This weekend we have been mainly........

Making wedding flowers

Listening to John Mayer and Radio 4
Dressing in the style of Marilyn Monroe - the Arthur Miller years

Reading The Flaneur by Edmund White

The Hound has spent all day playing out, and now smells of freshly mown grass and elderflowers.


An afternoon of garden roses.

Yesterday I was let loose in another fabulous garden with my secateurs. This time to teach a very lovely group of ladies how to use the flowers and foliage from their gardens to make fabulous dinner party arrangements.
We cut alliums, angelica, alchemilla, clematis, pinks, poppies, herbs and the most exquisite garden roses.

All washed down with cups of tea and a coffee and walnut cake! I was given the most beautiful selection of garden roses, which now very proudly sit on my bedside table. As a florist it is a very rare thing to receive flowers, (when I say rare I mean never) so it was particularly lovely, and I hope it is a trend that continues. Look out for details of our new flower courses coming soon.


My Guitar Hero

My Dear Mr Mayer

The Other Miss Pickering and I have just returned from seeing you in concert. With your master of the guitar, your voice of silkened gravel, your arms of tattooed muscle, and your stage of Persian carpets - might we just say - Splendid.

Yours in anticipation of that "Slow dance in a burning room"

Miss Pickering


Maid Marion

I haven't exactly been cavorting with merry men in Sherwood forest, but I did spend a very enjoyable time in Nottingham with Marc and Keith at Vaas - a fabulous florist in Nottingham. Their shop is gargantuan compared to mine, all high ceilings, modern vases, and beautiful flowers. I was particularly touched by the laying on of a G and T (with ice no less) and the delicious homemade lemon cake. Both our shops are to be featured in Sally Page's new book "Friends of the Flower shop" .The book is out in September, and we will be stocking them in the shop. I had some other highly important business to attend to in Nottingham, but was soon distracted by the sight of a wonderous pair of "****" me shoes! I ventured into the shop and succumbed to their overwhelming beauty.


Windfall and bling

The wind has ripped through the garden today, damaging delphiniums and the herb garden, and so an impromptu tussie mussie was made for the sitting room.

Last weekend The Mother Hen purchased a new collar for The Hound. At first we thought it a little too bling, and perhaps more suited to a Bel Air pooch, but it did score him extra cheese samples at the farmers market on Friday, and woe betide anyone that comes between The Hound and a bit of Lincolnshire Poacher.

Damn it!

A Ferrari one, two at Magny-Cours. The Hound and I are not happy. Roll on Silverstone.....


Vintage roses

Today the shop is full of my favourite vintage roses in preparation for tomorrows wedding. The Hound and I have boogied to an eclectic mix of The Style Council, James Taylor, Elvis Costello and The Kinks.

Amnesia rose

Pepita rose

Old Dutch rose

Mimi Eden rose

Metallica rose

EDIT: Looking for images and inspiration regarding lovely vintage style roses to be used in a wedding? Then sit down pour yourself a cup of Earl Grey and flick through our blog, there are loads of them - we use them wherever and whenever we can.


The way to a girl's heart....

Is obviously with flowers! (Although in my case being cooked for, comes a very close second) So it is not unusual for the phone to ring with a gentleman wanting to send flowers to his beloved. Some start the conversation with the words "I haven't done anything wrong - I just want to send her flowers" - a guilty conscience me thinks. Others are congratulating on the birth of their first child, a wedding anniversary or a birthday, They all have one thing in common, an inability to think of the message to accompany them. "No message" they say, "nothing at all?, not even your name or a kiss? How will she know who they are from?" I reply. "Well alright, then put a cross on it" and then with relief they very quickly proceed to the less embarrassing task of relaying credit card details.
It was then, a rather unusual occurrence today, when a very unembarrassed gentleman rang with the most romantic message I have ever heard, and embarrassing for me because I burst into tears. I must explain that I have been having one of those mornings, where everything seems to be against me, and was feeling rather emotional, and am not one of those fragile women who cry at anything.
So to all men I say don't be shy, speak from the heart and I will do my very best not to weep.



Probably the most romantically named flower in the world. Ardent lovers are buying bunches of it to bestow upon the object of their affections. Locally grown, and only available for a short time, buy it while you can.


Country Living Magazine

We have been featured in Country Living magazines wedding feature. 6 florists were included, and I was very excited to see we were listed above Paula Pryke, until Jo pointed out that they were arranged in alphabetical order and not in order of floral brilliance.The issue is out now, and as soon as I have got the hang of the new scanner, and found the cable that connects it to the ole laptop, will post the article.


