One of the reasons why I love London is that despite being a huge city, it has a small town vibe as soon as you leave the tourist and business oriented central zone. My commute to the City (the part of central London with all the glass skyscrapers) takes only 10 minutes, and where I live feels much like a small town area. Short, brick buildings, local shops, green parks and interesting markets. One of such markets is the Columbia Road Flower Market.
Back when I lived with my family, I was the worst person to look after plants. The only plant I managed to keep alive for a long time (about 20 years now) was my beautiful cactus, which to this day blooms once a year in spring. And to be completely honest, I’m pretty sure my parents contributed to keeping it alive by watering it every now and again, knowing that I’d do it myself, at the best of times, during the pre-Easter or Christmas house preparations. Long story short – I was horrible at looking after plants.
When I moved into my rented flat I realised that plants are one of the cheapest – yet the most effective – home decor items. I was also desperate to prove I’m an adult capable of keeping plants alive. Driven by that thought, I decided to get some plants. And it just so happened that one of my colleagues mentioned a flower market taking place every Sunday, just two underground stops away from my home. So one October Sunday morning, I went on a trip to Columbia Road.
It’s a narrow road with sellers on both sides and – hidden behind the flower stands – regular shops perfectly fitting in the market atmosphere – cute little cafes and restaurants and handmade shops.
The flowers are all beautiful, with vibrant colours. You can find almost anything there – from small and big indoor plants, to fruit trees such as lemon, orange or chilli peppers, to various outdoor flowers. And the prices are really good!
During my first visit at Columbia Road flower market, I went a bit crazy and bought five plants. Sounds like a lot, but they were the first live plants I bought for my flat and I had a lot of space to fill.
I won’t get into details of the plants themselves as I’m writing a separate post about all the plants I’ve accumulated over the past months, so I’ll just say that all of my purchases are still alive and going!
I went to Columbia Road flower market one more time, in February. I only bought one plant that time, but it’s probably my favourite now – a really interesting, living plant.
The Columbia Road flower market is second, after the Spitalfields food market near my workplace, street market I visited in London. I know that there are plenty more and I’m looking forward to having a chance to explore them!