A BLOOMING marvellous fixture of Haddington High Street has confirmed she will lock up shop for the final time next year.

Green-fingered Erica Muirhead has been working as a florist since she was still at school.

Now, after more than 50 years in the industry, she has confirmed that she will retire next spring.

Already, customers and well-wishers have visited her shop to offer their thanks to her and her staff.

She said: “We have had quite a few customers saying they will be very sad to see us go and have thanked us for being a part of Haddington.

“If we have done flowers for them, they have said thank you for the care we have taken and wished us well.

“There will be a deal of sadness there but also an excitement of whatever my retirement will bring.

“I have been involved with so many lovely people over the years.

“I still get school friends phone me from abroad to send flowers to relations either in Haddington or East Lothian.

“That is really nice and they say it is great you are still there!

East Lothian Courier: Erica Muirhead is planning to retire next yearErica Muirhead is planning to retire next year (Image: Newsquest)

“I will be looking forward to not having to do the VAT returns and a lot of the behind-the-scenes work that your customer does not see.”

The 65-year-old was just 14 when she started working with flowers and took on an apprenticeship two years later.

She was just 19 when she took the helm of the business as owner Irene Spray was retiring.

The future of the business, which was originally based at 60 High Street before moving to 28 High Street in the early 1980s, remains uncertain.

Erica, who is also a member of Haddington and District Community Council, was keen for the shop to remain a florist’s.

She said: “At the minute, the shop is on the market as a going concern.

“We have had one or two views but not offers yet.

“We are probably looking at next spring – these things take time.

“My other florist, who has been with me for over 25 years, she would like to retire in the spring.

“That pre-empted me to think it was a good time for me as well.”

READ MORE: Haddington florist celebrates 40 years in bloom

Erica, who stressed that the business was for sale but would remain open and trading until the conclusion of any sale, was confident that other opportunities would present themselves after her retirement, while she is also looking to get involved in volunteering.

Although no date has been set for the business closing, she thanked everyone for their continued support.

She said: “My love of the flowers and the lovely customers [are what has kept me returning].

“We have all the different occasions, we do flowers for whether it be weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and the other side of the business is the sympathy side, which is quite a large part of what we do. We have got a very close connection to so many families through Haddington and East Lothian.

“They trust us to make beautiful tributes to their loved ones when that time comes.

“You just want to get it right for them.

“There is such a gorgeous mix of flowers available to use and it is just very rewarding to put together a beautiful tribute with the right combination of flowers and colours.”