field trip: Clifton Nurseries

echinacea close-up

With all the boutique and luxury stores woven throughout London, high-consumerist mecca, of course I'd be most excited over . . . a plant nursery. My friend here had suggested I check out Clifton Nurseries, a West London garden establishment located since 1851 in a quiet neighborhood corner near the canals of Little Venice. The high-end nursery, "farm shop," and café are all quite lovely.

pink hibiscus

Clifton Nurseries "Farm Shop" interior

pink tea rose

pink-tinged white hydrangeas

yellow rose

hot-pink hibiscus

zinnias & arbor

Quince Tree Café tables, Clifton Nurseries

zinnias, Clifton Nurseries

antique blue painted wooden chest

rows of orchids, Clifton Nurseries

epiphytic rickrack cactus (Cryptocereus anthonyanus or Selenicereus anthonyanus)

exotic flowering houseplant

houseplants in greenhouse

potted succulents

Yet once there, wandering around with my camera, surrounded by familiar and exotic indoor and outdoor plants from around the world, I was mostly missing my own humble little Portland garden while daydreaming of plants I could possibly find for free on Craigslist when I get back home.

planter-pots section

olive trees & shrubs, Clifton Nurseries

potted olive tree (Olea Europaea) price tag

white grapes

field of flowers, Clifton Nurseries

shrubs & metal turquoise café table set

Clifton Nurseries entrance
Be prepared for sticker shock, though: prices are high at Clifton, which also provides landscape design services for well-to-do clients. But as a place for gardening inspiration, Clifton provides a calm spot to escape the bustle of nearby Paddington Station. Sales associates also let customers browse without any impatience or hovering—offering a refreshing, freeing anonymity.

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