I used to think that a book launch would be quite a grand affair and that one of the main aims would be to persuade journalists (who I am sure would rather be at home with their feet up) to come along and write a few words.
Now, as I launch my sixth book, I have decided that what a book launch should really be, is a good excuse to drink and party in the sunshine with your friends.
So, laden down with a car full of books and bottles we head over to Pythouse 18th century walled garden, safe in the knowledge that owner, Mitch, will look after us and keep us well fed from his Potting Shed cafe.
Bearing in mind the book's title - just one of the many flower messages in the book - it just needs some shoes filled with flowers to finish off the preparations! My florist friend Jennifer had volunteered to help me with this so earlier in the week I had hunted in my cupboard for my smartest, least scruffy shoes for her to fill.
I had also headed over to my friend Gay's house to borrow back the vintage shoes that I had used for the front cover. When I had taken the shot I had tried to use a size 6, my size, but sadly they looked like boats, so in the end I used a diminutive, dainty size 3. Emptying the shoes of roses I phoned my petite friend Gay to ask her her shoe size ....it turned out it was her lucky day.
Libby (wearing the vintage dress she bought from Nostalgia - see earlier blog) helps me hang some of the photos from the book we have prepared as framed prints, and then all that is left is to pour a glass of Champagne and sit in the sun waiting for the guests.
Always the first to arrive at every one of my book launches are my parents.
Then the garden suddenly seems to fill with people and I am busy chatting, drinking, and signing.
What to write ... oh, what to write?
Those who know my earlier books will have read about John and Rosemary Bickersteth, long time residents of Tisbury, flower lovers and keen gardeners. Sadly Rosemary has died since I wrote my first books but I am delighted to see John here this evening. In the way of coincidences, it turns out that my best friend Pip (to whom this book is dedicated) lives in Durham near John's daughter and that they are close friends. So there is much family news to catch up on.
I must have done something good in a previous life.
This time last week the rain was coming down in bleak, grey torrents as if a huge garden tap had been turned on full blast.
Now we stand around in warm Indian summer sunshine between the lush orchard and banks of herbs and lavender.
I wonder what you call a gathering of florists? A floret of florists? A bloom of florists? A bouquet of florists?
Hazel and Hannah from Patricia Knowles Florist of Farnham swap notes with Kate from
Hedge Rose of Marlborough. It is to these ladies, and many like them that I owe a huge debt of gratitude for all the help they gave me researching and shooting this books. So thank you floret of florists.