The 1960s florist in Crane Street with ties to Sir Joseph Banks

I was interested to read in the Salisbury Journal last week that a new store, “Captive Worlds” has opened in Crane Street, specializing in aquariums, terrariums and an assortment of aquatic plants, rocks and fish. ‘heating accessories, etc.

Being an avid horticulturist myself, I certainly wish this new venture the best of luck.

It’s also worth noting that another very attractive florist once stood on Crane Street (now Café Diwali) and was run by a local husband and wife partnership.

In the spotlight in this shop is a painting by Sir Joseph Banks, an eminent 18th century botanist and naturalist, who financed numerous sea voyages, and who himself accompanied Captain Cook on his expedition around the world.

Sir Joseph was an ancestor of Daphne Pearson, who, along with her husband, Colonel William Pearson, ran the Manor House Flower Parlor in Crane Street in the 1960s – the couple had originally run their flower decoration business from the Manor House, Durrington.

In fact, there was a considerable gap between the time of the famous “Bounty” mutiny and the search for exotic and bread plants – in the shop we could see plants that were direct descendants of those brought back from the Pacific Islands.

The attractive premises of Crane Street flourished from two abandoned cottages and the couple quickly made rapid strides in their business, aspiring to make regular decorations at the stately homes of Longleat and Stourhead.

Another feature was a range of flower fragrances (shown on TV), specially designed for the company and bottled on site.

At the back of the store Mr. and Mrs. Pearson have created a beautiful garden, full of interesting rockery plants and shrubs, although I am not able to comment on whether their plans to include an herb garden. Elizabethans never materialized.

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