ISSUE 85  |  Travels with an Editor: Barcelona

Where Florists Go to Buy Their Plants

August 15, 2013 5:00 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

Most of the fancy florists and plant shops in Barcelona are in the fashionable Eixample neighborhood in the center of the city. Guess where they go to buy their plants? Hivernacle.

More than 300 varieties of plants–plus another 200 kinds of cacti–are for sale in a soaring greenhouse that was once home to a plastics factory. The 17-year-old Hivernacle shop and nursery has the city’s best selection of house plants, succulents, and (in case you’re in the market) 30-foot-tall Giant White Bird of Paradise trees. Thirty feet might be a world record, by the way:

Photographs by Michelle Slatalla except where noted.

Above: “It didn’t have an ambiance like this when we found the place,” says owner Ignasi Rossinés Bayó. 

Above: The 100-year-old factory was an empty shell when Bayó first saw it. Photograph by Josh Quittner.

Above: You know them as succulents. Plantas crassa thrive in Barcelona’s sunny, dry climate.

Above: A cactus, ferns, and more succulents.

Above: The factory’s structure and layout were preserved during renovation. Photograph via Hivernacle.

Above: Owner Ignasi Rossinés Bayó waters a Senecio ‘Blue Finger.’

Above: Peyote, the cactus.

Above: Hivernacle sells custom raised beds, sized for Barcelona’s narrow balcony and terrace gardens.

Above: Coleus likes it sunny (or shady: not picky).

Above: Near the store’s front entrance, a 30-year-old White Bird of Paradise tree has grown taller than anyone believed possible.

Above: Same tree, exterior view.

While in Barcelona the other day, we also visited the city’s lushest, greenest, and most imaginative garden. See The Best Secret Garden in Barcelona.