Old market

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

I love this saying about March. It’s such an exciting month as everything starts to wake up in the garden. The month starts with the last grip of winter, along with its freezing cold air and wind, and ends in warmer spring sunshine

Spring moves into full season as Narcissi flower with abundance and most exciting of all, it’s blossom time! There can be nothing more lovely in the floral world than to decorate with blossom. Last year we decorated an entire staircase with blossom for the Kate Halfpenny wedding show at The Ritz.

26th March is Mothering Sunday – a very busy time for florists all over the country. We have a beautiful selection of bouquets that can be delivered nationwide. One of my favourites is the Maddox bouquet from our Mayfair Collection; a delightful combination of tulips, lime green gelda, Miss Piggy roses and candy pop scabious, arranged amongst beautiful sprigs of mimosa.
This year, the end of the month brings an edge of sadness and nervous anticipation for the florist community. Our wonderful flower market, which opened in 1974 after the original Covent Garden market was relocated from Covent Garden to Vauxhall, is re-locating a few metres down the road to a compact but much needed updated building. It really will be the end of an era and certainly a time of great change as we say goodbye to a few wholesalers that aren’t making the move. Though the old building could never have been described as beautiful, it has been the floral hub for all London florists and a place of enormous inspiration, with an overwhelming choice and selection of flowers and foliage from all over the world. We are hugely privileged to have this amazing resource so close to our studio, and I very much hope there is a smooth and successful transition when the new building opens its doors on April 3rd.
What I love most about the market is the people who frequent it; a particularly special breed who often start their day at midnight and are still going 12 hours later. Our very own Peter Baldock (5th from the left in the black and white photo), who has worked for us for several years, started out as a boy in the original flower market in Covent Garden and was 17 years old when it moved to Vauxhall. I’ve known Peter since 1982, when I started at Kenneth Turner and made my first visit to New Covent Garden market. There is nothing he doesn’t know about flowers and the market, so he is a very valuable member of our team. Peter has so many stories about the characters you’ll find within its walls, many of which are quite unrepeatable!

We wish all our friends at the market the very best in their new home, and we can’t wait to welcome it come April.