The florist is rooted in Petersfield.

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THE Petersfield florist whose store is about to be demolished says if it does, it will be in about two years – then she plans to look for another local in the town.

Kristina Cousens opened her store, The Blacksmiths Daughter, in Bakery Lane 23 years ago.

Now owner Heinz Naef has asked to demolish the wooden building and replace it with a brick store with housing above.

Its planning request indicates that the current premises, with their metal roof, are not suitable for use.

While she understands why Mr Naef wanted to replace the barn-like shop, Kristina insists it is suitable for her purpose – selling flowers and floral arrangements.

She said: “It’s in good shape, has a new roof and running water, and is great for us.

“It is a beautiful building which creates a wonderful ambience which is perfect for selling flowers.”

And Kristina, who named her shop after the Midhurst Forge owned by her father, and her father before him, says that whatever the outcome of Mr Naef’s planning request, she plans to stay in Petersfield. .

She said: “I have about two years left on my current lease, so I’m not going anywhere before.

“I’m not closing and if I have to leave I’ll look for another room in Petersfield.

“I have very loyal customers, and new ones are always arriving, and I have no plans to leave them.”

And after negotiating during the pandemic – it was closed for the first three months after March 20 of last year – business is picking up.

As a result, the Wiltshire-born master florist recently hired two new florists to help him as his Christmas order book fills up.

Kristina, who traded from a market stall outside her shop next to the Waitrose parking lot during the Covid crisis, said: “It’s very busy this Christmas. Usually I go up to the Convent Garden around 2 a.m. once a week to buy Grade A flowers from Holland and Denmark, but now I go up twice a week.

“I’m very happy here and I’m not going anywhere until I have to. And even if the plans to demolish the store come to fruition, I want to stay in Petersfield.

For more information and to order flowers, visit The Blacksmiths Daughter website at https://theblacksmithsdaughter.co.uk or call Kristina on 01730 261611.

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