It's a sign!

As I left the shop in search of some lunch I was greeted by a great vision.

I looked very hard for the big bow and gift tag, but it seems that the car was not a present, and did in fact have an owner. I did toy with stealing it, but it was obviously loved and cherished as it looked as though it had just left the factory. Instead I took it as a sign that I would find my own soon, and noted how perfect it looked outside the shop. O Morris where art thou?

Up hill and down dale

This week we have sent flowers to all corners of the United Kingdom, down to Devon, up to Glasgow and many towns in between. Exquisitely wrapped and packaged in our delivery boxes, they travel overnight and arrive the next morning. Last week we even sent bridal bouquets and buttonholes to a lovely bride who was getting married in Scotland.

Buyer beware

Raspberry vodka is not a nice fruity drink, it is the drink of the devil.

As keen as........

The Hound has fallen in love. Not one to play it cool, his pulling technique is quite the sight to behold. A dramatic display of his physical prowess, (twirling, tail wagging and general leaping around) is followed by beguiling her with tales of his latest "Houndini" attempts. She remains unimpressed, but I suspect she is just playing hard to get.
N.B. Colman's mustard is delicious on toast - a cheap and tasty treat first discovered at university, an interesting way to spice up the 7p loaves from Safeways on High Street Ken.


A very English Sunday

Open gardens is a fabulous opportunity to snoop in other peoples gardens, and this weekend the beautiful ironstone village of Lyddington welcomed all snoopers. A glorious day, a little hot for The Hound who decided he would stay at home and catch up on some sleep. The gardens were very inspiring, particularly Sally's kitchen garden which had me rushing home to extend the herb garden, and plant out the veg. A tombola, a cake stall, and elderflower cordial drunk under the shade of a tree, all that was missing was the Traveller, should anyone have one sitting in a garage just crying out for a slightly eccentric florist and a hound to take it out for a spin, please get in touch. I have included a picture of one to aid the search. When I mentioned said automobile to my neighbour, she immediately thought of the nurse in Open all Hours, and Linda Bellingham in some other middle aged, large bosomed role. I was rather hoping to achieve a sort of Miss Marple meets Agent Provocateur look.

Talking of cars.....Sunday night also saw a rather disastrous Canadian Grand Prix, zero points by McLaren, and a 10 grid place penalty for Hamilton, after he failed to see a red light and took out a Ferrari, all hopes on Kovalainen for France.

For the dearly departed

It wasn't all weddings last week, we managed to fit in two funerals as well. For the first we were asked to create three country style pedestals, using flowers from a garden in the village. It was not the first time I had been allowed loose in the garden with my secateurs, this time I cut alliums, euphorbia, senecio, valerian, cotinus and sage. The addition of some locally grown stocks and delphiniums, gave a beautiful scent to the church.

For the second we were asked to create a cottage garden style wreath, I have never been a fan of the tight wreaths made with Xanths, and much prefer to make a mixed foliage base, always including rosemary for remembrance, into which we add seasonal flowers. A fitting tribute for a keen gardener.

A totally tropical taste

On Saturday we turned the historic Oakham Castle into a tropical haven. Birds of paradise, heliconias, anthuriums, orchids and love -lies-bleeding brightened up the castle.

The arrangements were moved to the marquee at Exton Park in the trusty van.....

Meanwhile the bride and groom were transported in a fabulous carriage, The Hound and I are considering this as an everyday alternative to the Citroen Berlingo, and has usurped the Morris Minor Traveller as our new dream car.

The steel band got ready to play as the guests arrived.


Running barefoot in the fields

Yesterday I had to make a delivery to a very picturesque hamlet in the middle of nowhere. As I turned away from the front door, I was most surprised to see a dog that looked very much like The Hound in the garden. For a good few minutes I marvelled at how two dogs could look so alike, until it dawned on me that it was actually The Hound. He had managed to jump out of the window and decided that he might like to take himself off for a bit of a run. And run he did, for 2 hours...with a somewhat desperate blond running after him. My choice of footwear that morning had been a very nice pair of silver sequined flip-flops, (fine for the shop, but not quite suited to running in muddy fields) as such they were discarded and barefoot was the only option. Saluki's are noted for their air of superiority and complete lack of recall, and yesterday The Hound proved this to a T. Today he has slept in his basket looking like butter wouldn't melt and I have nursed my nettlestung feet.