16 Winders Road, SW11 3HE
(entrance next to 318 Battersea Park Road)
T: 020 7978 4253
Mon-Thurs 9.00-17.00, Fri until 19.00
Sat 9.30-18.00, Sun 11.00-17.00
This charming, independent local garden centre set up shop in 2012, and has been welcomed by locals and not-so locals (as well as the national press) with wide-open arms. Even if you’re not immediately in the market for any of its wares, the Battersea Flower Station is the most delightful place to visit for an inspirational mooch.
This verdant strip of land is discretely set in a wooded snicket beside the railway and between Battersea Park Road and Winders Road, where once barrows from Battersea market were stored. The Flower Station was the brainchild of Lisa McCormack, Scott Melville, and John Schofield who quit their jobs (in marketing, logistics and large chain garden centres respectively) to realise their dream of creating a place of beauty that had real value to the local community.
Drawing on her previous life in advertising, Lisa had come up with the Flower Station’s brilliantly punning name before they had even found premises, and says of the trio’s endeavour, “people talk about the death of the high street, and there’s no doubt independent retailing is a challenge, but we’re so proud of what we do here. It’s all about offering people something above and beyond just a product - we live or die by our customer services ethos. Locals have thanked us for making Battersea feel like a village again.”
Beneath the shade of the sycamore trees, Battersea Flower Station sells not just flowers (there’s a resident florist), but all kinds of trees, plants, houseplants and shrubs, as well as stylish and useful gardening paraphernalia in the well-stocked garden shop, including a good range of pots, large and small. Its tin shed carries tempting garden gifts and the friendly staff can advise on what plant goes where (essential information when planning tricky London gardens, balconies and window sills). Customer care is high on the BFS’s list of priorities, and always evolving in response to feedback – they offer local delivery, a window box planting service and came up with the brilliant wheeze of selling compost by the scoop for those small scale gardeners who don’t need and can’t store a great big sack of compost. All Battersea Flower Station products are locally sourced, and the staff are all Wandsworthians too. Utterly captivating.
this in an excerpt from our forthcoming book:
the London Garden Book A-Z
by Abigail Willis