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From kitchen table to the Queen Mum, Toftwood florist Janet Dodd celebrates 30 years in business

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 October 2017

Janet Dodd is celebrating 30 years in business as a florist running Forget Me Not Flowers in Toftwood. Picture: Ian Burt

Janet Dodd is celebrating 30 years in business as a florist running Forget Me Not Flowers in Toftwood. Picture: Ian Burt

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She has created bouquets for ballerinas and put together posies for royalty and now florist Janet Dodd is celebrating 30 years in business.

Janet Dodd is celebrating 30 years in business as a florist running Forget Me Not Flowers in Toftwood. Picture: Ian Burt Janet Dodd is celebrating 30 years in business as a florist running Forget Me Not Flowers in Toftwood. Picture: Ian Burt

The mother-of-two started work for Sheddicks flower business in Dereham in her late teens but when the owner Norman Lambert retired she set up on her own.

Forget Me Not Flowers has bloomed from starting out on her kitchen table before her little shop was built on the side of her house on Shipdham Road, in Toftwood.

With help from her mother Jean Rice-Smith until her death in 1997, and her husband Philip the business has weathered every storm.

Mr Dodd has made frames for bespoke funeral tributes or flower festivals including a replica Austin 7 chummy van, 1950s vintage coach, wheelbarrows and garden sheds.

Janet Dodd (here pictured in 1987) is celebrating 30 years in business as a florist running Forget Me Not Flowers in Toftwood. Picture: Ian Burt Janet Dodd (here pictured in 1987) is celebrating 30 years in business as a florist running Forget Me Not Flowers in Toftwood. Picture: Ian Burt

And she has had some rather prestigious customers over the years.

“I was asked to arrange a posy which was presented to the late Queen Mother when she was visiting Swanton Morley barracks,” she said. “I have also arranged bouquets for the Bolshoi ballet.

“I did the flowers for one bride while at Sheddicks then was asked to arrange both her daughters’ weddings 28 years later.”

Mrs Dodd, 55, had her two children while running the business at the same time.

Janet Dodd (here pictured with her first delivery vehicle in 1988) is celebrating 30 years in business as a florist running Forget Me Not Flowers in Toftwood. Picture: Ian Burt Janet Dodd (here pictured with her first delivery vehicle in 1988) is celebrating 30 years in business as a florist running Forget Me Not Flowers in Toftwood. Picture: Ian Burt

Chris, now 26, has helped design artwork for her website and Grace, 23, helps on busy occasions.

“I had Grace just after Mother’s Day so we are not always able to celebrate her birthday when it falls on the same date because we usually work 6am to 3.30am on Friday and Saturday nights before the big date with only few hours sleep.

“I never really ever get Mother’s day myself until after the big day.”

Different styles have come and gone and come back into fashion.

Janet Dodd (here pictured in 1987) is celebrating 30 years in business as a florist running Forget Me Not Flowers in Toftwood. Picture: Ian Burt Janet Dodd (here pictured in 1987) is celebrating 30 years in business as a florist running Forget Me Not Flowers in Toftwood. Picture: Ian Burt

Where it was always chrysanthemums, carnations, lilies and roses now customers want hand tied bouquets with aqua packed with various garden style flowers like peonies, anthirrinhums, delphiniums, tied with string or raffia.

She said: “I never tire of new trends, the funkier the better. No orders are too demanding as we enjoy any challenge.

“I would like to thank all my customers who have supported me throughout the last 30 years and I am hoping to carry on for many more to come.”

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