A M O N G S T T H E F L O W E R S .
Growing up, garden centres visits were something of a ritual.
My family and I would meet my cousins and uncle at one or other of our many local garden centres every other Sunday, for cake and tea and hours of chatter.
I’d pick up my Grandma on my way home from lectures on Wednesdays during my first year or so of university, and we’d head over to the garden centre just across from where she lived for a happy afternoon of shopping and pottering and updating one another on our lives.
Christmas just wasn’t Christmas until we’d visited the festive displays in our favourite local nursery, and my sister and I would comment every year on how it never felt as sparkly or magical as the previous year’s display. Over the past decade, these traditions have changed and evolved, as our family has done the same.
But nevertheless, a garden centre visit still holds a special place in my heart…
I met Tania in Richmond a few days ago, and together we moseyed our way along the river towards Petersham Nurseries. Tania had never been before, you see, and so we thought it was about time for a visit!
I’d been to Petersham 18 months or so ago with friends, back when the nursery was beginning to bloom in full summer glory.
This visit was decidedly chillier, a little breezier, but my goodness, just as beautiful as ever.
Summer’s soft pinks and corals and lilacs have faded away, and instead the flower beds and potting tables now are filled with deep rust and berry tones.
The vines that have threaded their way across the ceiling of the greenhouse (that doubles as a cafe) are heavy with grapes, and the whole nursery is a feast for the eyes.
Not to mention the camera lens…
We could’ve stayed there all afternoon, Tania and I. And thinking about it now, we pretty much did.
Lunch was bought and enjoyed in the greenhouse (a taleggio and kale bake for Tania, chickpea and potato curry for me, plus a slice of chocolate cake to share), and we fell in love a hundred times over with the idea of owning a vine-filled greenhouse big enough to set up a dining table in. Can you even imagine the dinner parties?
The rest of our afternoon was spent wandering up and down the beds, taking 101 photos of the vibrant dahlias and herbs and greenery, and talking about how much we both loved playing hide and seek during the garden centre visits we made as children.
Not that there was ever any doubt that our friendship were solid as a rock, but sharing a love of garden centres cemented it that bit further.
I must just take a brief minute to talk to you about that dreamboat of a roll-neck I’m wearing. It’s without doubt the most cosy, yet effortlessly stylish jumper I’ve ever owned, and I’m yet to go a day whilst wearing it that it doesn’t get complimented.
All that, *and* it doesn’t need hand washing? Consider my heart officially stolen!