Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Petersham Nurseries

OK, so what's your idea of heaven?  I have so many, I had to start a blog.  Once upon a time, I could have been a very grouchy person.  But having a blog like this, and reminding myself daily how many very nice places there are on earth, I've involuntarily converted myself into a Buddhist or a Hindu.  And I'm having to spend my days counting out the heavens I've found myself in.

This is a fairly recent apparition in the heavenly galaxy.  It's called Petersham Nurseries and why, particularly, sooooooooooo HEAVEN-LY?????

If you love flowers.  That might be why.

Whether you like to grow them yourself.  Or just to admire them.

If you like to be inspired by others' garden ideas.

If you want to be surrounded by nature.  Wherever you are.

If you adore the voluptuous miracle that is vegetables.

And thinking of spring when it is still winter.

If you like to get your hands a little dirty.

And like all the accoutrements of gardening.

If you think there's nothing better than having a meal al fresco.

And inviting all of your friends.

Or if you're a hothouse flower

And it's not so warm outside yet........

Finding someplace sunny and sheltered

to pretend you're outdoors when you're not.

This could definitely be your idea of paradise.

But wait, that's not all.

What if you didn't actually have to do your own cooking?

And you could enjoy excellent wines with your meal?

And fanciful cocktails?  In this simply gorgeous setting?  And the happy efforts of one of the best chefs around these days?

Skye Gingell  (click to link for Independent UK recipes) is in the kitchen at Petersham Nurseries.  

Her flavors are clean, and concentrated.  Her ingredients are absolutely the freshest because most come out of the Petersham Nurseries' kitchen garden.  Her recipes are rustic and authentic in origin but refined and careful in ALL THE BEST WAYS in execution.  Her food makes you feel satisfied and refreshed all at once.  And as soon as you've finished, your soul will be HUNGRY all over again for her smoothly harmonious combinations of flavors.  This food will make you dream.  And Skye, when you run into her, while you're poking around P'sham Nurseries, seems the nicest, humblest, most regular, thoughtful person you've had the pleasure to say "Hi" to lately.

Are you convinced?  It would have to be Heaven.

This dream of Heaven is located on a narrow lane between the Thames River and an equally narrow bridge that crosses it.  It has very limited parking and neighbors cheek by jowl who are trying to conduct normal lives and business despite the comings and goings of the Nurseries' discriminating customers.  You'll see on the website that it's recommended to you that you either:

1) Find a friend who lives close by in Richmond and walk from their house  (Mick - Jerry?)

2) Park in the Richmond town center and have a gorgeous walk along the river - one of the nicest things you can do ever

3) Take the bus

If you're planning on buying great loads of stuff, have your "little man" wait up the road in the Range Rover until you're ready to roll.   For eating in the restaurant - make a reservation.

I loved sharing these pictures with you but I know I'm going to regret telling you about this Paradise in  Petersham. This is another one where you should: tread gently.  We have a bad habit in this day and age of destroying that which we love most.


  1. The last time we were in London (November 2008) my husband had to make a pilgrimage to Petersham Nursery. It was a little wet and chilly but lunch in their greenhouse restaurant was wonderful.

  2. Anything with flowers and I am happy! Thank you for this.

  3. Thomas: Your hubby sounds like a man after my own heart. Wet and chilly in November would be normal, sadly. These pics were taken only a little afterwards, last year March 09.

    Kenza: I did not EVEN take enough pics of all the flowers, wellingtons, tools, brushes, pots. I just loved the idea of eating in a greenhouse.

  4. beautiful garden images. Bring on the spring! :)

  5. I love it there and am waiting until I get the chance to go again. Also Kew isn't that far and you can pop in at the wonderful Marianne North gallery - if you haven't been there you should!

  6. PIP: Thanks for coming by! Glad you enjoyed!

    Ellen: Hi! Oh yes - I love Kew (see my post on D. Chihuly late last year). I lived in Chiswick for 2 years and spent many happy afternoons there. Embarassed to say I never have made it inside the M.N. gallery. I will go next time. Promise!