A Cut Above

When Emma and Hazel of Patricia Knowles Florist in Farnham decide to hold a book signing, they know they will need more space than they have in their shop, so they nip across the road to the nice boys at Headcase barbers. They had lent the girls the use of the shop before and are happy to do so again.
As I arrive the girls are setting up the flowers and drinks, but the lights and activity are still attracting one or two hopeful customers looking for a haircut. I am almost tempted to pick up a pair of floristry scissors and wave them towards a chair!
Since I visited last, Hazel and Emma have been very busy. One of their great sucesses is their flower school, which they hold in the workshop above the shop.
Hazel explains that many of the women she meets tell her they love it because it means they get to spend time in a flower shop. And what a great flower shop to be able to spend some time in!
Tonight the air is bitingly clean and cold with the promise of a hard frost. The front of the shop looks warm and inviting as I walk across the narrow cobbled lane that seperates the flower shop from the barbers.
As I wander around the shop I begin to think that this is the perfect place for my friend Louise to spend some time.
Louise has recently lost her mum and with all the confusion, grief and upheaval that this brings she has begun to think about a change of direction in her life. Louise is a talented artist who also earns her living as a gardener. However as she was helping to prepare the flowers for her mother's funeral she was struck by the thought that she would really like to be a florist.
Louise tells me the moment was a bit of an epithany.
But where to start?
This I decide would be the perfect place. The girls run a starter day for £80 for which someone can spend a day with them to get a feel for whether they really would like the life of a florist
(early start, cold feet, hard work .... as well as bundles of glorious flowers to play with)
After that, you can sign up for a course aimed at people who really do want to look at floristry commercially. This course costs £750 (a bargain compared to the price some London florists are charging).
Walking around this shop, that is so lovingly cared for, I think this would be a very soothing place for Louise to be right now. I also feel sure that with an artistic background and her knowledge of gardens that she would make a great florist.
But most of all I know for certain that Hazel, Emma and their team would welcome Louise and really look after her.

Greetings from a Happy Blogger

When I see my books on the shelves of a book shop I am so pleased that I have a tendency to stroke them. When I spy them piled on someone's coffee table I want to laugh, I am so delighted (I try and avoid doing this if at all possible). So you will understand my excitement when I was approached by a card company who wanted to create a range of greetings cards under the 'Sally Page' name.
The new cards, which are being launched at the NEC Gift Fair in January have just arrived. And as you can see I am rather proud of them!
The photos for the range mainly come from my first book, The Flower Shop, which is based on a year in the life of an English country flower shop - Ted Martin Flowers in Tisbury, Wiltshire.
Although there are a few of flowers photographed in other spots - including one which has two glasses of rose wine which was photographed in my friend Gay's garden. I imagine she might be buying a few of those!
Getting the range together (amongst other more boring things) has kept me away from my camera for a while, and consequently, away from my blog. So I apologize for that. But I have lots of lovely flower shop hunting coming up, so will have much to photograph and tell you about in the coming weeks.
First I shall be heading to Farnham to see the lovely ladies at Patricia Knowles Flowers, then I shall be calling into visit Kate Howard's Hedge Rose shop that she has recently moved to the centre of Marlborough. And on Monday I am in Leicester with Knighton Flowers. Whilst this is going on I will take time to pop in and see my friend Katy who is busily painting and decorating her new flower shop which opens on 2nd December. More of that later.
My new cards will be available for shops to order from www.blossomsandbows.co.uk soon.
Each card is blank and comes with a useful 'flower shop secret' on the back.


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