Another dresser

Ordinarily when purchasing large pieces of furniture you would measure the space carefully, agonise over what style to buy, and ensure it was functional. You probably wouldn't go dresser shopping with The Mother Hen (who it must be noted had done all of the above and had a tape measure in her bag) and suddenly say I'll take that one.

Now it is in the shop, it looks a lot bigger, too big for the space intended, but it does block of the work area hiding the mess. Obviously it needs a lick of paint, but what colour, I am not sure I can be trusted One of my poshest customers has just suggested I stick to something from Farrow and Ball, but that has just brought out the rebellious side of me, i am thinking cerise.....

Also if you are enjoying some divine Italian food cooked by Mr Ferrari, and talking of making voyage to Tuscany and generally getting quite carried away with all things Italian, DO NOT under any circumstances say YES when he asks "Should we open another bottle of Chianti?" Just say NO. Do you remember Zammo?


Why Monsieur! You are really spoiling us.

A wedding anniversary gift of whites and navy blue viburnum tinus, with a hint of mimosa.
I have a serious crush on Mr Sarkozy. He is always so well dressed. Why can't our political leaders dress a little smarter? Enough of the Marks and Spencer "look I am just the same as all of you" jumpers, start wearing something that says "I am a statesman" Whilst we are on the subject Mr Paxman, you need a haircut.
What in the world possessed me to buy glitter apples? They could be the turquoise glitter sticks of last Christmas.

Anyone in the wedding industry, click here Wedinator brilliant, thanking you kindly Mr Cann.

Also I have become the official training model for the beauty salon Equilibrium, I have gel nails, which is a very strange thing for a florist, but by jove they are still on. You can't pick up coins from the floor however, just leave it, it is way too embarrassing to spend 10 minutes of your life attempting to retrieve a 5p piece. I have also been treated to a Thlago facial, seaweed is great in any format, but as a face mask?....fabulous.
Fake nails, fake hair, could the Range Rover be in a navy blue? I am now one seriously high maintenance girl. Before I was the worst type, high maintenance that thinks she's low maintenance. Remember that film?

I am frightfully busy, but will doubtless be along later with a puppy that needs a home


How to make an advent arrangement.

1. Select a suitable old pot, if it is not watertight, just insert a yoghurt pot or cut down Evian bottle. Terracotta is very nice, particularly if it has been sitting in the garden for a century or two, but it is porous, so line with cellophane first.
2. Soak some foam, and secure in the pot. This can be done with floral tack and a frog, or some pot tape, or just fitting it nice and snug.
3. Wire up your candle, this is the single most boring photograph on this blog, but the candle needs to be secure.
3. Stick candle on foam, insert foliage from the garden of a suitable Christmas nature. You can also add flowers, these won't last all of advent, but you can replace them when they go over.
4. I happened to use a pot leftover from the wedding fayre, nipped out to Coleman, and bought the 4. Brilliant.
5. This morning The Hound was on greeting duty, he is now in his mood room, looking at pictures of Peter Bowles and cheese.

Other things that deserve a mention

Jimmy's Food Factory, seeing food made on an industrial scale, and recreating it in a barn? Masterchef meets Scrapheap challenge. I sort of knew potato snacks weren't made of actual potato, but dehydrated starch water....new series please.
SuBo, very uncomfortable to watch, but I like the wild horses.


Finally some flowers and the tale of how I became Rapunzel

Pots of roses, and Christmas in old glass.

Do you remember back in the summer I had my hair cut short?, this was a knee-jerk reaction to a small hiccup in my personal life, for 2 days I felt liberated, and then I didn't and got cross with myself for chopping off my goldilocks. Since then I have begged my hair to grow back, talked nicely to it, intensive conditioned it, and taken vitamins.
Last week the lovely people at the Hair House behind the shop gave me real hair extensions, my hair is much longer than it ever was. I look exactly like Cheryl Cole, apart from the fact that I am blond and a lot taller.

Tomorrow I will share my tale of nail extensions, seriously all I need now is a Birkin, and a Range Rover.....I don't need a footballer.


The outakes

I know I promised you flowers and tales of long hair, but they will be along later. Much later I will also do a HOW TO. Stay tuned.

