London’s Best Plant Shops | Paint the town green
Did you know, a survey by British Business Energy found London to be the greenest city in Europe, with 47% of the capital classified as ‘green’?
Did you also know that if it weren’t for your habit of letting your plant-life wither and die, that number would definitely be over 50%?
OK, maybe we’re projecting there. Maybe. But stocking up on new greenery constantly feels like a ‘thing one ought to do’, but then never gets round to. However, with the plethora of plant shops the city has to offer, there’s really no excuse. So don’t get green with envy at the verdant homes of your friends and family – just peruse some of London’s best plant shops; for when you’re ready to turn over a new leaf…
Breaking news: East Dulwich home to fabulous London plant shop shock! Yes, of course SE22 is home to an exquisite repository of houseplants – Forest is a fabulous, family-run affair, with mother Fran and daughters Alice & Maddie at the helm. Think houseplants of all varieties (including a thoughtful ‘pet safe’ section, featuring phlebodium ferns and areca palms that will survive the friendly ravages of your cockapoo). There’s a range of homeware, too – offering everything from vases to hand cream – plus enticing nationwide delivery.
Address: Rear of 43 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, SE22 8EW
Columbia Road Flower Market
The legendary East London market offers more than just flowers. Every Sunday, from 8am to 2pm, you can expect to find top quality shrubs courtesy of 4th-generation traders A.E. Hartnett & Sons, superb cacti from mother-daughter traders JD Succulents & Cacti Ltd, and tree ferns (and a lot more besides) from Leahurst Nurseries. Obviously as well as all of the above, the market offers an inimitable, bustling atmosphere – truly one of a kind.
Address: Columbia Road, London E2 7RG
Properly bohemian and eccentric, Petersham Nurseries is a haven within a haven – an idyllic slice of higgeldy-piggeldy country life, located in already-ridiculously-beautiful Richmond. Yes, it’s one of London’s best restaurants. And yes, it’s one of London’s best plant shops too. The great project of founders Gael and Francesco Boglione, Petersham is now led by their daughter Lara. The rustic empire now encompasses the shop, a farm, a wine business, and a host of restaurants – at this point Petersham is as much a state of mind as a place to buy extremely nice plants. But it is that, too.
Address: Off Church Lane, Petersham Road Richmond, TW10 7AB
A big local success story, Nunhead Gardener started off as a single small independent shop (located in, you guessed it, Nunhead) and has since blossomed. The store is now now part of a group with outlets in Elephant Park, Camberwell and Mayfair, and offers a 360° service catering for all your horticultural needs – including shrubs and trees, plant and lawn care, herbs, climbers, and a particularly alluring range of grasses and bamboos.
Address: 1a Oakdale Rd, SE15 3BW
The Flower Appreciation Society
Flowers – they’re blooming marvellous. The Flower Appreciation Society certainly thinks so, and we’re inclined to agree. The Hackney-based London plant shop doesn’t just sell flowers and plantlife, it’s also home to a regular itinerary of workshops designed to impart plant-whispering skills to even the most resolutely un-green of fingers. Drop by and say hello – they’re really terribly friendly – and feel your gardening skills take root.
Address: BE Studios 72A Southgate Rd, N1 3JF
They don’t come more venerable than this West London institution – as garden centres go, Clifton Nurseries lays claim to being London’s oldest (indisputable) and most beautiful (very difficult to argue with, frankly). Nestled in the heart of Maida Vale, where it’s been trading since 1851, Clifton’s secret ingredient is its stunning glasshouse, home to a dazzling array of foliage, exotic flowers, houseplants, and a cat (not for sale, but still well worth meeting).
Address: 5A Clifton Villas, London W9 2PH
You want it, they’ve got it. The good people of the Conservatory Archives in Clapton & Hackney are here to help you tell your Euphorbia ingens variegate from your Howea forsteriana, and whichever you need (they’re a cactus and a fern respectively, btw) they’ll take care of you. As well as their beautifully-curated, winningly-presented range of plants and accessories, look out for their workshops and classes, which include kimchi-making (sure) and (plant)life-drawing…
Address: 3-7 Lower Clapton Rd, E5 0NS | Hackney Road, E2 9ED
Camden Garden Centre
One does not simply ‘pop in’ to the Camden Garden Centre. It is a place one goes to lose hours, possibly whole weekends, before emerging, dazed, with armfuls of plant-life and ancillary equipment you had no idea that you simply had to own. With a range of stock (from hardy perennials stunning roses to planters and landscaping materials) wide enough to cause the normally level-headed to radically re-shape the next six months of their life – it is, essentially, the IKEA of London plant shops.
Address: 2 Barker Drive, St Pancras Way, NW1 0JW
Battersea Flower Station
It would rightfully get in on name alone, but it also happens to be a superb – albeit tiny – plant shop, garden centre and florist, fulsomely-stocked with hanging plants and beautifully-arranged bouquets. The Battersea Flower Station also boasts perhaps the friendliest staff of any plant shop in London (although this is a hotly-contested claim, as plant shops seem to exclusively attract the permanently cheerful). Open seven days a week, so pop in for a mooch whenever you like – you’ll inevitably wander out having bought something beautiful.
Address: 320 Battersea Park Rd, SW11 3BX
‘High quality, low maintenance’ is the ethos at cactus specialists Prick – and fair play to them. Even the most gardeningly-challenged amongst us can manage to take basic care of a cactus or succulent – and, if even that feels like a push, then the good people at Prick are here to help you along the way. Based in Bethnal Green, the shop also offers a studio (‘Shallow Roots’), a beautifully-designed space offering workshops in terrarium-building, cactus-grafting, and plant maintenance. A place for growth – in every sense of the word.
Address: Shallow Roots, Unit 14 – Palmers Rd, E2 0SY
Upgrading to flowers? Here are some rose-scented London date ideas…
The Nudge is an independent, searchable and highly-curated guide to the most interesting places to go and things to do in London, giving members unrestricted access to our full compendium of continually-updated restaurants, bars, events, exhibitions, date ideas, itineraries, member perks, weekend guides, monthly agendas and more – all delivered via our website, email newsletters & members’ app.
Join us to see what’s hot in London this week; to explore all of the recommendations & ideas stored within The Nudge’s website and members’ app; and to start making the most of life in London today. Start Free One Week Trial