Our Top 5 Lush Garden Centres to visit in London

Photo:  Monocle

Photo: Monocle

Looking for the best garden centres to visit in London? We've got you covered. Nestled away in the nooks and crannies of this concrete jungle are hidden nature troves that are begging to be discovered! 

If you don't know a whole lot about gardening, you're not alone. We are now seeing less of the younger generation getting their fingers green and one reason for this is societal change. With a plethora of issues surrounding our modern lives coupled with the rise in obesity and issues surrounding mental health, it is important to understand the various benefits that gardening provides. Recent findings highlighted in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggest that gardening can provide the perfect replacement for a lack of exercise and is positively correlated with longer life expectancy. Touching the soil alone can affect our brains in a similar way to antidepressants. 'Friendly' bacteria found in the soil has been shown to increase our levels of serotonin and alter behaviour in the same way antidepressants do.

Here, we've curated a list of the top 5 Garden Centres to visit in London. 

1. Battersea Flower Station Garden Centre & Florist

An oasis for plant lovers, this independently owned garden centre may not be the biggest but it is filled with a variety of plants to suit your every need. They also offer beautiful bouquets for every occasion. Rated as the best garden centre by The Times, The Telegraph and Time Out this plant haven is worth checking out! 

16 Winders Rd, Battersea, London SW11 3HE

Photo: Londonist

Photo: Londonist

2. Clifton Nurseries

One of the oldest and most beautiful Garden Centres would have to be the grand Clifton Nurseries. Located in Maida Vale, this stunning garden centre is filled to the brim with top quality seasonal plants. In its heart is the Palm House, a glass greenhouse filled with exotic foliage. To add to this, their tranquil Quince Tree Cafe is the perfect place to unwind after an afternoon of shopping. 

5A Clifton Villas, Little Venice, London W9 2PH

3. The Nunhead Gardener

Located in a once unloved railway arch, this homely garden centre is unique in every way. Stressed commuters pass by and are greeted by the sight of this little patch of paradise. They then step into the archway and unwind with the smell of the sweet aroma of fig and vanilla candles. The attention to detail is conspicuous. Locally sourced pieces of crockery, taxidermy and birdhouses amongst other goods complement the vegetation that surrounds it. What's more heartwarming is hearing the story behind the creation of the centre. Peter Milne and Alex Beltran gave up their corporate jobs of 25 years to make their dreams of creating an idyllic garden centre come true. 

'For us, it is very much about creating an atmosphere. We have customers that come back every week, they may not want to shop or buy anything, they just like the environment and it's become part of their weekly routine.'

- The Nunhead Gardener.

1A Oakdale Road, London SE15 3BW 

Photo:  Monocle

Photo: Monocle

4. Camden Garden Centre

They describe themselves as 'unusual'. Since the 80s this exceptional centre not only supplies fantastic plants and gardening tools of all sorts, but they also tackle youth unemployment as well as supporting the homeless, ex-offenders and people recovering from addiction. This multi award-winning Garden Centre in North London is a must-visit in our books.

2 Barker Drive, St Pancras Way, London NW1 0JW

5. Conservatory Archives

The most instagrammable garden centre award goes to the Conservatory Archives! One step inside this thriving urban rainforest will fill you with awe and wonder. With peeling plaster walls and an impressive assembly of foliage and vintage features, one thing is for certain - this place does not lack character. Prepare to be amazed. 

493-495 Hackney Rd, London E2 9ED

The fact of the matter is, gardening is fantastic for your health and wellbeing. It is cool and fun and allows you to transform lifeless areas into tropical oases - a much needed escape from the hustle and bustle of London. Go nurture your soul and visit a garden centre this weekend!

Written by Vanessa Stidever.

Learn to make your own terrariums with Leafage