Saturday, 31 December 2011


Where did the time go? It's already the last day of 2011...
We've had our first Valentines Day, Mothers Day, our first anniversary and our second Christmas this year.
Our Floral Courses have been a great success and we we are already designing and planning the new line-up for 2012!

May we thank all our customers and blog readers, Twitter followers and Facebook friends, for all your custom and support in the last year!

We wish you all a very happy, prosperous New Year full of health and love!

See you in 2012!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

twenty one days and counting....

life over here is just a whirl of spruce, berries, coffee and food eaten on the hoof!!....
all the mini christmas trees are gone

 flowers ready for on site arrangements at the weekend where miss and ma magpie tried the novel art of flower arranging in the dark...not to be recommended...we arrived at the venue to find the tables not up and the plastic sheeting on the floor.. undeterred we carried on while a army type operation by the crew from 'rhubarb' worked around us...

..eventually it all worked out as it usually does
 the usual garb of floristry in winter..twenty layers of clothing..miss magpie has the added bonus of her baby bump
 to keep her warm!
 ..also this week the biggest wreath challenge..spruce, scots pine, eucalyptus, euco pods, berried ivy, something which looks like a cross between seaweed and a protea which i have forgotten the name of ( shame on me)...thistles,twigs all on a mossed copper pipe affair..there may be a partridge and a couple of french hens in there too....but as usual Martin had to try it on for size...whew!!
ALSO!!! just to let you know we won THIRD prize for our window in the town competition and we have a certificate...we were so excited about that...little things and all that..
We are on the final count down now and hope to surface about 6pm christmas eve in the pub. x

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Christmas Opening Hours

Here are our extended opening hours for the coming period!

Sunday 18th Dec 10AM - 4PM
Monday 19th Dec 9AM - 5PM
Tuesday 20th Dec 9AM - 6PM
Wednesday 21st Dec 9AM - 6PM
Thursday 22nd Dec 9AM - 8PM
Friday 23rd Dec 9AM -8PM
Christmas Eve 8AM - 3PM

Christmas Day - CLOSED
Boxing Day - CLOSED
Tuesday 27th Dec - CLOSED

Wednesday 28th Dec 9AM - 5PM
Thursday 29th Dec 9AM - 5PM
Friday 30th Dec 9AM - 5PM
Saturday 31st Dec 8AM - 3PM

New Years Day - CLOSED
Monday 2nd January 2012 - CLOSED

We're back to normal on Tuesday the 3rd of January!!!!

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2012!!!!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas Course 2011

Sunday was the last of this years Magpie Academy Courses
A seasonal look and play with all things Christmassy

Martin demonstrated how to make door wreaths, garlands and an arrangement for your Christmas table

 the wreaths were the undoubtable favorite with a scratch start of wire rings, moss and then lots of different foliage to choose from, adding the embellishments was a fun part...our youngest student wanted to try a garland and boy did she do it well....this is Martin staggering under the weight of her amazing first go!!

Well done to all the lovely people who have attended one of our courses this year, we have had  really enjoyed them and watch out for the 2012 timetable which we will finalize after the madness of Christmas is over and we sit down with a lovely glass of something chilled.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Winter wedding

Last week saw our last wedding of the year
Candlelight in a castle
log fires and the smell of pine
a crisp blue skied winter day
how romantic is that??

Today we had our delivery of mistletoe
so the romance may continue!!

Monday, 5 December 2011

the weird and the wacky!!

 Our little shop is sometimes a little quirky...we like the different....the unusual...the one off...sometimes people come in and can't quite make up their minds as to what exactly we are....sometimes you either get it or you don't.

I am experimenting as to whether poinsettias work as a cut flower, lets face it they are so damned temperamental, a puff of a breeze and they 
1) keel over
2) break their stems
3) shrivel up if slightly cold
Watch this space.

gorgeous turquoise pottery, plus our best sellers at the moment, hurrah for hyacinths!!!

 a new member of the team...we love him with his long eyelashes and curly mane, i expect he'll gallop off soon.

photographing our window is never a will have to come and see it for includes a french angel, an Irish dolls house...a vintage sledge.....a pair of american children's winter white boots, a covering of moss and some twigs, it is our attempt at winning the 'best dressed window' competition on Victorian Extravaganza night this friday...keep your fingers crossed.

finally a rusty metal  urn with a rusty painted horse....and a cyclamen just to show we do sell plants sometimes!!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Our Week in Photos

The hedgerow are showing off their beauty...planted cyclamen in wire baskets smell divine, and are proving to be a firm favorite with our customers.

