Urban Loveliness in W9…

04/06/2011

This morning I was inspired by a visit to the gorgeous Clifton Nurseries, an oasis of beauty in west London and a must-visit for anyone seeking some embellishments for their urban patch. By definition I suppose this place is a garden centre, but that term is a poor reflection of the very high standards of merchandise, display and plantsmanship here. You can buy the usual essentials such as compost, plant feed and tools, but this is a place to linger, enjoy and treat oneself to a bit of nature.

Much of London’s liveable loveliness derives from the way in which the natural world creeps into the built environment (albeit quite often with a helping hand) and rewards us with a display of optimism and colour which lifts our spirits and reminds us that beyond the city limits lie greenery, fresh air, and abundant space. Aside from the blessing of the big big parks, smaller garden squares and private gardens with their trees peeping over fences and rooftops, I am always restored by the sight of plants growing vigorously in pots on a doorstep or a window box spilling over with lavish colour.

Clifton’s plants are excellent quality and this must be the tidiest place of its kind in London as there didn’t seem to be a dead leaf or twig in sight. In the sunshine the greens looked greener and the colours more colourful than ever. A particular feature of the outdoor plants area is a large and I presume architectural salvage column with a grape vine winding its way up to the heavens… Bacchus would surely approve…

The charm extends indoors with home accessories, linens and furniture both of which are more akin to what you might find at Liberty than your local garden centre (although their prices do reflect that). Colour-themed displays also brought to mind a thoughtful, curated perspective behind the merchandising so that one really felt as though a bit of time had been taken to create an appealing and inspiring browsing experience so lacking elsewhere.

Clifton Nurseries
5a Clifton Villas
London W9 2PH
www.clifton.co.uk

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