Boarding the coach with the sun shining, a warm welcome from Terry, fellow travellers and Dave the driver, I knew this was to be a happy day. A visit to Columbia Road Flower Market can so lift the spirits when you spy a road full of colour.
Photos by Gordon Rae
Joining the end of the crowd with Street Food to your left, you pass the stalls selling cut flowers , bulbs, succulents, clematis, hydrangea ,lilac, shrubs, etc. There were sounds of clattering trollies, stall holders’ chants, and tango music. Even two old gnarled Olive Trees could be had. On either side the shops were enticing you with garden equipment, bags, rugs, jewellery, cafes, and art. Side streets housed little shops poked into little spaces.
After sussing out my purchases before carrying them, my first stop – a hot milk and an artistically decorated small cake from The Lily Vanilli Bakery where I sat and chatted to two young people who came every Sunday and lived locally. It surprised me how many young people were around.
Terry set up a crèche in a Park nearby for our plants where he stayed to be Caretaker which was very welcome. It must have been hard work carrying a second hand ‘Basket Pot’, originally from Jim Keeling at Whichford Pottery, for a whole day – for there were bargains to be had everywhere.
On the way home, as with the upward journey, Terry started the ‘pass-it-on-system’ – chocolate sweets for us to enjoy and Gill thanked Terry and Dave on our behalf. Then time to empty the boot and home to get planting.