Historic Clifton Nurseries

This unassuming entrance is a rabbit hole…fall into a wonderful plant experience!

During an autumn trip to London, I was fortunate to finally visit historic Clifton Nursery and its shops. One of the main reasons I travel is to see new gardens, discover new plants, and be impressed by innovative displays. This was definitely worth the trip! Located in the city, with land space at such a premium, I anticipated a small shop, so I was in for a surprise!

If you look carefully, the Christmas shop has just been restocked inside the old Fern House.

The original site began as an ornamental garden and nursery ground and in 1851 the Clifton Vilas were constructed around it. In 1880 it was purchased by Johannes Krupp, a former gardener at the Kaiser’s gardens. He turned the nursery into a thriving business, selling quality plants and supplying hotels, theaters, film sets, and wealthy individuals with exceptional, stunning plants for special events. I imagine some of these topiaries would have been used!

These little succulent topiaries were adorable.

I really am a sucker for topiary of any sort!

How to choose?
I need a larger suitcase!

At that time, the site housed seven greenhouses, and the second largest palm house in England (Kew was larger, of course.) Krupp’s son took over after his father’s death, but he was not as keen on plants and sold it to Sydney Cohen in 1944.

The selection of perennials was outstanding.
More perennials, with added display items, such as the willow trellises.

Cohen was enterprising, and established a landscaping division that increased the nurseries profits and fame. Unfortunately he died unexpectedly in 1975, and the nursery was on shaky ground for a time until Lord Rothschild took it over in 1979.

The Garden Shop has won awards. It’s easy to see why. Definitely need another suitcase!
Such a variety to appeal to any taste!
Books, seeds, bulbs, tools and more are in the second shop.

Under his guidance, the Garden Shop was established and Clifton Nursery’s garden designer installed award-winning display gardens at the prestigious Chelsea Garden Show. He also added branch stores in France and Japan!

Pansies and violas were ready for the cooling temperature of October.
These cyclamen were stunning, as were the heathers.
The orchid house was bursting with plants, and adorable potted items like the dog planter lower left.
This is a corner of the outdoor living display.

In 2003 Tad Paulchowski took over, adding The Quince Tree Cafe and the interiors shop

The Quince Tree Cafe is a popular spot for breakfast or lunch. I can attest that the Eggs Benedict are fantastic!

The nursery is now owned by Martyn Mogford and Will Clark, who have improved the London location and added another, expansive nursery near Weybridge in Surrey.

Of course, I had to check out the herb selection.
The culinary herbs were so appealing and fresh.

This fall display was full when we arrived, but by the time breakfast was over, most of the center plants had been snapped up!

You can visit them at http://www.clifton.co.uk. or better yet, go visit them in person, but take a big suitcase and be sure to plan to have breakfast or lunch there!


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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3 Responses to Historic Clifton Nurseries

  1. What a beautiful place! Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed my virtual visit immensely.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kit Miracle says:

    I love all these photos. They’re so inspiring. Thanks for sharing.


  3. This post was so timely! I was in London for the Christmas holidays when I got your post! And I convinced my family to go and have breakfast at the Clifton Nursery! It was a lovely morning!! Thank you!


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