But don't forget who's taking you home

And in whose arms you're gonna be
So darlin', save the last dance for me.

The Drifters.

Today i feel like a bride must feel after her wedding. Having invested so much emotion, and excitement into yesterday, this morning leaves you feeling happy, but knowing that you won't be wearing that dress today.

The alarm went off very early, as we have weddings of our own to attend to. I have just come back from a wisteria clad George hotel, where i festooned a 3 tier chocolate cake in trails of pink flowering jasmine. I have never known a cake smell so delicious.

Tomorrow Hambleton Hall, an explosion of peonies, and scented foliage. Hambleton is where i would marry, when the sun shines on Rutland Water the view from the terrace looks like the Cote D'Azur.

The Hound is in a post wedding slump, he has been reading The Telegraph looking for Clara's pictures and carb loading on the commemorative shortbread.

High points
Watching it all chez The Stamford Hen
The dress
The trees
The Aston
The choir
Her poise
The obvious love affair
The flypast

Low points
Beatrice and Eugenie looked like they were going to Aintree
The Beckhams, no class, and what is going on with David's eyebrows?
SamCam, no hat, pashmina in hand, weird hair things from Accessorise
Pippa's St. Tropez
The cardigan

and now the official photographs are out.

Shop windows tomorrow, i haven't forgotten.

Did you have a high point?


and thereto I give thee my troth.

Perfection. The dress, McQueen as we all knew,the flowers,foliage. The kiss far too fleeting.

Tears, Champagne, English breakfast,pride.

Proper post tomorrow, more photographs of the television.Opinion.

But for now i have to return to the proper business of this weekends wedding.

The scent of jasmine,freesia,and rosemary is calling.

It is enough to make even a commitment phobic like myself think.

This green and pleasant land may have it's faults,but we do weddings so very well.


They made a statue of us

And it put it on a mountain top
Now tourists come and stare at us
Blow bubbles with their gum
Take photographs have fun, have fun

Regina Spektor, 500 days of summer, a tale of boy meets girl, woke us at 5.30 am. A growl eminated from a basket, and it was declared too cold to get up, but we listened to the rest of the album.
1. The work bench, red lipstick, coffee, dog chew, Blackberry, flowers, my so called life. I have lost the lid to the lipstick, it lives on the workbench, for emergency application. For times when you want to hide in the cupboard. Like today.

2. Pink, white or not, entirely unintentional, it must say something about my mood.

3. White and sandstone. Sandstone is my new favourite thing.

I went for the Blackberry again, i know you all said i-phone, i even had several emails really telling me to get an i-phone. It started to feel like a cult, and i'm not really into those.

My Royal wedding fever is out of control, i actually just jumped up and down whilst waving a flag, i am so excited to see the flowers. Foliage a go go. Deep joy. If you are not really into the wedding, i would avoid any contact with me tomorrow.

 Commemorative biscuit tins R us.


Kiss me

 beneath the milky twilight
Lead me, out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance
Silver moon's sparkling,
So kiss me

Sixpence none the richer woke me this morning, form the Dawson's Creek soundtrack. I used to watch Dawson's creek.

I was going to waffle on about all sorts of things today, but then a lady came in.

"My sister is getting married in 20 minutes, could you make her a bouquet?"

I have always been a big fan of spontaneity.

I made the above bouquet in 3.5 minutes, plus .5 of a minute to quickly photograph it badly.



It has been a gastronomic weekend, Easter Sunday spent chez Ma Hen. A chance to utilise the new bank of ovens, and dining out here, and here.

1. An Easter table centre made with cowparsley, hazel and daffodils cut from the garden, the sun was shining, the birds tweeting, flower scissors and a vast garden it was whimsical.

2. The new ovens.

3. The Easter cake with the baby chicks. When we were younger my sister and i used to spend hours in the shop choosing the chicks with the prettiest faces. I think these particular chicks were once pretty, but may have resided for too long in the kitchen drawer.

4. Easter / Christmas lunch

Then last night dinner and a movie with Bert.

I am a very lucky girl.

What of your Easter? Did you consume far too much chocolate? Did you watch the Kate and Wills drama on channel 5? Do tell.


How i became a cover girl for the day

Nobody was more surprised than i to find myself on the cover of the Telegraph Life section. I had expected a little piece like the one before

So the tale of how it came to be, and no i don't have a PR.

