The Handbook
The Handbook

If picking up your weekly trio of hydrangeas or bunch of eucalyptus brings you joy but don’t live anywhere near East London’s Columbia Road, we’ve got some blooming great news to share.

West London is about to get its own flower market and it’s heavily focused towards consumers rather than bonafide florists, so you can rest assured you won’t have to wake at an ungodly hour like you do when visiting the likes of New Covent Garden, or buy in bulk.

The market will be popping up in Chiswick, and is being coined the “Columbia Road of the West” and it has a rather lovely story behind it too. Not tied down to any big commercial ventures, the market is actually the passion project of a group of Chiswick residences who clearly have an affinity to all things floral, but also want to attract people to Chiswick High Road and revitalise the local economy that’s taken a beating in COVID times.

The founders are Ollie, a commercial surveyor and weekend Columbia Road enthusiast; author Karen Liebreich who happens to have diploma in horticulture; and Bridget Osborne, ex-BBC journalist and editor of local website The Chiswick Calendar.

Nikki Tibbles or Philippa Craddocks they may not be, but the trio certainly know their roses from their ranunculus and their sheer passion for injecting something new and colourful into the area shines through.

The market will be held in the exact same spot as where Chiswick’s first open air market was set up in 1919 by soldiers returning from the First World War. In a rather touching case of history repeating itself through tough times, that original market was setup to create employment during an economic crisis.

The founders are in talks with traders now ahead of the September launch but are hoping for a carefully curated selection of stalls that sell everything from plants to bulbs, bedding plants to exotic house plants.

Pencil in Sunday 6th September, which is the planned date for launch, followed by subsequent markets on the first Sunday of every month. For those who want to get the market early (it runs between  09.30 am – 3.00 pm but everyone knows the best blooms are snapped up in the morning) and don’t want to traipse their purchases around with them, there will be a Plant Creche where you can leave your purchases and enjoy the bounty of other shops, pubs and restaurants in the area. Plus volunteer cyclists who will deliver your plants to your door absolutely free if you live in the area or £5 if you live further away.

Looks like Chiswick is set to be a hefty competitor for East London’s uber cool Columbia Road come September – who would have thought it.

The first market will launch on Sunday 6th September, 09.30 am – 3.00 pm with subsequent markets on the first Sunday of every month: 4th October, 1st November and 6th December in the Old Market Place outside the police station, opposite Waterstones in Chiswick High Rd. W4 2DW.

www.chiswickflowermarket.com


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