Will you stand still for one second!

I am in Ted Martin's collecting flowers for a workshop I am running in Worcestershire tomorrow. The girls have been in since 6.30am as they have a large event to organise. Even so they have put all my order neatly aside for me - for which I think they definitely deserve croissants and cups of tea. 
Trying to get them to stop still for a photo however is another days work!
(From left to right; Jennifer, Julie, Clare and Sarah) 
The event they are preparing for is all based around white and green, and as I look at the banks of lilies, roses and amaryllis in the shop, I think it is a combination that is hard to beat.
Add in fat bundles of white tulips and I am sold!

A Rainy Day in the Flower Shop

On a dreary, rainy day there is no nicer place to be, in my opinion, than inside a busy flower shop. So for me this is a very good day; it may be slate grey outside but I am in Ted Martin Flowers tucked in a corner with my camera and lights to photograph some shots for my new book. Jennifer and Claire are in working so there is also a constant supply of coffee and conversation. Bliss!
As I am working I tuck away some hyacinths and anemones for later. We are going to supper with friends; Deena and Alan and I think they will make a good gift. We are meeting up with them a bit later than normal to give Alan and our friend Tim time to get back from running a marathon - all part of their training for when they run 6 marathons across the Sahara Desert in 6 days! You have to admire that sort of madness! Especially as they are raising money for Msaada and Cancer Research (Deena lost both parents to cancer within a year of each other). 
(If you would like to support them go on to the Just Giving site and search for Tim Wood or Alan Geal)
After a great day in the shop I head home with a bag full of flower heads (I was photographing something where they needed to be cut short). I definitely do not want to throw the flowers away so I take out a shallow dish, make a lattice out of selotape across the top and slot the short stems in the gaps. It is now happily brightening up my kitchen table.

A Splash of Purple

I am heading off to friends for lunch so decide the only thing to take is a posy of flowers. (I think my friends would be really disappointed if I decided to bring chocolates for a change!) I call into Wild Paeony in Shaftesbury to see how their Christmases went, and because I know they often have small posies made up, for just such an occasion.
The window is filled with stone coloured vases of elegant, aubergine tulips and there are also large, purple anemones dotted around the shop.I choose a posy of hyacinths and narcissi that I think will fill my friends' kitchen (and my car) with a wonderful fragrance.

Painting in the New Year

Rather than adding snowy scenes to my blog I thought I would bring you a bit of sunshine, a blue sea, and of course, some flowers - to say a belated Happy New Year.
I have been busy organising a fundraiser for Msaada and unlike my normal experience of fundraising, this has been a complete joy to do. A really heart warming experience.
I gave out 100 12" square chunky canvasses and paints - mainly to complete amateurs and everyone had to complete a picture by January. Well the response has been amazing!
Most people used acrylics, but some made collages, used oil paints, car spray paint (!), one lady even knitted hers! Here are just a few to give you a tastier of the amazing quality that is coming in. All will be exhibited at First-View, The Gallery at Stourhead from 19th - 21st Feb.
Most will be on sale there and some will be auctioned at a dance - The Paint Ball - which will take place the following week.

One mother and daughter who have taken a canvas each tell me that they wanted to reflect how Rwandan women help each other so have asked their close girlfriends and female relatives to come around and, wearing bright lipsticks, to kiss their canvasses and to sign a message.
How good is that? It made me want to cry.
So, if you are in the area in February, do come to the National Trust at Stourhead and see the pictures - and you can always put in a bid for these gorgeous paintings I have shown above.
1. Morning Sun by Hazel Heritage
2. Praa Sands by Bea Coward
3. A Passion for Flowers by Jane Wood
4. Oriental Lilies by Fiona Browse


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