Sunday, 15 March 2009

Columbia Road

I went to Columbia Road Flower Market this morning. My favourite spot in East London!

Its the first time ive been since last summer- and have been looking forward to it- however my bed seemed far to comfy at the hour i intended to wake up- so didnt arrive at the market till 9:30 which meant it was already really busy. But the sun was out and it was good to be out and about so i didnt mind.

You have 2 options really with Columbia road- get there really early (ie 7:30-8am) and get the best bargains and beat the crowds, or go late ie 2pm when the traders are closing up and see if there are any bargains that the stall holders dont want to take home with them. I always opt for the early bird session i cant resist the thought of perhaps missing something 'if only id gone earlier!'

I went looking for some more plants for the different borders and wasnt dissapointed with the choice. However its quite obvious the current trend for exotic plants is still big with palms, orange trees, strelitzia, and treeferns available on most stalls. Primulas and Pansies seemed to be the plants of the moment with most stall holder shouting out deals on these- "6 for a fiver!"

As i'd hoped there would be there were a couple of stalls selling freshly dug up perennials (5 for £5) and bought 3 Echinacea purpurea and 2 Rudbeckia 'Goldsterm'- although after the guy had put them all in a bag i changed one Rudbeckia for another as it only had 2 growth points ("There all the same mate" said the stall holder- err no the're not im not buying an apple here, they may only be £1 each but im not getting a rubbish one just cos you gave it to me!). I walked past the stall later and saw he had Echinacea 'Magnus' next to his E. purpurea and hoped id bought the normal species as 'Magnus' will probably be too tall for the border- never mind though.

I also bought a small Pteris cretica albolineata fern for £1, and then from the bulb stall, hooray i found a plant i thought it was too late in the year to buy as a bulb- Allium spaerocephalon bulbs - 20 for £2 these were just shooting, i know its a little late to be buying these but they were cheap and I hope will catch up soon! these will go in the grass garden.

Then a stall id passed on the way in but decided to come back to it, the guy had a lovely range of plants for sale- i perhaps could have bought more but decided not too today. I got 2 Digitalis ferruginea for the grass garden, Cephalaria gigantea for the butterfly border this is loved by bees, an Angelica with purple leaves (the guy wasnt sure of the species) for the butterfly border, and a large Pteris(?) fern which for the life of me I cant think of its latin or common name (its got a label on the pot but its not the correct name!)- will have to get a photo up to get an id. Its in the large pot on the back left of the group.
Update just got an id for my Fern it is Dryopteris sieboldii its an evergreen Japanese fern. Thanks Steve!


  1. Looks like a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning!

  2. Blimey Owen - that's a pretty decent haul! I've never been to the Columbia Road market (I was still in bed at 7.30 this morning...).

  3. Some good bargains there! I don't know how they manage to keep the prices so low. It depends which route you took, but there's a front garden nearby with some huge Furcraeas in it. I'll take a pic next time I'm over that way.


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