Last week I went to London town to stay with my good friend Emily, who I lived with at university back in the day. She and her boyfriend have recently come back from travelling South America (lucky for some eh)! and just moved into the loveliest flat in Balham.
Being in new accommodation, she was lacking greenery and got me on board to help her on her mission to transform the front door space into a mini forest. Several of her neighbours had pots on pots of Geraniums and Fuchsias etc, so adding to the colour was kinda needed really, and I was fully game for this challenge!
Emily had just the place in mind; Battersea Flower Station, and I couldn’t be more happier she took me!
It’s given itself the title of the longest garden centre in London, and others would be challenged to compete with it! Even though it’s quite narrow, the stretch of gravel goes on forever and tons of plants spring out from every angle. I could have spent the entire morning there!
They had a small greenhouse area dedicated to indoor plants which I really liked as most garden centres lack this, just catering for the outdoors. It had the cutest selections of succulents which seems to be a huge fad across the board nowadays; gardeners and non gardeners alike! Also several ferns, ivy and spider plants, all ideal on bookshelves to trail to their hearts content.
Emily couldn’t resist the smaller succulents and now has one pride of place in her kitchen on the windowsill.
Emily is a huge animal lover and loved the idea of having some plants that would attract the bees and butterflies to her front doorstep, so I got to work suggesting several perennial plants that would be ideal for this. Lavender was the first plant that came to mind, as not only do the insects love it, it smells gorgeous on a summer evening!
There was a few varieties of Lavender so she picked an English and French variety- both lovely. As you can see from the photographs the Flower Station is adorable, with bunting and lamp shades zig-zagged across the strip. The website shows pictures in their gallery of the space lit up and it really is beautiful.
However, what I really loved about this garden centre, compared to others, is the approachable and friendly nature of everyone who worked there! Emily had several questions about how to care for the various plants she was spying on, and the two people who were on shift were more than happy to help.
It went beyond great service when Em asked if she could pot the plants up into the terracotta pots on site. I was super sure they would say they cannot offer that and we’d have to do so at home – boy was I wrong!
The French man – gorgeous French accent, had to mention – set us up a ‘potting up station’ by the entrance and let us loose on the compost and shovel for no extra fee. I quickly discarded the shovel and got stuck in with my hands!
I’m clearly not as great at it as I thought I was, and the poor man had to re-do one of the pots. Oh the shame! But we got there in the end, and all 3 plants were potted up and ready to take home.
I also really liked the mini sheds they had for different items; a gift shed with smaller pots, shovels, gloves, books and much more. Also, a pot shed (as seen in the picture) full of hundreds of different shapes and sizes. They even had 1930’s clay pots that were tiny on sale for £2.50, and they were so so tempting, but I knew I’d break them on my journey back to Suffolk.
All of the plants and pots were reasonable prices and the whole experience was brilliant. As we walked to the end of stretch we came across the florist shop right on the street/road for passer-bys to buy a stem or bunch. They had the biggest bouquet of blue and purple Hydrangeas; a current obsession of mine, but again struggled with the idea of transporting them safely home.
Instead we took Emily’s new friends home and set them up outside her new flat. Since I’ve been home Em has text me to tell me they’re slowly dying. Turns out she just needs to water them more regularly. Love her!
If you’re in London any time soon I cannot recommend checking this place out enough.
Website link and location: http://www.batterseaflowerstation.co.uk/
Let me know your thoughts if you go!