Pale Greens, and clear french glass inkwells, perfect for a single bloom, ivy or even holly lined down the Christmas table.

New festive Aubergine bags styled ready for the beautiful florals

Perfect dreamy scented Paperwhites fill the whole shop with the smell of spring...they are early, like most flowers and plants this year.

Honesty and pale white roses make an inviting wreath.

Our window display doesn't stay around for long, most of this is now sold, everyone is preparing their homes for the season

We have a rather beautiful angel ready for our window...isn't she stunning?

The ripening berries point to it being another hard winter...I hope you all have bird tables full to the brim with food!

Another creature not quite ready for winter...Bob is happy on his chair in a nice warm house, even the lead jangling is not getting his attention!

Are you getting prepared for the season? What are your plans? Are you having a real tree?
A Christmas with a bump...but without sloe gin and pate....hows a girl to survive?

Monday, 7 November 2011

Remember Remember.... go and see the fireworks on the 5th of November!

Or, as it should be:
....... the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

I remember my 'first' 5th of November.
It was 2008, I (Martin, 'The Dutchman') had just came over to England 4 days earlier.
My whole life packed in a transit van.
Moving to a foreign country, moving in with the love of my life...
Best thing I've ever done!

Fireworks in November? I couldn't quite get it... Celebrating treason with fireworks?? Was it a culture difference?

Eventually I understood what is was all about, but unfortunately I hadn't had the chance to go and see the fireworks over the past few years... Until this year....

A hotdog, a massive bonfire that was basically gone in 30 minutes time (the boys must have loved their petrol...) and the best firework display I have ever seen in my life!

 Warming up...

It almost looked like a planet suddenly appeared in the sky!
(I know, I have the imagination of a little boy sometimes!)

 One of my favourites!

I thoroughly enjoyed my 'first' 5th of November!

Well done organisers in Hungerford!
And thank you very much Emma for taking me there!

'I'll remember remember.... next year's 5th of November!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Friday Flowers

Isn't the pansy the happiest flower..resilient... long-lasting and in such stunning colours..just perfect!!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Happy Birthday Us!!

 Martin and The Magpie has been open for one year
we can't believe how the time has flow
autumn has come around again
we are older and maybe a little wiser
have made new friends
forged new business contacts
sent hundreds of bouquets
designed beautiful wedding flowers
filled the shop with wonderful quirky vintage finds
again and again...

We have held courses and workshops
the photo is the bounty to play with at our Autumn Country Floral Class, watch this space for our 2012 range of workshops.

Our next course is a Vintage Planting Party which is now sold out

We have braved the bitter winter weather, when the water in the flower buckets started freezing IN the shop, brrrrr!! 
We know that flowers like it cool but that was just mad.
As well as the early summer was all about the fighting the elements at times.

 Now we are starting the run up to Christmas again. We shall be awash with fabulous ideas for your home and will even come to you and do the floral festive decorations in situ for you.( Please book early!)

Finally, just a HUGE THANK YOU for all our lovely customers and blogger friends for helping make this year be so successful, 
If you pop into the shop over this week we are holding a FREE draw to win a gift voucher for £50 to spend on flowers and plants in store before Christmas, or leave a comment and we will add your name to the draw. Good Luck!!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Crazy Horses

Part 1 of this weekend's hunt for bits and bobs for the shop:

Indian good luck horses.
Traditionally hung next to the door for good luck.

The Magpies loved them!
The Dutchman wasn't quite sure about them.

The Battle of The Sexes begun.

The Dutchman lost... Where are Admiral De Ruyter or William III when you need them...

They are quite sweet...
The Dutchman is starting to like them...
They can stay..
No hay needed....
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