I wondered if the title for this blog was a little over the top. Would it embarrass the subject of this little foray into floral adulation? Then, a few days ago, I noticed an article in The Week entitled "An Ode to Tom Hanks's Upper Lip". I feel Miss P's many talents are at least equal to Forest Gump's philtrum, and so I continue unabashed.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a big fan of Miss Pickering. Hers was the first blog I ever read "Florist. Blogger. Whatever". Her photo showed her with a camera, eyes just peeping over, and a flower crown on her head. She was a bit mysterious and I kind of wanted to hang out with her the way you do with one of the kids at school who are much more popular than you are, so you don't dare to ask, you just sit in the background quietly. Eventually, a Christmas flower workshop popped up on her site and I signed up and took myself off to Stamford. I had only had Hilda for about 8 weeks and I was also so pleased to meet Miss P that I barely noticed that the arrangements and wreath I made actually weren't too bad, I was too full of excited chatter. (Apologies to anyone else on the course that day who had hoped to get a word in edgeways about something other than my dog). As well as wreaths and arrangements, there was a candlelit lunch, the swagging of Christmas garlands on a staircase and an incident involving some peppercorns. A pretty special day.
Eighteen months later, reasonably confident that I would return from a holiday in Italy with a ring on my finger - not least because I had chosen said ring - I attended a DIY wedding flower day. I looked at my flowers, I looked at Miss Pickering's... I'll let you guess what happened next.
So really, this is just a thank you to the mistress of floral design and a very dear friend. Thank you for being the inspiration for my journey and for some truly stunning wedding flowers that I hope one day I will be able to match.