Last night we tried to make a card of The Hound in Christmas outfit. 2 sets of reindeer antlers and a Santa's hat. He loved every minute of it.

Then he stopped loving it, and exacted his revenge. The winds have blown an elder tree down in the garden, which in turn has brought down even more of the fencing.

The Hound sits by the fallen fence with a look that says....
"Enough, you promised Mario Testino, unless you desist in taking my photograph, I will hop through this hole, and you will spend hours looking for me, screaming my name, crying, thinking I have run off forever.

"What's it to be?"

We stopped.


The magazine is out

1. and 2. The magazine, extends to 5 pages, but the 5th page is a full page of me, and you don't need that on a Tuesday lunchtime.
3. My beloved boy.
4. Currently loving tassels
5. An impromptu dinner for friends, roast a piece of belly pork on top of 2 fennel bulbs, serve with roast things from the bottom of the fridge, and white bean mash. Plonk it all on a big vintage platter and dig in. It would benefit from something green, but the broccoli at the bottom of the fridge was more of a liquid.....
I like putting everything on one big platter, everyone can help themselves, no feeling compelled to eat the vegetables you don't like.

Tomorrow I will bring you some pretty flowers, and I will tell you the tale of The Great St.Paul's Street beauty project. I now have long hair, very long hair.

Christmas stockings

I am not one for jewellery, but one of these Tiffany keys would be just peachy.

Not to be outdone in the neckwear department, The Hound wants a Petcam, so he can make movies.


My family and other animals

Once upon a time, my grandfather owned a business that made potato picking baskets. He died long before I was born.

He called this business Arthur Pickering Wireworks.

In my family we spend a lot of time dreaming up imaginative company names.

I love the baskets, but not potato.


Jewel colours and paper garlands

Tablecentres for a party, have helped to detract peoples attention away from the window. The Hound and I attempted to make paper chains last night, although after welcoming in the Beaujolais Nouveau, we didn't get on quite as well as we had hoped. The Hound kept sticking them on himself, which he thought was a great hoot. He started with a bangle, which turned into 4 full on legwarmers, a jaunty hat and a multi-stranded necklace. So instead we have piled all the odds and ends on top of Ye Olde wooden crates.....twee.

Also we discovered Poppy is looking for a home, and oh my I would love a red skirt.

May your days be merry and bright


A work in progress

I am struggling with the first of the Christmas windows. I had planned a vintage mercury vase theme, but we sold a lot of that before it went in the window. It is currently an assortment of things, and looks decidedly unfestive. I wouldn't mind, but people keep telling me how they are looking forward to seeing this years display.

I have the idea, I am just failing to translate it. I think I need a tree, everything is better with the inclusion of a tree.
We do however have old glass with tealights.


Roll up, Roll up....for the Great Annual Christmas Wreath course.

To be held on Monday December the 14th, at 9.30 a.m.
It will be a spectacular spectacular.

Learn to make a proper Christmas Wreath, with brass rings, moss and reel wire* Festoon it with blue spruce, holly, ivy, and whatever else takes your fancy.

Later there will be lunch and a glass of vino

Entrance fee £90.00

Please note it will take place in a cold shop, so Ugg up, bring gloves if you like, don your thermals, be strong of voice for caroling, and The Hound has promised to make baked goods of a festive nature.

Places are limited, email us on flowers(at)misspickering(dot)com to book your place.

Pictured above are some wreaths, the first one I made yesterday with old man's beard, and ivy gathered on our weekend stroll. Fuelled by Chicken stew and dumplings, and what is now to be called Christmas lamb stew. Recipe to follow. The others are from last year, but inspiring none the less.

Also I realise I said I would give details of this course on Monday, and it is now Tuesday, whatever.

*We will also be selling kits so that if you are already empowered with the knowledge of wreath making you can do so in the comfort of your own home.

* We will also be selling the oasis rings, for those that like their wreath protruding out at an odd angle, but we won't be teaching that.....soak oasis, insert foliage...what's to learn?


