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Shopper’s Diary: Houseplants at Forest in London

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Shopper’s Diary: Houseplants at Forest in London

November 17, 2017

When London-based florist Fran Bailey started to hunt for an additional workspace near her flower shop in Dulwich, she didn’t expect to unearth such a magical location just a stone’s throw from the area’s ever-popular Lordship Lane. When she started to strip back the walls of a small former workshop, however, she discovered all sorts of treasures—walls of beautiful Victorian tiles, old metal windows, and a useful cellar which now acts as a storeroom and workspace.

Earlier this year Fran opened another branch in Deptford, which is larger but sells much the same mix of plants and lifestyle accessories. It’s unsurprising that visitors to both stores just want to move in. Forest feels like a chic city studio, except it’s a bustling shop where everything is for sale. Let’s take a closer look.

Photography courtesy of Forest.

 Fran was originally looking for a workspace for her thriving floristry business, but as the original site is so close to a bustling shopping area she added some plants, pots, accessories and antiques. “But then,” says Fran, “The plant thing went boom.”
Above: Fran was originally looking for a workspace for her thriving floristry business, but as the original site is so close to a bustling shopping area she added some plants, pots, accessories and antiques. “But then,” says Fran, “The plant thing went boom.”
 Perhaps because Fran is a florist first and foremost, there is a big emphasis on presenting a complete product. Shoppers can choose a houseplant and pot and then have it potted up in-store, ready to take home.
Above: Perhaps because Fran is a florist first and foremost, there is a big emphasis on presenting a complete product. Shoppers can choose a houseplant and pot and then have it potted up in-store, ready to take home.
 Horticulture is clearly in the family DNA. Fran’s father was a Dutch grower who moved to Yorkshire and set up a cut flower business; now both Fran&#8
Above: Horticulture is clearly in the family DNA. Fran’s father was a Dutch grower who moved to Yorkshire and set up a cut flower business; now both Fran’s daughters are also following in her footsteps.
A Kalanchoe Magic Bells is about  inches high; £.50 (pot sold separately).
Above: A Kalanchoe Magic Bells is about 24 inches high; £17.50 (pot sold separately).
Both branches are packed with a glossy array of plants, from big-leaf monstera to trailing spider plants as well as cacti and succulents.
Above: Both branches are packed with a glossy array of plants, from big-leaf monstera to trailing spider plants as well as cacti and succulents.

 Fran tries to source ceramics from local makers. There are hand-polished concrete pots from Conpot (from £, depending on size) and beautiful small ceramic pots and bowls from Charlotte Grinling and Gareth Thomas.
Above: Fran tries to source ceramics from local makers. There are hand-polished concrete pots from Conpot (from £20, depending on size) and beautiful small ceramic pots and bowls from Charlotte Grinling and Gareth Thomas.
Earlier this year, Fran and her daughter Alice, added the additional Deptford outpost. Housed in a former railway arch, the cavernous space could not be more different from the Dulwich store, but this up-and-coming area is packed with the young people who are driving the houseplant revival. This space also serves as a location to host workshops—and there are still spaces for this year’s Christmas wreath-making workshops.

N.B.: For more of our favorite London houseplants shops, see:

Finally, get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various houseplants with our Houseplants: A Field Guide.

Product summary  

Pots & Planters

Conpots

£20.00 GBP from The Fresh Flower Company

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