Garden columnist Bunny Guinness telephoned to ask me my suggestions for a Royal Wedding party. I talked of a glamping approach, bringing fine china and furniture into the garden. I can't abide paper plates.

I had planned to do a mini shoot for the blog in celebration of all things Royal wedding, and we decided maybe a Telegraph photographer could come along and get some details shots, in 2 days time. Panic.

There was no way a Telegraph photographer was coming to my garden. I asked The Mother Hen and The Captain.

" You have only been in your new house a week, but could i drag loads of furniture into your garden, nail lampshades to the trees, and borrow your fancy china? and could you help me carry it the mile to the bottom of the garden? and provide homemade biscuits? I will also bring The Other Miss Pickering to help"

Having me as a daughter is a real treat. A real treat.

and so Clara Molden came, and we ate the biscuits and drank tea, and styled and shot and talked of George Clooney and Royal Weddings. I didn't know they were going to take my picture, otherwise i would have defrizzed my fringe. Obvs.

Special thanks go to Angela at The Missing Curtain ( a stylists dream) for the provision of actual silver, Roger and Sue from The Hair House for the large vintage Union Jack, and to my chimney sweep for making me laugh and cry.

The Hound wasn't there, he had important boy stuff to do, and as he rightly said, it isn't like i haven't been in the paper before.....

After appearing in the You magazine, i was bombarded with calls from perverts. This time people are enquiring about all manner of things, but as one would expect from a Telegraph reader, their spelling and grammar is faultless.

Good times.


Happy Easter and The Sunday Telegraph

It would appear we made the cover of the Life section, you know the one, the one with the puzzles.

There is also a bit inside. The photographer was Clara Molden, she was brilliant.

Tomorrow i will give you a behind the scenes look, and maybe in the week some how-to's, so that you can throw your own party of silver (plate) and red roses, and trees festooned with fancy lamps.

This mornings breakfast was a biscuit, made by one of my brides, and an Easter Egg with my name on it.

Now it is off to The Mother Hen's for Christmas lunch.

Also last night i went out for dinner, and witnessed an actual marriage proposal. Not mine. The man at the table opposite. He had had "marry me?" iced onto a big Easter Egg. Brilliant.

She said yes, and apparently is never going to eat the egg.

Happy Easter

Miss P.



A Good Friday


i made you an Easter still life.

It is now only 2 days until we are featured in the Sunday Telegraph. Will you buy it?

This morning i encountered a man and a big box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts all the way from London. the doughnuts not the man.

My inbox is filled with flower shops and their Royal Wedding windows, keep them coming. I have also allowed cake shops.

The Farmers' market is here again today.

I have red nails.

Things that are not so good.

Hambleton Bakery sold out of Hot cross buns at 10am.

I dropped my Blackberry into a sink of water. It is not doing well. I am overdue for an upgrade. Blackberry Torch or Iphone? I am going to the shop at 5pm, so you have until then to vote.

Have a fabulous Easter, may it be filled with chocolate eggs, simnel cake and hotcross buns.

We are having Christmas pudding.

Convention and my family are not friends.

We will be back on Sunday, to shout about the Telegraph feature.



How to make a Spring tablecentre

Perhaps for Easter, or a Spring Wedding, or just for everyday use if you are fancy. Chop down garden foliage, mint, rosemary, tree, blossom, sage, anything you can lay your hands on.

1. Start with a foam based Oasis ring, this one is 8 inches, it has a small hole, the other sort is for stiff funeral wreaths, don't use that kind.

2. Soak it in water that has a drop of sterilising solution added to it, chamfer the edge. Add your foliage at a 45 degree angle all around.

3. Add big flowers like kooh-i-noor hyacinths, and floretted hydrangea.

4. Add more flowers, tulips, ranunculus, roses, whatever you have lying around. Daffodils would be good, mine aren't open, otherwise i might have put them in.

5. You could leave it there, but to me it is too stiff, for the full Miss P. treatment, you need to spend another half an hour "tweaking" Add other things, heads of scabiosa seed heads, bleeding heart, jasmine, rosemary, maybe some mini egss.

6. Place an old jar in the centre, pop in a candle et voila.

7. Or add a cake stand and disproportionately small cake.

Sit back, sip a gin listen to some good music, and pat yourself on the back. Job done.


