Fri 13 Nov 2020
Paul Bennett, Director
“We are open”. Never have three little words meant so much, especially if you are living in London and looking for things to do during lockdown. This time around, garden centres have been given the green light to stay open, deemed as retailers providing ‘essential goods and services’.
Their very nature – being mostly set outdoors – and ability to enforce Covid-19 safety measures has worked in their favour. The fact that many garden centres incorporate food halls, local produce and butchery concessions has also stood them in good stead, as has the direct link with growing and maintaining a personal supply of fruit and vegetables.
In addition, it is said that gardening is good for the soul, as well as being beneficial for our physical and mental health, so we’re all being encouraged to dig, weed, plant and prune wherever we live – residents in London included. Whether you’re an experienced horticulturist or just starting out with a pot by the front door, a visit to one of the capital’s garden centres will truly lift the spirits.
We are lucky that London’s oldest garden centre is right on our doorstep. Clifton Nurseries has been supplying plants and gardening accessories to the city’s growers since 1851, and its site at Clifton Villas in Maida Vale remains open. Its Christmas shop is now in full swing, crammed full of festive gifts, wrapping paper and decorations. And don’t miss a walk through the sub tropical glasshouse for lush foliage, exotic flowers and the chance of spotting the garden centre’s resident cat.
W6 Garden Centre & Café
Also staying open is the W6 Garden Centre & Café in Ravenscroft Avenue, W6. With the urban gardener firmly in mind, this lovely spot features ‘the green room’ – a sanctuary filled with an abundance of house plants to buy and brighten up the hours spent at home. Also for sale is a myriad of outdoor plants, pots, garden essentials and a fittingly plant-based take-away food menu.
Camden Garden Centre
If you like your spring flowering bulbs to be sold with a healthy dash of social enterprise, head to Camden Garden Centre at 2 Barker Drive on St Pancras Way. Operating alongside the garden experts are trainee staff, who receive training, education and employment opportunities while selling plants and horticultural products. This charitable trust is also reputed to sell the best Christmas trees in London.
Visit Richmond and you can experience the legendary Petersham Nurseries, which remains open for flora, fauna and even home furniture. The Teahouse has switched to takeaways only but make a note to return when the Petersham Nurseries Café reopens as it offers a wonderful sit-down dining experience in a working glasshouse. Also for the future and closer to St. John’s Wood is Petersham’s Covent Garden branch. When not restricted, it offers a florist, deli, cellar, two restaurants and a shop.
Need your flower fix but not green fingered enough to garden? Dansk Flower, Panzer’s and St. John’s Wood Florist – all in or around St John’s Wood High Street - offer a combination of in-person purchases, online shops and bouquet deliveries. Please do check with individual stores as to their current services.
For properties for sale and to rent in London where you can garden to your heart’s delight, contact the Behr & Butchoff team.