Apologies from a Sloppy Blogger

 I have been a very sloppy blogger over the last few weeks
 and I am afraid it isn't going to get much better over the coming months.
 I am in the middle of researching and writing a new book and it is taking every spare moment and bit of energy that I have. 
I am not complaining as I am loving it. But I am apologising. I will write more about the project as it progresses - but for now it is just the early days.
Enough about that, back to the flowers.
 I called in to see my friend Kate at Rustic Rose in Sturminster Newton and she was busy decorating the shop for Autumn. And as you can see Kate doesn't do things by halves! 
Kate is also busy decorating a shirt in the colours of her Dad's race horse 'Hunt Ball', to show her support for him in an up and coming race. Her Dad, who is a local dairy farmer, bought the horse for a bit of bargain - he
did not have a particularly good track record. But with the help of a young trainer her Dad had spotted, they have won seven our to their last eight races.
I think I might start decorating a shirt too!

Paper Roses

 It is on a trip to Bath at the weekend that I discover the delights of a new shop, Meticulous Ink. When I say 'new' I did the typical thing of asking how it was all going to be told they had been open for two years!
 This is along the lines of the 'overnight success'. My husband knew the man who invented 'Riverdance', he was one of these overnight successes when he filled the section in-between songs on Eurovision and became ....well... an overnight success. That is apart from the fact he had worked for RTE for many, many years, sitting there endlessly playing intros for guest after guest.
 Meticulous Ink is down the road from the flower stall Anemone (always worth a look) and specialises in 'proper' printing.
 Complete with the firm indentation you can only get from a letter press.
 As I look around I find they have a strong floral theme
 and I find I can't quite decide what to buy.
In the end I choose just one small pack of cards,
 because in the street outside I have also spotted my new car and I have a feeling that it might cost me more than the price of a bag full of heavenly stationery.
 Well, a girl can dream can't she?

Bread & Flowers

The Chinese have a saying;
                         "If you have two pennies, spend one on a loaf

                                       ... and one on a flower.
The bread will give you life
 and the flower a reason for living."
Who am I to argue with such wisdom?

A Weekend of Flowers

This is what I call fate - I bring the flowers for my friend Liz and it turns out she has the perfect pottery jug to match the roses.
She also has the most beautiful climbing rose outside of her house, that sparkles in a brief bit of summer sunshine. The rose is called New Dawn and I am already trying to imagine where I could grow it.
Liz is an interior designer and chef (great friend to have!) and over wine and food we scheme on an idea for a new book. We still think it is a good idea when we are sober the next morning - so who knows!
Liz has a fabulous garden ...
and she has brought some of it inside for our bedroom.
We spend Saturday wandering around Saffron Walden market,
- well worth a visit if you are in the area.
Liz tells me she sometimes spots Jamie Oliver shopping at the market stalls. I'm kind of glad we don't bump into him as my daughter Libby has a short film that has been shortlisted for an award - the prize being work experience in his TV company. She is ecstatic at the prospect and I don't know if I could hold off from telling him! 
I of course spot the flowers, plus (I am very pleased to say) the perfect floral dress and shoes. I have no idea when I will wear them but it was love at first sight.
So all in all, a great weekend of flowers.

Good enough to Eat

When I am feeling low I turn to flowers.
When my daughter Libby feels blue, she bakes.
And with a cake this cheerful, how could you not smile?
It has got me in the mood for a bit of Jubilee baking - but in this case with ingredients of hydrangeas, roses and allium.
I took these photos some years ago on the Jane Packer stand at Hampton Court Flower Show. A lady who is sadly missed by fellow flower lovers.
With the sun blooming at Chelsea, the Jubilee just around the corner and Libby baking in the kitchen, I thought it was time to bring these photos out again.
It seems many florists are inspired by cake - these from Rachel Lilley, who used to have a beautiful flower shop in Bath.
And here a cake of flowers, inspired by Jessie, The Poundbury Florists.
Have a happy Jubilee.

Cold enough for Christmas

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, 
And the fire is so delightful ...
Last year Christmas was cancelled. My eldest daughter was in Australia and we decided it just would not be the same without her.
Her sister Libby wrote; "My mother gave Christmas its ultimatum in an email 'Christmas isn't Christmas without the four of us, so it has been postponed until further notice' "
"When December arrived and the lights went up I was almost surprised. Didn't anyone get the memo? Christmas is off this year. As I sidestepped my way between Christmas shoppers and battled a tied of yellow Selfridges bags on Oxford Street, I felt like a fish drowning in a sky."
So this is why, when the radio weatherman declares "This bank holiday is going to be colder than Christmas" I am probably the only person thinking 'Great!'
We have the tree, we have the Christmas cards,
we have the holly and ivy
and lights and crackers and stockings.
The fire and lanterns are lit, the turkey is in the oven and Michael Buble is crooning around the kitchen.
We even have slight hangovers from a Christmas Eve drinks party.
But most important of all, we have the four of us around the table.
It turns out Christmas wasn't cancelled, just postponed.


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