South west London is blessed with great garden centres. Here are five of the best…
Lead image courtesy of Petersham Nurseries
1 Petersham Nurseries, Richmond
The legendary Petersham Nurseries is more famous for its food than its plants these days, but it’s a wonderful spot for foodies and the green-fingered alike, located in a beautiful setting on the river. It was founded by the Boglione family, when Gael and Francesco Boglione moved their young family from central London to Richmond in 1997. Their new home, Petersham House, overlooked a local plant nursery, which had been carved out of the grounds of their Queen Anne home in the 70s. In 2004, after extensive restoration works, the nursery re-opened with furniture, gifts and antiques among the plants in the greenhouses, as well as a teahouse offering whole leaf teas and homemade cakes. The site grew to incorporate the hugely popular Petersham Nurseries Cafe, a lifestyle and homewares shop, and, of course, the nursery and garden shop – a verdant oasis of flora. Plus, Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden opened in April 2018.
Church Lane, Off Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AB; petershamnurseries.com
2 Neal’s Nurseries Garden Centre, Wandsworth
Neal’s Nurseries in Wandsworth has previously been named one of the 50 best garden centres in the UK by The Independent and with a proven track record – it’s been serving the local community for over a century – it’s not hard to see why. Set on Wandsworth Common, this sizeable garden centre is home to a wide array of garden plants and a glasshouse filled with a large selection of house plants. There’s also a shop in which you can buy garden furniture, accessories and barbecues. A little further out of the way than most, it’s also a bit easier to drive to and there’s free parking for 90 minutes. Plus, at Christmastime, it’s a great spot to pick up decorations.
Heathfield Avenue, Wandsworth SW18 2PH; capitalgardens.co.uk
3 Battersea Flower Station
Battersea Flower Station was set up by a small team (all from Wandsworth) who left their corporate jobs with a vision of creating a place of beauty and magic. They transformed an 8,000 square foot piece of land running alongside the railway track from Battersea Park Road to Winders Road. The centre stocks all kinds of plants – climbers, trees, shrubs, seasonal bedding and herbs – and has a greenhouse full of houseplants too. Here you’ll also resident florist offering beautiful hand-tied bouquets and a gift shop and gardening shop, selling locally sourced products. Expert advice is on offer too, whether you want a (free) garden consultation service or tips for caring for window boxes/hanging baskets. At Battersea Flower Station, if you’re local, there’s free delivery. Top marks for its name, too.
320 Battersea Park Road SW11 3BX; batterseaflowerstation.co.uk
4 Fulham Palace Garden Centre
Fulham Palace Garden Centre has been serving SW London’s green-fingered residents since 1985, but has undergone many improvements over the years. It is now part of The Prince’s Trust, with further improvements to follow, but it gets The Resident seal of approval for its iconic location at the edge of Bishop’s Park. It’s not all about location though, the staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and many are locals who have been with the centre for years. In it you’ll find inspiring displays and an enviable range of hand-picked plants, pots, garden products, barbecues, garden furniture, house plants, cards and gifts.
Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham SW6 6EE; palacegardener.com
5 Morden Hall Garden Centre
Located in the tranquil kitchen garden of the historic Morden Hall, this garden-lovers’ spot, which sits between Morden, Mitcham and Wimbledon, is a National Trust Garden Centre. Flowing through the kitchen garden is the River Wandle, and if you’re lucky, springtime visitors might be able to see families of ducks nesting along its banks. Surrounded by acres of parkland, miles of walks and a variety of wildlife, it’s been described as one of the most beautiful garden centres in London. The expert team is super friendly if you have questions, and all profits go back into looking after Morden Hall Park.
Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD; nationaltrust.org.uk/morden-hall