Currently obsessed with...Paris

The Hound and I would like to move to Paris. In preparation, he has downloaded French for dummies onto his i-pod touch, and popped over to Princess Pooch* for a shampoo and set. We would also like to:

1. Have our hair cut in a bob a la Amelie, 2. Eat pretty things in pretty boxes from Laudree 3. Sit in cafes with marble topped tables, discuss philosophy, and read Le Figaro 4. Swoon at the sight of La Tour Eiffel 5. Live in an apartment like The Cherry Blossom girl - incidentally a fabulous blog full of fashion and divine images of Paris. 6. Buy flowers and candles from Christian Tortu the tomato leaf candle is the most beautiful scent in the world.

Bon week-end!

*If you happen to have a hound and reside on the Stamford area, you must try Princess Pooch, just opposite us on St.Paul's Street. The Hound has returned looking as pretty as a picture.

Flowers in vases

You will recall Mr Crush came to take some pictures of the shop here

Here are a few of the pictures, tres bon n'est-ce pas? We intend to use them, and lots of others for a new thing we have going on.


The dress code is Masquerade

The Hound has opted for incognito.

Pancake day chez Miss P

Mr Ferrari went all gourmet with a pineapple, stem ginger and cinnamon cream filling.
I went retro, a la Little Chef, jubilee pancakes filled with cherry and ice cream.
The Hound went minimalist, just pancake no topping.
The Other Miss Pickering drank red wine.

Some flowers

Faded grandeur, Spring bouquet, Locally grown tulips - somewhat peony like, My Valentine's roses-still going


Tripping the light fantastic

A long needed trip to London - it was fabulous. I had hoped to bring you photos of interesting things to inspire the creative in you all. Apart from when looking at wedding venues, the camera stayed firmly in the handbag, I have found it is difficult to balance a Cannon 40D, with a glass of Champagne, whilst trying on very high heeled shoes. So you can be mainly inspired by the white tiling in Liberty's Champagne bar, it is the sort of tiling that one would see in a subway, and now I want to tile my shop in it, but fear it may clash with the medieval timbers. I can recommend a bottle or two with the dressed Brixham crab.
The delights of visiting favourite haunts such as Coco de Mer, and Hope and Greenwood, will have to wait until next time.
This morning I opened up the shop, cleaned the pavement outside in kitten heels - which always makes one feel tres Parisienne, it is a very European thing glamorous shopkeepers wielding mops. I then turned on the lights and nothing, panic set in, How much would an electrician charge? Who knows a good electrician? Once again the tears welled up (I play the damsel in distress card to a T) by some bizarre coincidence a man was looking at the lights in the corridor, and announced himself to be an electrician, 2 seconds later the problem was solved -apparement they had just tripped. I now know the whereabouts of our fuse box.
I have lots of flower pictures to share, weddings, house flowers etc. but seem to have lost the cable again in a handbag switchover. I have gone green, a wonderful new apple green bag, olive stack heels, and even a new pair of green sunglasses.


I love her because she moves in her own way

Introducing..............my goddaughter Lilian. Speaker of French, artist, fashionista and keen dancer.

Good Gardening , April 1935

Do you ever long for a glass house? Filled with forced bulbs and exotic species and the perfect place to hold decadent cocktail parties, and hold intellectual conversations on the upkeep of ones pineapple trees. Where the gardening magazines have a column written by a dashing bachelor composer. and they cost just 6D?

I am feeling very gardeny, and have bought lots of bare rooted roses, herbs and spring bulbs in the green. I have potted up terracotta pots with the bulbs, the window is filled with them, sometimes simple is just right. My fingers are black from compost, but I am "in the style of" Jackie O with sleek hair and a set of pearls.


Hantied bouquets - to cut or not to cut the raffia?

I favour the handtied bouquet, you can cut the stems, place it in a vase safe in the knowledge you will not be ridiculed for your feeble attempts at flower arranging. Or if you like an arrange of an evening, simply cut the raffia and play away. Alternatively, if you happen to be the delectable Javier, arrange as a swag over the delicate shoulders of a female bust. O Bravo!

n.b. Should you be unfortunate enough to receive an aqua packed bouquet. Please my darlings, unravel those 3 metres of spotted cellophane, allow the water to spill out in the kitchen sink and over your Manolo's, cut the stems and place in a vase. Flowers cannot survive by cello and a cup of water alone.


Did you ever see anything prettier than a turquoise shoe?

Images from the new Spring Summer Toast catalogue. The last of the snow has finally melted, we were awoken by birdsong this morning, and the sun is nearly shining. A sharp rise in temperature, has brought out customers eager to embrace Spring, pots of locally grown tete a tete are being snapped up to sit on windowsills. The Hound has his watercolours out and is busy designing a summer scheme for the garden, eager to look the part he is sporting a beret, smock and a glass of Absinthe. My thoughts turn to shoes of turquoise.


