Petersham Nurseries has been luring city-centre cosmopolitans to Richmond since it opened 13 years ago. Now, the garden centre, founded by Australian-italian couple Gael and Francesco Boglione, is hitting the West End, with a sister site starting to open in Covent Garden this month. This is no small outpost, either – it’s a whole 16,000-squaremetre streetscape, designed with the help of architects Michaelis Boyd Associates.
The challenge has been to carry Petersham’s look and ethos – family-run, rural and a little bohemian – to the busy streets of the capital. It’s a task that Gael and Francesco’s five children – the eldest of whom, Lara, is Petersham’s managing director – are more than up to. Arranged around a courtyard, the new nurseries will include La Goccia – a small cocktail bar serving botanical drinks in jewel-coloured Murano glasses – a florist, a wine cellar and a brasserie called The Petersham. As well as plants, the shop will sell carefully selected furniture, textiles and homeware – from off-the-shelf Astier de Villatte ceramics to Indian terracotta – and ‘The Potting Service’ promises to be the horticultural equivalent of Harrods’ giftwrapping for your freshly-bought saplings (petershamnurseries.com).