Just like the rest of London, Columbia Road Flower Market is perennially packed. But the market is so interesting and pretty that somehow, the crowds melt away. When I visited a few weeks ago, I expertly weaved my way in and out of a sea of people (a skill acquired from a horror of my fellow commuters' armpits), taking in stalls bursting with colour and beautiful fragrances. They sell everything here - from exotic-looking orchids on slender stems to the homeliest of Michaelmas daisies, a fiver a bunch.
Columbia Road is great for the spendthrifts among us too. You have to restrain yourself or else be doomed to lugging incredibly heavy plants all the way home! That said, we were seduced by this pretty cherry blossom tree with dark pink flowers. At £15, I thought it was cheap for a tree...then again, I have no idea how much these things cost.
We also went home with a beautiful camellia japonica tree. It was a bit pricier than the cherry blossom (and a diva, too - it needs a special soil, ericaceous peat for those of you who are so inclined...) but just look how irresistible its flowers are.
Also on offer at the market: deliciously chewy bagels (I can attest to how filling these were - I had one, stuffed with cheesy omelette, rocket and tomatoes), folksy busking and dogs. Ridiculously cute dogs. Despite the fact the pug had a tongue reminiscent of a certain Pokémon, see below...
As we arrived home and chose positions for the trees in our garden, I looked around and felt a little twitterpated. Late spring/early summer in London is just so beautiful - the trees heave with flowers and fallen petals genuinely swirl in the breeze. Yep, I'm pretty sure it's my favourite time of year.
Have you ever been to Columbia Flower Market? Or is there an equivalent where you live? There's something so lovely about popping down to a market, picking up a handful of blooms and bringing them home - I wish I lived closer. I'd love to see where the stall-owners source their flowers from, and perhaps visit a couple of gardening shows next year. My family has been going through a difficult patch, and gardening, with all its digging, weeding and watering, has proved to be fairly therapeutic. It's so good to feel that you're giving something back to the earth by helping plants out!...Wow, that sounded hippie. Herein ends my post.