Petersham Nurseries has been providing a sophisticated, environmentally-friendly lifestyle destination in Richmond for more than 15 years. Supporting the message of sustainability, the original concept was built on the dream of a family and continues to deliver a new spin on the traditional garden centre.
The Conception of Petersham Nurseries
Petersham Nurseries story began in 2002. It was then that Francesco and his wife Gael Boglione first noticed Petersham House. The property had been on the market for some time and the two fell in love with the Queen-Anne architecture. They immediately moved in with their four children: Lara, Harry, Anna and Ruby.
A couple of years later in 2004, the garden nursery adjacent to their property entered the market. The Australian family decided to buy it. Despite not being horticulturalists, the two were passionate about the beauty of nature. It was here that they began their dream of creating London’s most stylish garden centre. A beautiful place where everyone could enjoy the wonders of nature.
Great Service and Good Food
The original garden centre was just the beginning. By the summer of 2004, the couple approached their friend who was also a chef, Sky Gyngell. It was then that the idea to create a restaurant as part of the new property was conceived. The restaurant was formed by transforming a garage that used to house an antique Ferrari and reimagining it as a kitchen.
The restaurant also connected the garden centre with the Slow Food Movement. The team decided that the restaurant would serve local food with traditional cooking methods. No food sold would be produced using pesticides and the team is passionate about providing only fresh products. They want to serve wholesome products and allow customers to taste the difference themselves.
A Place For Teaching
Part of the concept behind the restaurant is a firm focus on sustainability. This is integrated within the business model at Petersham Nurseries and always has been. At Petersham Nurseries, visitors can attend courses in foraging or discover everything they need to know about planting. There is also the Petersham Platform which invites hosts to provide inspiration for people to get involved in the local community.
Furthering the sustainable goal, food that is left over from the restaurant is also donated to the Vineyard Community centre.
An Eclectic Offering
Part of what makes Petersham Nurseries so unique is that over the past decade the business has built up what they offer in their eclectic and welcoming shop. There are countless items available, many of which are from India. These offerings were inspired by the travels of the couples oldest daughter Lara who spent time exploring India after she graduated from University. Lara was inspired by Francesco’s earlier travels to Kathmandu, and she traveled to India alone. Francesco later joined her and quickly discovered items that he thought would be fantastic for Petersham.
There are items from all over the world including lead tables from India, old chairs and furniture sourced from France and glassware from Italy. As well as providing many products from around the world, the shop also supports the artists of Britain. There are willow weaved baskets from Annemarie Sullivan as well as leather accessories from Jude Gove, in Scotland.
A Family Spirit
While many would suggest that the success of Petersham Nurseries is due to the originality intertwined in the creation, the family believes that their success is more about the people involved. Lara, their eldest daughter is running the Covent Garden outpost of Petersham Nurseries as well as the Petersham Wine Cellar.
As well as this, their son Harry provides free-range meat from his farm in Devon while Ruby and Anna are responsible in entertainment and interior design respectively. While one focuses on the new design venture that’s part of the growing company, the other leads an immersive theatre company, that is now all part of the Petersham brand.
Petersham Nurseries Today
In 2019, Petersham Nurseries continues to thrive. Flowers bloom throughout the garden centre while the shop is filled with beautiful coloured vases. There are more offerings for customers than ever before and a further focus on teaching about sustainability.
For the fifteen-anniversary celebrations, the centre held an event focusing on the importance of honey bees and insects to human survival. It was a tremendous success and the couple already have great plans for the future including the possibility of a hotel.