We’re quite short of independent nurseries in this corner of the country, lack of available of space and high rents I guess being major factors, so it’s quite a surprise to find Clifton Nurseries tucked away behind the elegant white stucco houses of Clifton Villas in Little Venice. I’ve visited a few times in the past but not for a while and I have to say when I went a couple of weeks ago I was completely blown away by it.
Garden Centres and nurseries can be bleak affairs at this time of year, turning themselves over to all that is supposedly Christmas, it’s not the trees and wreaths that I mind so much as the acres of cheap looking plastic baubles, tinsel etc. and it’s something from which even the RHS are not immune.
I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a bit of this at Clifton, but not very much and what is there is lovely. The most impressive feature currently however, is the sheer array and quality of the plants on offer. I don’t want to add too much to surfeit of Christmas present ideas lists that are currently doing the rounds except to say that nothing would make me happier than finding a David Austin rose*, under the tree on the morning of the twenty-fifth.
I’m sure that for many keen gardeners a plant that you would not splash out on for yourself really is the ‘perfect gift’. It you want to visit the details are here and there is also a very lovely cafe which you can see here.
*Gertrude Jeykll please.