A CWMBRAN woman has opened a florist in memory of her niece who died prematurely 16 years ago.

Reanne Cogdell, 32, launched Libbie’s Flower Boutique at Fairwater Square on Friday and has dedicated the new business to her niece, Libbie Jones, who died at seven weeks in 1999.

Doctors told Libbie's parents, Rachel and Tyron, that Libbie and her twin sister Megan had little chance of survival because one baby was not getting enough blood and the other was getting too much.

Born 24 weeks prematurely, Libbie, who weighed just 1llb 10z, died after contracting a blood infection.

Her sister, Megan, survived and now 16, she wrote Mrs Cogdell a letter saying how happy she was that she had opened a florist in memory of her sister.

One of the tributes Mrs Cogdell has incorporated into the boutique is a designated quiet room where grieving customers can have the time to browse the floral tribute collection over a cup of tea.

She felt that this was something lacking in other florists, where such a sensitive decision can often be made at a counter.

The room will also be used for bridal parties where future brides can discuss their ideas, with Mrs Cogdell to create the perfect flower package for their special day.

Mrs Cogdell, who has been a qualified florist since 2006, has already set up a partnership with the Do You Believe? bridal shop in Newport to build on this.

Speaking ahead of the launch, which was attended by all of Libbie's family, she said: “When Libbie died, we were just in this cloud of shock.

“Megan was the more ill of the two but unfortunately we couldn’t keep them both, but we are always grateful we’ve still got Meg.

“She’s really happy about it [the florist]. It will be quite emotional for them because they haven’t seen the sign and things yet.

“I’m going to give it everything I’ve got to make sure it works out.”