Petersham Nurseries

My friend Charlotte and I have been talking about going to go to Petersham Nurseries for ages and we waited for so long that she now lives in New-York (hello C) but last Saturday, Steve, Mila and I went there and I can't tell you how excited I was, to finally discovering this amazing and beautiful place....

I had read about it in various magazines and Di mentioned it last year but for those who never heard of it, Petersham Nurseries is a garden center located in Richmond, off Petersham Road but it is not your average garden center.
For a start, it has an Award-Winning cafe at the bottom of the garden where you can eat home-made cakes anywhere sitting in this beautiful garden (see Mila BCC & ACC: before chocolate cake and after). Everything is sourced from local farmers and even the labels of the ginger ale beer and limonade bottles are nicely designed...The cafe/tea house is located at the end of the garden in a nicely renovated 'shed' (they call it shed but I wouldn't mind living in a shed like this...)

There is also a wonderful restaurant headed by Chef Skye Gyngell (a regular food columnist for The Independent) and a shop selling a blend of French vintage accessories and garden furniture, glassware, garden accessories, kitchen books, Buddhas and other Asian wooden statues...a mix that sounds odd in writing but works wonderfully together there.

It has a very unique and inspiring old-fashioned look which is very relaxing. Notice boards are made of wood painted with blackboard paint, table tops are made of zinc....
One I noticed coming back from New-Zealand and our long weekend in our French house is how much visual pollution there is in the city (ok not exactly ground-breaking news). Wherever you drive, you get massive advertising billboards in your face and if you go to a supermarket, there is a whole area dedicated to glossy magazines with A to Z VIP people on each cover which frankly you don't care about. On the contrary, when you go to a supermarket in the English or French countryside, it's mostly about food or wine.

The place is just magic, inspiring and beautiful....
Creating something like this on the outskirt of London is pretty amazing in itself but the boho style, the atmosphere, the beauty of the place are very unique and would probably take a million years for anyone to achieve.
Below is the entrance and like French markets or Borough market in London, the plants are beautifully displayed together on vintage apple crates.

I'm a big fan of these vintage crates, I have a couple in Mila's bedroom that I used as a shelf to display some of her toys. You can buy them from Petersham Nurseries for £20 each or get some on wheels to store toys and children books from Baileys Home and Garden.

It's very tempting to buy lots of plants from garden centers. Everything look so beautiful, healthy, green...and alive!
Personally, whatever I take home tend to die a few weeks so I stick to my weekly bunch of flowers and sometimes when I feel like the hostess with the mostess, grow some herbs like coriander, chives and basil (see the useful Normann Herb stand here).

However we've recently came back from New-Zealand where we had a very relaxing time in the countryside, eating fresh vegetables from the garden and Mila's Pa taking her to water the vege and fed the cows so we're on a 'let's be close as close to nature as we can be' trip. So this time, Steve got some strawberry, tomatoes and beans plants to grow on our roof terrace and Steve & Mila are in charge...

Once last thing I would say if you wish to go to Petersham Nurseries, please go there cycling, walking or by public transports. The place has been victim of its own success and the amount of traffic around Petersham at weekends has made locals very annoyed which means that now Petersham Nurseries is under threat and may be forced to close down (read here) unless they develop a plan to reduce the amount of people travelling by cars.

(c) Picture credits: Bolig magazine, Petersham Nurseries and me


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