Things that have occupied my mind today

1. Last night I had dinner out, as we left the maƮtre d' presented me with all the red roses they had left over from Valentine's. There were 14, is this the new dozen? Is it coals to Newcastle? - No it's not by the way.
2. Has Liberty's revamp changed the inherent quirkiness of the shop? I will find out on Sunday, London trip planned.
3. Is The Hound the most photographed dog in the world?
4. Is buying a 4 litre commercial blender for domestic use really necessary?
5. According to The Telegraph KFC are creating 9,000 new jobs in the UK. One of their new restaurants in Winchester took £100,000 in it's first week - Mr Ferrari and I tried to work out how many pieces of actual chicken this would equate to - never having been to one before it took a while, and there were a few guesstimates and assumptions made - who is eating all this chicken?
6. I have also had thoughts on blogging, today somebody in the industry said that they wouldn't as it gives too much away, which is true, larger floral organisations and competitors read it, and some of my posts are copied and recrafted elsewhere. Do you worry about this sort of thing? Still it has to be easier than pitching up at Random House with a manuscript."The tales of a gin drinking eccentric florist and a gangly lurcher" Non?
57. Does dropping a digital SLR onto a concrete floor affect it's performance? - seemingly not, although thankfully it was mine and not Mr F's.
96. If like me you sometimes take to hoovering in your underwear, make sure it isn't the day the window cleaner comes.


Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque

I know odd title, the Prefab Sprout song was on the radio as I drove home on Saturday night - and it beats the rather predictable post title - Valentine's Day

I present to you, the "Leopard" bunch, and the "Marry me" bunch. We have yet to hear whether the Leopard bunch had the desired effect......

I can declare that the Marry Me bunch, was a resounding success. I actually cried when it was ordered, - I am a sucker for a romantic tale, but also the couple in question are just lovely. We have seen them through the wooing bouquets, the I love you bouquets, the birth of their beautiful daughter bouquets, and now an engagement. Despite the downsides of being a florist, as you will recall here and here, being a small part of the monumental moments of peoples' lives is truly wonderful.


Photo shoot

Here we are being photographed for a gardening magazine, a lovely "behind the scenes" shot. The photographer is a Mr Tom Bailey. I did my best to sound and look intelligent and not strumpet like.


Is it because I is blonde?

The Hound and I have just spent 2 hours in Burghley Park frolicking in snow that is up to 2 foot deep. We spent the first 25 minutes reflecting on things, you know the usual life, love, squirrels. The last hour and 35 minutes were spent looking for the keys I had obviously dropped somewhere in the 10,000 acres that is the park.
After an hour of looking we hit upon the plan of a metal detector, but couldn't think of anyone we knew that one - mental note made to widen my circle of friends. Instead we kept looking and pondered the best way of telling Mr Ferrari we had lost the keys to The Navarra. Just as the tears set in, and the snow started to fall again, there they were.
It was nothing short of a miracle, suddenly the problems of this morning seem daft, and I am off to buy a lanyard for future snow walking - I think McLaren do a nice one.


How to arrange flowers

You will need

1 Bonne Maman jar
1 bunch of spring flowers

Cut flowers at a 45 degree angle, place in jar filled with lukewarm water and a bit of a steri tab. Sit back and enjoy, marvel at your talents, impress friends and revel in their compliments.


We made it in.

Powered by Navarra, we made it into the shop this morning, to be greeted by sheet ice roads and pavements.

The solution was salt, I bought the last salt in Stamford.

We also discovered the merits of Paint charts as bridal swatches, and painted another piece of furniture - Moroccan Velvet 3.



A gentleman has asked me to make his girlfriend's Valentine's Day extra special.
I am assuming that he meant providing stunning flowers, and not an invitation to join them in a threesome.

Where I blog

Life is black and white

1. The Garden at The Shop, 2. Ranunculus 3. Phalenopsis orchids, 4. Swissify your Valentine's message


Frolicking, photo shoots and the FT.

The Hound is fond of the snow, packed off with a piece of Kendal mint cake and a woolly scarf, he has frolicked in the field all morning.

Yesterday Mr Crush came to take lots of photographs. He is a real life professional, with fancy Nikon camera and an umbrella. Do you think Crush might just be the coolest surname in the world? We have another shoot happening next week for a gardening magazine.

I love the Financial Times, informative and it comes in pink.

Last night I had dinner out here, the place where everybody knows your name. I had the chicken everybody else had the Halibut. Good food, fabulous company and a glass of the good stuff - treats indeed.

We will endeavour to get into the shop tomorrow, hopefully lorries won't block Barnsdale Hill, and Rutland County Council will have found some grit.

Snowed in

We have awoken this morning to a lot of snow. The picture believe it or not, is of the truck, and my next door neighbours Aston Martin - neither of which are able to get off the driveway. Which means that for this morning at least the shop is Ferme.

The Hound and are are mounting an expedition Chez Mother Hen, as we have no food. All I could find in the freezer to feed him on was a chicken kiev from Marks and Sparks. On our return I will post of this weeks adventures, photo shoots, dinners out, and the odd flower.

Keep warm, curl up with your lover and watch Phil and Fern.x



The Hound has asked me to make clear to everyone that despite recent events: he is, has, and always will be a loyal McLaren fan. No doubt about it.

Road trip

The Other Miss Pickering and I have been on a road trip, she drove there, note the five to two driving position, and new jumper. I took photos of road signs.
We reminisced, laughed,and sang a lot of Rod Stewart - it was marvellous.