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.
|Clifton Nurseries "Farm Shop" interior|
|pink tea rose|
|pink-tinged white hydrangeas|
|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|
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.
|olive trees & shrubs, Clifton Nurseries|
|potted olive tree (Olea Europaea) price tag|
|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.