There is a part of London that will forever be green and verdant, for it is Garden Centre Land — an entire village that is made up entirely from garden centres.

OK. there are some houses – one road’s worth — but the rest of the village is a cluster of garden centres.

Quite why so many in this place is an odd legacy of the area’s past history. It used to be arable land, noted for its cottage garden industry, supplying food to London via the conveniently located railway line.

But food industrialized, flowers went dutch, and deliveries by railway dried up, so the locals knowing plants rather well adapted to changing times.

The area is now a mix of public garden centres, and their assorted lackeys and hangers on, and a sort of local hub for flower distributors importing flowers from far away.

There is also business sense in similar industries clustering together. It gives shoppers confidence that if one shop lacks what they want, then there’s bound to be one near by that does.

And so, a tiny village, the most northern settlement in Greater London is now dominated by garden centres. In fact it is Garden Centre Land.

  • Rattan Garden Furniture
  • Wolden
  • Culver Garden Centre
  • Three Counties
  • Alwards
  • Warderdam
  • Wyevale garden centre
  • Thompsons
  • Springtime
  • Phoenix Rose
  • Paramount Plants
  • Wildwoods
  • The Gardening Club

There’s small modest garden centres. Giant garden centres, with their own windmill, garden centers for people with huge gardens, garden centres for balconies.

And, everything in between — for some curious reason, animal centres and garden centres are often found in close proximity, so here’s reptile land, doggy walking land, pets land, fish in tanks land, all the pets.

Going for an outdoor hike, need outdoor furniture, need crafts, or mirrors, or chintz. They’ve got you covered.

If all that greenery is just too much and thought of mowing the lawn sends you into shivers, there’s places here happy to sell you rolls of fake grass to soothe your worries away.

And if that’s not enough, take a detour to Garden Shed Land. Two enclaves within Garden Centre Land that are filled with sheds. Loads of sheds. All the sheds.

If you ever wondered where the Christmas Sheds go when they aren’t needed for faux-German markets, this is their home. Which is not entirely surprising, as the area is also home to what is thought to be Europe’s largest santa’s grotto, and equally vast Christmas decorations shop.

Having sated all your gardening needs, several of venues also offer food and refreshments, to assist in recovering from all that optimistic gardening shopping. Or there is a local pub. That pub is in fact, the only non-gardening type venue in the entire village.

But finally, once you’ve fed yourselves, before you leave Garden Centre Land, pop around to the local stables on Whitewebbs Road, where you can pick up some fresh manure to feed your plants.

Obviously, I am being a bit tongue in cheek, and genuinely, if you want a day out to restock an entire garden, and more, then Crews Hill is a curiously perfect place to visit.

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10 comments on “The strange part of London that is forever Garden Centre Land
  1. It is really strange, isn’t it – like the out of town garden centre cluster that normal size towns or cities have, but for the whole metropolis.

    It makes you wonder if they ever thought of having one giant out of town retail park with gargantuan branches of Homebase, Mothercare and Argos.

    Then again, Brent Cross and Watford do that pretty well.

  2. Zoey Quinn says:

    As I only live 15 minutes away from here it is the norm for us. This is an interesting read from an outsider view.

    At Christmas it is amazing and a very popular village to visit.

    I enjoy walking around the garden centres and I am not even a gardener or green fingered.

    As weird as it may sound and look it is a must visit.

  3. Yvonne says:

    One centre thst has not been mentioned is Brown’s Garden Village on this site there is The Vintage Emporium Atlantis Spiritual Centre and lots of little independent shops including ours Shed Load of Crafts where we have local crafters goods for sale as well as haberdashery and crafting supplies

  4. Paul Parkinson says:

    Reminds me of the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and The Shoe Event Horizon, an economic theory that “draws a correlation between the level of economic (and emotional) depression of a society and the number of shoe shops the society has.

    The theory is summarized as such: as a society sinks into depression, the people of the society need to cheer themselves up by buying themselves gifts, often shoes.

    It is also linked to the fact that when you are depressed you look down at your shoes and decide they aren’t good enough quality so buy more expensive replacements.

    As more money is spent on shoes, more shoe shops are built, and the quality of the shoes begins to diminish as the demand for different types of shoes increases. This makes people buy more shoes.

    The above turns into a vicious cycle, causing other industries to decline. Eventually the titular Shoe Event Horizon is reached, where the only type of store economically viable to build is a shoe shop.

    At this point, society ceases to function, and the economy collapses, sending a world spiralling into ruin. In the case of Brontitall and Frogstar World B, the population forsook shoes and evolved into birds.”

    Or, it has to be said, sheds and garden centres…

  5. Caroline Lewsey says:

    Unless I’m being thick, it doesn’t say exactly where it is, except North London. I’m from W4 so don’t know the area at all.

  6. David Chapman says:

    Crews Hill is interesting to visit, but beware – some of the plants on offer are of very average quality and can be very expensive. If what you want are plants, of high quality and reasonable price, go to the Clockhouse Nursery at Forty Hill, Enfield. EN2 9HA (Not very far from Crews Hill and opposite Forty Hall.) A proper, family-run nursery, with knowledgeable staff. (I have no connection with Clockhouse except as a customer for many years.)

  7. Becky Kennedy says:

    Another Enfield native here championing the fabulous Clockhouse Nursery nearby – much cheaper and generally better quality. Also within a five minute drive are Myddelton House, a beautiful garden and former home of horticulturalist E A Bowles, and the famed horticultural college Capel Manor, site of many RHS plant trials and transplanted Chelsea Flower Show gardens.

  8. Heidi Barnes says:

    Another great private garden centre is Shannons at Forest Hill near Crystal Palace SE London .