It is time to turn my attention back to my first love; flower shops. It has been fun to write about vintage fabrics, supper parties and the opera, but here at The Garden Room in Taunton I can once again immerse myself in the sight and fragrance of fresh flowers.
(I nearly wrote 'the sight, sound and fragrance', - well there may not be much sound but if there was it would certainly be a happy burbling ...or maybe that's just me I can hear!)
We visit The Garden Room as part as our Big Day Out. Florist friends, Jennifer and Sarah, myself and my daughter Libby are exploring some of the shops we have heard lots about, but have never got around to visiting. Until, that is, today.
Today is a day for wet feet. Damp, when we are wandering through dreary drizzle, becoming sodden as we try to dodge drenching downpours. We refuse to let it effect our spirits and use it as a great excuse to dry out on sofas in a nearby Italian deli with cups of coffee and plates of cake.
The Garden Room is a small, but exquisite shop and from here flowers are sent to hotels and hospitals, arrangements are made for weddings and parties; including in the season, flowers for a weekly shooting party.
The shop was opened three years ago by two ex-nurses. Lin and Lesley. A complete change from hospital life but a change they have not regretted. They admit to crying at times (when a sharp gust of wind destroyed the arrangements they were carrying to the car) but also to laughing a lot.
Theirs is a tiny shop but it feels much bigger because of the skylights and the clever placing of large mirrors. The girls work hard to source unusual accessories for the shop, including aged stone pots and lanterns they have discovered from Provence.
One of their favourite times of year is Christmas when they fill the shop with antique glass baubles and lights.
I have a feeling Libby (who like her mother loves Christmas) will want to come back with me when I visit again in the winter!
But for now we are happy to take in all the wonderful flowers and chat to Lin and Lesley about their shop and their work.