A rare insight

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If you come in for a bridal consultation, you will probably get more of an insight into the life of Miss P, than you bargained for.
We don't have a snazzy consultation room with sofas and running champagne. We hold them in the middle of the shop, around a table on an eclectic mix of stools and chairs, it means that i can jump up and down grabbing flowers, thrusting roughly mocked up bouquets at the bride, and cutting off rose heads to pin onto the groom. A much easier way for both to visualise, what the end result might look like.
We also look at the tens of thousand pictures of previous events on the laptop.
As I photograph everything, sometimes when flicking between Pink at Burghley or a Labour of love you might also get to see Mr F in a false moustache (number 2 in a collection of 47) Robin Hood's Bay, my favourite place ever, Me and The Other Miss Pickering, or just things that I have right clicked and saved as for inspiration. This card from Ghost Academy.

Book early to avoid disapointment.

Red and pink and cyclamen buds

1. and 2. I have been in a pink and red mood today.
3. Christmas wreath samples are in production, workshop dates to be announced on Monday. Stay tuned.
4. The Hound.... getting it on with a bit of euc.


Puppies are like pringles......

Once you start you just can't stop. Stig needs a home*, How can anyone have given him up? I don't think The Hound will take too kindly to another boy, otherwise I would be there like a shot.

*See here for Greyhound Gap contact

Good shelving and crystal pineapples

Yesterday we installed some flowers at Elizabeth Stanhope for a book signing by William Yeoward. It's a shop with nice shelving, that I wish we had the ceiling height for, and they sell crystal pineapples.

Hooray for
Old girls joining the Red Arrows
Pleeeeeeease may I have one?
Candle light in the shop
Pots filled with hyacinth

Boo for
The express check out at M&S, it's not, wiley old ladies can put a lot of things in a basket.
It is not long before I will be another year older.

Bonne weekend, we will be installing Christmas, wreaths a-go-go. It's not too early, people are ordering them already.



I'm loving it

Is that the slogan for Pepsi or the McDonalds?, imagine it said by Mr JT.

If you happen to one day overhear a conversation between 2 florists, there will be whinging. We moan to one another about suppliers, brides, customers, the cold, and all manner of other things. That's because quite often only another florist understands. This is why we are all friends, so that we will always have someone to whinge to.

What you won't hear is that some mornings,like this morning, we get so terribly excited over a big pile of ranunculus and parrot tulips, that we might do a little dance, and perhaps a small song, containing exclamations of how we love floristry. You won't hear that, because we won't admit it in front of another florist.....that would make us a geek, and we all like to think we are cool enough to sit on the back seat of the bus. I never took the bus to school.

At times like this The Hound, curls up in his bed and says "Talk to the paw"


Looks like an early wnter

I don't remember it being this cold, this time last year. Conversation between florists, (you see we are all great pals) is not of rose types, or the latest celebrity atrocity in Hello magazine. It is of thermals, where to buy the best, the prettiest, the one's that come in a wider selection of colours. To ugg or not to ugg, warming soup and of course the return of florist face.

We are filling seashells with pale roses, The Hound is tucked up in his new "In the style of" Missoni duvet, and dreaming of a weekend in Morocco. Gwen Stefani is providing the appropriate soundtrack.

A bit more from the show

It was an early start, The Other Miss Pickering and I rendez-voused at the shop at 6, and loaded up an eclectic assortment of furniture and some flowers.
Later The Mother Hen arrived, and all was well.

It was a funny old day, buoyed up by strong coffee from Mr Reid, and Laduree macaroons from the beautiful people. I still had hair extensions in from a party for the Stamford Hen the night before. Britney Spears eat your heart out, but at least I wasn't wearing a shiny suit.....xxx

We met some lovely new brides, with exciting ideas and venues, and caught up with existing ones. We mingled with other vendors....even other florists, contrary to popular belief we all get on....well nearly all of us. Life is just too short, and there are plenty of brides to go around.

My apologises to the group of ladies who came to catch a glimpse and discover the identity of Mr Ferrari, he was doing boy things with The Hound.

p.s. the numbers on the old jars have caused quite a stir, they are simply wheelie bin numbers. Effective are they not? Woe betide anyone that uses those cast iron stands.