Petersham Nurseries

After a few days running around in London, my plan is always to spend a day out at Richmond with a visit to the very stylish Petersham Nurseries. This trip coincided with the Petersham House’s open garden day, which made it all the more special.

We stayed at the nearby Petersham Hotel from where you can walk across the meadows to the village of Petersham which is like an old country hamlet in the middle of parklands in London suburbia. There’s only a handful of houses, one of which is owned by the Nurseries owners, Gael and Francesco Boglione who bought the old run-down nursery almost a decade ago and transformed it into a model of garden style and eco-conscious practices.

Perhaps their best decision was to entice Sydney-born chef Skye Gyngell (sister of Nine Network chief, David) to cook for them in the restaurant and it now has a Michelin Star as well as a star-studded following. When we were there I was almost bowled over by the Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood. An interior designer friend who lives in Richmond also adores the Nurseries and says last time she dined there Madonna was at the next table.

Lunch is served in the greenhouses on delightfully rustic vintage metal tables surrounded by vintage garden artifacts, old armoires, chandeliers and potted plants. This inspirational atmosphere feels more like a Lucianna Arrighi set for a movie than a plant nursery.

It was lovely to take a stroll around the gardens of the house. For me, the highlight was the kitchen garden which supplies fresh produce for the restaurant and the Boglione’s conservatory. One of the main features of the garden is the 50 metre long herbaceous border – a very English folly which was flowering madly.