Is it on the trolley?

Of all the things i have acquired in the name of shop fittings, I think this ex-Red Cross trolley is going to be one of the best.

I love the stainless steel shelves, but the frame could do with a respray.

What colour?

I am leaning towards chartreuse, or neon orange.

It was whilst pushing it back to the shop that somebody shouted "is it on the trolley?" and i replied with "it's got good castors, been right over to cutlery"

Victoria Wood

It probably doesn't translate.

but it is awfully reminiscent of somewhere...

The viburnum opulus i cut from the garden, some pieces were 5ft tall. Who needs a Dutchman?

The answer to that is anybody who wants to make anything with any scale or consistency.

One for the florists.

In other news a new window is in, an homage to Liberace or "where the hell am i supposed to out all these candelabra and china swans?"


Coins and carrier bags

A Bank Holiday means a car boot sale, a sunny Bank holiday means a busy car boot sale.

Armed with loose change and plenty of carrier bags, we set off in search of treasure.

I think I'm more fascinated by the boot holders than the things they are selling. The people who are doing it for the first time, with a wallpaper pasting table that will sag within half an hour. The ones who are selling plants from their allotments - my personal favourites, the dealers getting rid of superfluous stock, the old couple armed with a copy of Millers Antiques 1983.

You never buy what you went for, but there is always something, an enormous bronze Beswick window vase, a beautiful copper mug, and countless digitalis plants yesterday. The haggling, the noting where things are and going back an hour later to see if it is still there, the endless trips back to the car to allow hands free to rummage.

and a silver rose bowl, which i filled with bits from the garden and a few leftover wedding roses, it is now sitting on my 1930's dressing table, looking like a scene from Miss Marple.

It is a weird thing florists do, spend all week arranging flowers and then do it in your spare time too. I should probably get a life, or take a husband.


The Floral Coalition flower school

En route to the station to collect Lotte, i got stuck behind "tractor fun day" aside from wondering if my life could be anymore of a cliche? I pondered how Lotte and I actually "met" because people were bound to ask, and would she like the shop? and what if she thought the vases I'd put everything in were awful? and seriously how many tractors? and what is fun about this?

There are few people more insecure than florists.

I needn't have worried, the shop looked beautiful, the flowers we had spent hours on the phone discussing were just perfect, and the sun was shining making Stamford look even prettier. We moved furniture, made up goodie bags, cut foliage from The Stamford Hen's garden, messed about in fields, drank gin, admired The Hound, and did that things that all florists do when you get more than one together - "have you used such and such lately?" "Did you see that post on such and such?""I once had a bride...."

and then it was time, and all the people came from far and wide, some drove half way across the country, some flew half way across the world, just for the day.

We started with a demonstration of an urn arrangement, 2 florists 2 arrangements. The differences in how we worked and what we used fascinated me, and the class. I have discovered a love for using apricots, i want to use them in all the things now.

Then everybody made one, let loose on the exact same flowers, same vessel. Completely different arrangements. Amazing. Later we made corsages, and then had a lunch at the pub, and there were hand tied bouquets and then we made a huge table-scape.

and throughout all of this we chatted, swapped stories, learnt about the flowers used in South Korea, and discussed the merits of a 7 in one paint stripper, and were all photographed by Cara, who rather amazingly offered up her services as official photographer.

An enormous thank you to everybody that came for being a part of it all.

There will be more, we have plans, great big plans, if you want the heads up on the next one. Sign up ici.

News just in, official pictures here.

and how did Lotte and I actually meet? We aren't really sure, just through being florists with blogs. The internets are full of nonsense, but at times bloody amazing.



was The Floral Coalition flower school.

Lotte and I taught an amazing group of people who came from very far and wide.

The above picture is of one of their pieces.

It was the most wonderful day.

More images and behind the scenes tales tomorrow.


On the workbench

Next week is the The Floral Coalition flower school.

Lotte and I spoke this morning early, to discuss the flowers we are going to procure. At first glance our work is quite similar, but when you actually look at it, very different.

I am fascinated by this, and can't wait to see the differences in how and what we make.

Sort of like being a spy on the wall in somebody elses' workroom.

Isn't that what all florists would wish for given the chance?

Apart from world peace obvs.


Things you are going to need if you want to be a florist

Part 1 of an occasional series

This is the single most useful thing i own. It's a 4 pint plastic jug.

Large enough to part fill most vases, small enough to fit under most taps.

Even the one in that village church where the sink is really small and you have to get the key from the old trout sweet lady in the cottage opposite who will make you jump through hoops and never be in when she says she will, because the bride chose you to do the church flowers and not the church flower ladies.


Don't you forget about me

There is a bit missing, the bit where i forgot the rhubarb was in the oven, and burnt it.

Not fully burnt just heavily caramelised the edges, but enough to rifle through the cupboards in search of a tin of fruit to add to the spoonful of rhubarb left.

No tins of fruit, no jars of weird peaches in honey.

but i did find a jar of stem ginger in syrup which added the necessary hydration, and sweetness.

and a tin of cardamon flavoured evaporated milk which the sell by date said 2006, but it was fine.

The crumble topping was a paleo inspired, ground almond, and coconut oil with the last of a packet of walnuts.

Overall it was a crumble with eastern promise, which exactly what i had planned......

Winging it at the very last minute,

I think this is why so many florists seem to be good cooks.

Simple Minds


The floral calendar

according to the instagram goes something like this

All the things in my garden!!!!
Look at the size of my cafe au lait dahlias!
Christmas wreaths!

In this country we are currently somewhere between the blossom and the peonies.

I have peonies here, they came in this morning, like an old lover, bold as brass, expecting you to be as in love with them now as you were then.

I am still at the sneering stage, remembering the bad times.




and in the order that blogger deemed appropriate

wedding flowers

chandelier fetish

blossom obvs.

new/ old vases for weddings.

There hasn't been a food post for ages, i seem to be eating the same thing over and over again.

Are there any good food blogs to inspire?