xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' Karen Wagner garden & design: tale of two nurseries

Saturday, 28 May 2011

tale of two nurseries

We have been lucky enough to visit lots of gardens on this trip, all different and interesting in their own right.  But after we went to Chelsea, we felt the need to visit some well known and established nurseries.  We have spotted and stopped at nurseries as we have travelled and really we felt that generally they weren’t any different to what we get at home.  Msot of the plants were the same ....a few more or different varieties of some things.  But with all the usual and general nursery stuff.
There are however a few nurseries that are a little more renown for their specialness so we headed off to visit two in London.
The first was Petersham Nurseries, well known for Skye Gignall and the cafe and restaurant that was established in conjunction with the nurseries.  These nurseries are also well known because they are virtually set right in the middle of a field .  Its now even more famous as it has just been awarded a Michelin star which had happened the week before we visited.  The setting is wonderful ....established over a number of old glasshouses, there are great looking plants and plenty of choice and lots of different selections as well as many of the old favourites.  There is a whole glasshouse devoted to eclectic, general and special garden things and paraphernalia.  You can buy your garden tools, special French pots and right through to bespoke furniture and glass-wear.  And from there the restaurant is set in another glasshouse.  The cafe has a small central shed but has tables meandering throughout the whole outside area of the nursery so you can almost sit anywhere you like.  This is also indicative of how fast this eating cafe has grown and the need to have lots of seating available.  Lots more than last time I was there.
It’s a really special setting and a wonderful and inspiring place to visit.

An easy couple of tube stops and a visit to another well known nursery.....Clifton Nurseries has been established in London for 160 years and is set in a lovely leafy street suddenly out of the hustle of main London.  They call themselves “London’s Nurserymen”...fairly definitive!
It’s more of a mainstream nursery that we are familiar with in Australia, and there were some women working there also. They do however have the most wonderful selection of plants beautifully looked after and displayed.  It makes you want to buy plants by the trolley load. 
A beautiful Victorian style white painted glasshouse is full of the most wonderful hothouse grown potted colour.  There’s a delightfully smelly floristry area, tools and practical things and another glasshouse area full of garden paraphernalia and outdoor furniture.  This is obviously a well loved and busy nursery that caters to lots of London Mums and Dads wanting to plant up the ultimate garden.
I found so many plants and ideas in this nursery.  The only thing missing is the cafe which everyone else seems to have....maybe they just can’t squeeze it in. 
Totally inspiring and leaps ahead of what we often see in Australia.

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