Twenty years ago today, as the clock struck 6am, I was already in my London flower shop, The Lemon Tree. That day we organised nearly 300 flower deliveries and did not stop until 8pm, when we all sank into sofas in our flat above the shop with glasses of wine and a curry. Except, I didn't have the wine as I was 81/2 months pregnant! Some people say the spices in curry will hurry on a baby (some might say being a busy florist has the same effect) but what ever it was, my daughter Alexandra Philippa Page was born on February 15th 1990 at 5.30pm.
Happy Birthday for tomorrow Alex!
This Valentine's Day I have the pleasure of fond memories, the chance to visit my flower shop friends, without quite so much hard work! Sounds very good to me.
First stop, naturally, is Ted Martin Flowers - the subject of my first two books. I am delighted to see Ted has a poster in her window promoting our painting exhibition (see blog below) with a note saying that florists Sarah and Kate have submitted paintings. Both created beautiful and fun pictures using a mixture of paints and collage. I am going to show you Kate's here as it is so perfect for Valentine's Day. To see Sarah's 'Burleigh Angel' you will just have to come to the exhibition!
The shop is experiencing a brief lull when I arrive and then, like a wave, the next customers arrive; elderly couples, young women, dads with their daughters in tow for some advice, and of course the anxious looking, young men.
One young customers is wearing the perfect coat, so I ask if I can take a photograph of her amongst the flowers.
There are gorgeous bouquets and posies all ready for delivery, but I am also drawn to this small jug filled with broken flower heads that sits quietly on the dresser.
After a brief chat with Ted and the girls, next stop is to see Vicky and Anna at Wild Paeony in Shaftesbury. Anna's trade mark is fabulous red lipstick - perfect for Valentine's Day!
Vicky is whizzing through orders for bouquets and they are also kept busy making up 'ready to go' poises for the shop. 'So much easier for those worried looking men!', Anna laughs.
I make Vicky stand still for one moment so I can photograph this lovely mix of roses, tulips, ranunculus and waxflower, and can't help wondering if I will get any flower today?
Happy Valentine's Day!