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.