Holding out for a hero

Bonnie Tyler. Brilliant. We are on an 80's top 100 vibe.
Flocks of seagulls and everything.

We also have hydrangea ,Francesca this picture is for you, and Mr Poirot.

Daffodils and Narcissus. For it is Easter, and Passover.

If it stands still long enough i will put viburnum opulus in it.

I made my packed lunch, and brought it in. I picked the chicken and sweet potato off the top and am now left with a large box of lettuce, sprouted beans and seeds, and an overwhelming desire to sink my teeth into a cream slice.

Audience participation:

Are you a florist? With a shop window? Yes? Are you doing a Royal Wedding shop window?

Great, us too, and by way of celebration of our talents, i thought i might do a whole post devoted to windows, including yours. Email me with an image, and a link to your website, and we shall do a celebratory post next week. Mrs B and The Beautiful people are already on it.

Make the images small, if you clog up my inbox with large images, you will be disqualified. That job is the reserve of my brides.

We are embracing it here, i am over people in the wedding industry raining on the parade. All eyes are on us and it is a chance to showcase the incredibly skilled and talented people in the industry, dressmakers, florists, cake makers, stationers, photographers.

Whatever your thoughts on the monarchy, labelling it dull because they might not be having a photo booth or cupcakes is shortsighted.


Roasted rhubarb and breast of lamb

I had one of those days, a day where you switch the oven on, and just keep putting things in it, because it's already on.

I bought breast of lamb, it was reduced, they quite often are. Bonus. Salty nuggets of anchovy fillets, breadcrumbs, every herb in the garden, and chargrilled pepper bound together with an egg, and stuffed into the breast. Rolled up and held together with bamboo skewers, fearing a Bridget Jones moment, i decided against garden twine.

Roasted in the oven, next to a tray of homegrown rhubarb sprinkled with lavender sugar and a generous squeeze of lemon. Poured onto the top of a pot of yoghurt and eaten straight from the pot, sorry Mummy.

The lamb was served with a cucumber salad, and by that i mean cucumber tossed in olive oil, salt, lemon and chopped mint.

As the oven was still on, sweet potato and Gruyere crispy things, i burnt them, they are not pretty, The Hound refused to eat them. After the event i found the recipe that inspired them, and it is supposed to be squash and Parmesan.

You win some you lose some.

So now we have enough food to last us a week, packed lunches made, and left behind in the fridge.

Instead we are eating Easter eggs, and a parcel received this morning from Cityboy1. The parcel contained cake.

I also have a chicken that needs cooking, and i am taking suggestions....


A sneak peek

into what happened when Daily Telegraph photographer Clara Molden and I spent some time in the garden of The Captain and The Mother Hen.

I took flowers and a few other things.

This is not one of Clara's photographs, it is another one of my SOOC chestnuts.

You should definitely head to her website to see her amazing work, and you might see a few faces you recognise.

She was so lovely and interesting, tomorrow she is off to photograph the Royal Wedding cake, and on the 29th is heading to a certain Abbey in Westminster to photograph some people called Will and Kate.

Now we have a new photographers website we can all stalk. Brilliant.

Details of publication and a massive massive list of people i need to thank coming up soon.


Working Lunch

Thank you for the top tip, sorry I missed your call, good luck tonight.


Royal Rosa


We have jumped on the Royal Wedding bandwagon. Scoured the shops for books to quench our fever, and discovered that the Royals have actually had some "blog-worthy" details, and not a photo booth or fake moustache in sight.


It seems the Royals had a penchant for fresh flower garlands on their dresses, Queens Alexandra and Mary, pioneers. Then the Grace Kelly coolness of the Duchess of Kent.

Princess Anne's hair may not have changed in decades, but her wedding dress wouldn't look out of place on the catwalk of David Fielden

and then there is King George VI, long before he became famous as Bertie in the Kings speech and won an Oscar and all. Loving the veil.

Obviously then there was Diana, and Fergie with her flowers that became a tiara moment, but the book was published before then..

I don't know what Kate will carry, i hope it is something with a bit of colour, but i hope they don't try and do soemthing too casual, or try and be "one of us" it never works.

I want pomp and I want ceremony.

Also i was reminded of the last time i commented on Royal Wedding flowers.....and got my knickers in a twist.

Newsflash Kate will be wearing her hair DOWN.