Chiswick Flower Market is preparing for its grand launch.
Say the words “open-air flower market” to any Londoner, and straightaway they think to Columbia Road Flower Market, whose unquestioned dominance is similar to that of, say, the Soviet Union ice hockey team. But now, an upstart has emerged, hoping for their Miracle on Ice – for Chiswick Flower Market, which lands on September 6, is the first brand-new open-air flower market in London for 150 years.
Like any young pretender worth their salt, Chiswick Flower Market are bullish about their ambitions, proudly flaunting their desire to be “the Columbia Road of the West”. But the market has the data to back up their beliefs, having surveyed residents which earned the fledgeling market a 94% approval rating. Chiswick is crying out for a flower market to complete their lineup of incredible places, including coffee shops hidden in phone booths and outrageously sweet bakeries. It’s believed that the arrival of the flower market would give a boost to local retailers and independent shops along the Chiswick High Road.
Though Chiswick Flower Market will be a brand new endeavour, the chosen site has a proud history: Market Place, though used primarily as a car park these last fifty years, was once the beating heart of Chiswick, and hopefully will be once again. Chiswick itself has played an essential role in horticulture through the years; it’s widely accepted as the birthplace of the English landscape movement, was the site of the Horticultural Society’s first gardens, and is home to the UK’s oldest camellias.
Indeed, one prominent local green spot has already signed up to be involved, as Chiswick House & Gardens are playing a pivotal role. Existing flower stalls in the area have been consulted and will be given prime spots in the new market. The likes of local garden centre Wheelers, Chiswick Horticultural and Allotment Society, and London House Plants will also be running stalls. You’ll be able to buy locally-grown and exotically-sourced flora – including bedding plants, house plants, terrariums, cut flowers, seeds and bulbs, fruiting trees, pots, and gardening accessories – and the market is also promising a strong commitment to sustainability, in the form of plastic-free, peat-free, and grown-your-own products.
Though the arrival of Chiswick Flower Market has been delayed a little by the pandemic (it was originally slated to open in May), things are gathering pace in advance of the September 6 grand launch. It’ll be open from 9:30 am-3 pm, and run on the first Sunday of every month. For the remainder of 2020, the market will be in its pilot stage, with a theme for each month; in October, it’ll be Hallowe’en-themed, for November, the focus is on fruits and tulips, and in December, it’s all about Christmas (what else?!). They’ll work social distancing measures into the market arrangement, including designated queuing areas and passing places, and are encouraging people to walk or cycle to the market, with cargo bike deliveries available for free delivery within a two-mile reach of the market.
Find out more about the market on their website.