that really is mulled wine.
Huge thanks to The Mother Hen for rescuing the day, and to The Stamford Hen for performing the same duty on Tuesday.


Questions, questions, questions

Tell us Miss P, may I call you that? Do you ever do flowers for real life Princesses?
Funny you should ask, here is one I made for HRH Princess Anne just yesterday.

You have some very smart new vases in your shop, does this mark a change in direction for you? No, it is a one off homage to my beloved boys at Vaas

We very often wonder if your house is filled with fresh flowers?

Today you are off to have a glamorous makeover as part of your birthday present from The Mother Hen, you have to take a picture of someone whose look you admire. Who is that ?
Miss M

Rumour has it you have been dancing to Ladyhawke - does this not seem a bit "young and trendy" for Miss P?

It is my birthday on Sunday, I am having a midlife crisis, the Porsche is being delivered tomorrow, I have bought a leather jacket and taken a young lover.



The Father Christmas Letters the most magical book you will ever read, the letters from J.R.R. Tolkein to his children 1920-1938. Read it to your children, beguile lovers with it or curl up in an over sized armchair and read it to yourself. For me, memories of a very small village school in the Yorkshire Dales.
Back in the real world, everywhere seems to be lit by fairy lights, ladies carried bejewelled handbags, and the white elephant is still parading around.


Two Old Girls

Today has been a day of old school chums, fellow members of the esteemed Stamford High School Old Girls Guild. Firstly the wedding of Pippa at the wonderful Burghley House. Hurricane lamps will light the way to the Great Hall, where roses sit on cake stands and everyone will feast on roast beef.

Meanwhile back at the shop, my beautiful bespoke headband arrived from Kelly.

Beautifully packaged, and the most exquisite thing, I am blown away by it. I have sported it all day, and now have an order for an Emerald one for you from a customer! Have a peep at her Etsy shop. The Hound can feel a black and grey one coming on for the party season, he is a little that way inclined.
The Small Child has been helping out with hyacinth potting and bow making, she has got quite carried away. If anyone spots a girl with a thousand ribbons in her hair could you point her in the direction of the shop.


Fill your stockings

Make a feature on the mantelpiece with coloured candles a la Easy Living magazine. £1.50 each

Purchase Rosie Flo and Johnny Joe colouring books for your little darlings £5.99 each and don't require any batteries, SIM cards, remote controls or plug points which is a bonus.

Wrap them all up in our delightful paper £2 per sheet

Make fancy bows from our wired ribbon £2 per metre

Smugness gained form having Christmas sorted early: Priceless

Wreath making tomorrow, I forgot to photograph the steps today. If you read lots of blogs you might be a bit wreathed out as everyone seems to be banging on about them, so pop back on Saturday for pics of flowers from the wedding of the bride who has become rather affectionately
known as "The joint of beef per table bride"


The joys of being a florist number 56 and a half

Last night I popped to the pub for a cup of Earl Grey tea (beaucoup des Americans read this blog, and they love all that Englishness, but between you and I it was a gin)
When I left the shop I looked like this

2 minutes after stepping into the establishment I looked like this.

It is a phenomena known as florist face, it comes with working in the extreme cold, and then going into a warm room, it lasts for a good 2 hours and no fancy green anti-red foundation will have any effect, trust me I have tried them all, Still want to be a florist?

I was going to show you all how to make a wreath, but I seem to have suddenly gone a little weak at the knees.



Christmas Wreaths and fairy lights

Today was one of our Christmas Wreath courses, blue spruce, rosemary, myrtle, berried ivy, and holly were used as a base, and oranges, apples and cinnamon sticks wired in, all very fancy. The pictures are a little fuzzy - I blame this on the low light and not using a fast enough ISO and not the wine we all drank with our delicious lunch at The Tobie Norris. Fast ISO - I read that in a magazine, I have no idea what it means.

We hung them from the beams to admire whilst eating lunch. I had the meatballs for the 6th time in a row.

I had hoped to show you and the attendees a selection of wreaths I made up on Saturday afternoon - but we sold them. It seems Christmas is starting early with the good people of Stamford. Also don't tell The Mother Hen, but I may have put up some fairy lights and a few baubles on the twig trees Chez Miss P.

I have spent all day humming the tune If I were a boy by Beyonce. In my world the lyrics are a little different - If I were a boy, I would know whether you bleed radiators when they are on or off, I would not get my stiletto heel caught in the doormat at the petrol station, and I would most definitely not have found a brassiere attached to the twig trees, Easter was the last time they were used - one slice of Simnel cake and...... well I will spare my blushes.


Let's celebrate

Autumn doesn't have to mean the dreaded oranges and yellows of those supermarket bunches. Instead dusky roses and copper beech for an engagement.

Table flowers for a 50th birthday

A lot of buttonholes for a Ruby wedding do in London.

The Hound seeing a dusting of snow this morning has wanted to put up some Christmas decorations. We have had to explain that Christmas can't start until after my birthday - it's the law, he has spent the day sulking.

I have also discovered the merits of Google as a solver of domestic disputes, purchased a cherry red handbag, added Captain Slow to my laminated list, and eaten Stichelton (with Port - naturellement)