In the heart of Middle England is Stamford, an outrageously pretty town. Miss Pickering’s flower business is just off the High Street, in a low-ceilinged shop, serviced by a single window. It is heavenly without being twee and the business is far from provincial.
Photography by Miss Pickering except where noted.
Above: Miss Pickering, a name not to be quibbled with, was at school in Stamford. She saw the world via London, Italy, France, and Spain before deciding to move back here. In London’s Notting Hill, she got a job with legendary florist Nikki Tibbles of Wild at Heart, taking phone orders. Miss P. left seven years ago, the same week as Vic Brotherson of Scarlet and Violet, another Wild at Heart alumna (see Shopper’s Diary: Scarlet & Violet).
Above: With a concrete floor and low light, Miss Pickering’s shop is a perfect stopping-off point in the journey of a cut flower. Fortunately the low-level lighting is flattering as well as practical. The shop building itself was built in 1463.
Above: Miss Pickering began to write a blog when she moved to Stamford from London, partly for the sake of her sanity. It was quickly picked up and is a wonderful read, not only for the afianced.
Above: Having sent an experimental bouquet to the editor of Country Living when her shop opened, Miss P. has been in demand ever since.
Above: Miss P.’s wedding flower business thrives on personal recommendations. Her brides have a good idea of Miss Pickering’s style through the blog and through her posts on Instagram. They put their trust in her and may be persuaded to be more adventurous than they realized they could be, hitherto: “We’re here to make something for someone else’s day.”
Above: The only permanent member of staff is the Hound. Miss Pickering likes to do everything herself, which is difficult to conceptualize: her weddings are not small and they are all over the country, though often in London or for London-based people. The Hound has his own blog.
Above: A wedding takes about a week to prep, from conditioning the flowers to figuring out the mechanics of building a floral arch for the church. Miss P. studied biophysics at university. She approaches each wedding with a healthy mix of emotions: “I’m excited and terrified in equal proportion.”
Above: Being located in the middle of the country has its advantages for getting to bigger projects; the shop in Stamford is also open from Tuesday to Saturday for bunches of flowers. Photograph by Kendra Wilson.
Above: Miss Pickering flowers is at 7 St. Paul’s Street, Stamford PE9 2BE.
For more cut flowers that have a distinctly English style, see Wildflowers Delivered to Your Door. Getting married? See DIY: Secrets of Growing Your Own Wedding Flowers. How to keep your cut flowers from drooping? See DIY: How to Make a Vase of Flowers Last a Week.