For those who have been inspired by this week’s Chelsea Flower Show or just looking to tidy up the garden ahead of summer, here are our top picks of London’s best garden centres. Make a day of it this Bank Holiday weekend.
70-80 Earls Court Road, London, W8 6EQ
Open: Monday to Sunday 9am to 5.30pm, Thursdays open late to 6.30pm.
A visit to Rassells is probably as close as you’ll get to children’s book, ‘The Secret Garden’. On first sight, the centre looks like a florist. Cut flowers line the entrance, while inside gift-like pot plants, orchids, indoor plants, seeds and bulbs fill the store. If you are able to find the flower covered door, it is well worth stepping inside to have a look around the unexpectedly beautiful, and intriguing plant nursery that fills almost the whole of the Georgian square.
On top of a vast array of seeds, shrubs, bushes and bedding plants to suit the season, Rassells stock irrigation equipment from Gardena and Hozelock readily available with qualified advice to help and plan individual watering systems.
77 Park Hall Road, West Dulwich, London, SE21 8ES
Open: Monday to Saturday: 9:30am to 5:30pm *10am to 4pm (Jan, Feb, Aug, Nov), Sunday 10am to 4pm
Smallish but perfectly formed Alleyn Park Garden Centre is consistently reviewed as one of the best garden centres in the UK and a favourite among the press. It emphasises UK-grown stock from small suppliers. Fruit trees, herbs and herbaceous perennials (some in biodegradable sacks that can be planted straight into the ground) are a key feature, while a shop-in-a-shed is packed with hand-picked antique, vintage and recycled garden furniture and accessories. There’s also a car park, local delivery service and lots of expert landscaping knowledge among the enthusiastic staff.
51-53 Islip Street, Kentish Town, London, NW5 2DL
Open: seven days a week, from March to October – Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm. Sunday 11am to 5pm.
In the heart of Kentish Town and easily accessible, these committed, friendly and knowledgeable horticulturists are passionate about plants. The Boma Garden Centre provide expert guidance to Londoners who need help designing, planting and maintaining their gardens. Now offering a full range of services including visits to your home for hands-on advice, personal shopping by a dedicated horticulturist, regular maintenance of your garden throughout the year, garden makeovers and soft landscaping such as turfing, fencing and raised beds.
2 Barker Drive, St Pancras Way, London, NW1 0JW
Open: April to September – Monday to Saturday 9am to 5.30pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays open late to 7pm, Sundays 11am to 5pm, Bank Holidays 9am to 5:30pm.
UK Urban Garden Centre of the Year 2012, Camden Garden Centre is an unusual place; they not only supply plants and gardening products of the broadest range and of excellent quality but are also a charitable organisation offering employment, training and educational opportunities. Here you can find everything you need for your garden, balcony, window box or roof terrace. The pleasant and tranquil oasis of Camden Garden Centre is filled to overflowing with plants and gardening products including a huge range of terracotta and contemporary pots and containers, roses, culinary and medicinal herbs, and herbaceous plants.
125 Sydney Street, London, SW3 6NR
Open: Monday to Friday 10am to 7pm, Saturday and Bank Holidays 10am to 6pm, Sunday 12 pm to 6pm.
An oasis of green, The reputable Chelsea Gardener is the destination for inspiring and innovative ideas, helping the well-heeled Chelsea neighbourhood to make the most of their outdoor space. Providing outdoor furniture, garden essentials, gifts and decorations, plants and pots. They also offer a full landscaping service, serving clients with design solutions, and on-going garden maintenance. Located just off the King’s Road this ‘secret garden’ makes an excellent venue for a party and is available to hire for any occasion.
Church Lane, off Petersham Road, Richmond, Surry TW10 7AB
Open: The Shop and Nursery are open Monday to Saturday, 9.00am – 5.00pm, Sunday and Bank Holidays 11.00am – 5.00pm
Internationally prized garden centre, Petersham Nurseries is a beautiful and tranquil refuge from the city. Much more than a garden centre, here you can browse plants in their nursery, find antiques and gifts in the shop, dine in their stunning Glasshouse restaurant or enjoy seasonal food and homemade cakes in the teahouse. A seedbed of inspiration, they regularly hold workshops on topics including shade gardening and pruning.
25 Englefield Rd, London, N1 4EU
Open: Monday to Sunday 9.30am to 6pm.
One Saturday afternoon in 1998, standing in a derelict button factory, Beryl Henderson made a decision. This was the place where she would create N1 – a truly life enhancing garden centre in the heart of London. Beryl, a passionate gardener living in north London, had a vision for a new kind of garden centre. She wanted to create a life enhancing place that would transform the urban gardening experience. An urban garden centre with quality plants, grown by specialist growers, and friendly, knowledgeable staff. 15 years on N1 continues to strive for excellence, winning several awards for outstanding customer service, and in 2013 and 2014 N1 was awarded best boutique garden centre at the industry’s Garden Retail Awards.
Connecting to the urban gardening movement, N1 continues to attract innovative suppliers within horticulture, design and home accessories, making urban gardening accessible and truly inspirational to both the knowledgeable and the beginner gardener alike.
Creephedge Lane, Rettendon, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 8ET
Open: Daily March to October 10am to 6pm, November to February 10am to 4pm.
Wander the expansive gardens of the the beautiful RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Chelmsford, Essex. The developed area of the garden, in excess of 24 acres, demonstrates an eclectic range of inspirational horticultural styles, from the formality of clipped hedges on the Hilltop to the naturalistic planting on Clover Hill. The wilder peripheries of the estate comprise sapling woodland, meadows, and bee hives, which enhances biodiversity. The nursery is stocked with an excellent selection of high-quality plants suitable for drier, poorer soils. There is also a comprehensive range of events and educational programmes throughout the year.
Don’t have green fingers? If you would prefer that someone else take care of the garden for you, Buy Time can connect you with the best local suppliers and services that will have your urban escape looking wondrous in no time at all. A Buy Time PA can look after your plants while you’re away and even manage an entire landscaping project for you, and/ or set up a regular maintenance program on your behalf.