Every Sunday there is a string of people rolling down towards a seemingly hidden street in Hackney. The streams flow in both directions. From Shoreditch, people go bare-handed, armed with huge bags, empty trolleys and spacious boots. In the opposite direction, crowds are carrying bouquets of wonderful flowers, carefully wrapped in crispy brown paper. It is not surprise if you see an odd orchid or a plant’s branch reaching out of a window. It can only mean one thing. It is Sunday and you just happened to be very close to one of the hottest places in London.
People have been coming down to Columbia Rd to get their weekly floral supplies for decades and what you about to experience is a one-of-a-kind moment which, I guarantee you, will never happen again, since next week the supply will change accordingly to the current season and later trends.
However, you will always be surrounded by the same, totally unrepeatable atmosphere. The traders will steal your attention with their irresistible offers, providing you with the latest tips on growing Orchids (of the best quality, of course), planting herbs and tulips (yes, they are Dutch but still soooo pretty!) and maintaining the most beautiful roses for up to 10 days! That is worth a fiver or two, don’t you think?
If you are already covered in hydrangeas, struggling to fight your way through to a decent cup of coffee and yet you spot one more bouquet which you simply cannot leave there, just bargain! Not only will you get a much better deal, but you might also receive a little gift from one of the traders who will be buying your loyalty for next Sunday and, c’mon, who would complain about a little rose or a Lilly?
The people here, of and at the Columbia Rd Flower Market, create (though maybe unknowingly) a wonderful community of strangers who have one in common – the love of nature and its beautiful products. Every Sunday they all gather here, in expectations of what new shades of roses and unusual shapes of pumpkins will be on offer. One will never know and therefore, you ought to keep coming back to see what the traders have been up to and which ones will make you a bouquet as big as their hearts and as beautiful as the autumn leaves.