Homespun Style, Brixton Village & a tiny herb garden

This weekend was my last before I start volunteering as a mentor with this amazing charity, so I kept it completely free and dedicated it to that favourite of pastimes: pottering. Needless to say, as usually happens with a weekend of nothing particular, I feel I’ve been flying around like a loon and am completely shattered!

It started with a quick call into Selina Lake’s launch event for her latest book Homespun Style. I was too busy nattering to Lynne, Charlotte, Jo and the Country Homes girls to take pictures but luckily Sussie Bell had been on hand to capture it (see all her photos here).

{Sussie Bell via Selina Lake}

On Saturday I made a last-minute decision to check out Brixton Village. I’d heard lots of great things about it so hopped on the bus to check out what all the fuss was about.

I never cease to be amazed by the transformations the most unlikely pockets of London can undergo in a remarkably short space of time. In Brixton Village (formerly the grotty Granville Arcade) there are still a handful of plastic bucket shops clinging on for dear life, but for the most part this is now the domain of achingly cool eateries, upmarket delis, vintage shops and craft boutiques. Recession… what recession?

I put myself under strict instructions to resist the vintage shops and came home with just a bunch of smelly freesias for Le Flat, a slice of rosemary cake and a little plan to make my garden grow (more of that later).

The shabby old covered market has been given a makeover from floor to ceiling… literally in the case of these vintage lampshade decorations. These wouldn’t look out of place in Selina’s book!

This place is so hip, even the litter is styled.

Assorted shop signs, including the cardboard log cabin that houses Circus. I could’ve spent hours exploring (and definitely want to return for lunch) – if you’re nearby it’s definitely worth popping in.

After finding a vase for my new freesias I decided it was time to give my ‘garden’ a refresh. That hot spell we had in March meant the spring bulbs I’d planted in my window boxes lasted only a couple of weeks before wilting away, so I toddled down to Homebase to choose something nice and colourful for summer.

{all except the first photo, Decorator’s Notebook}

I am very middle aged when it comes to garden centres – I love them! I spent ages pondering which seedlings to buy, eventually plumping for Cupid trailing sweet peas. I love sweet peas but hadn’t heard of a trailing variety before, so I’m hoping they’ll smell as lovely as the traditional ones. After that I got a bit carried away and bought another window box to make into a dedicated herb garden (first floor flat style, of course) and some mint, sage and two types of thyme to get started. I’ve sowed some chive, oregano, coriander, parsley and basil seeds as well to add in with the perennials in a couple of months time.

Loaded with all that, plus a 60 litre bag of compost made getting home a superhuman effort. I’m only 5’1″ and as the bus driver said, that bag of compost was probably heavier than me!

*flexes biceps*


You might also like these posts:

My window boxes in winter

Another London market – Columbia Road

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  1. says

    Thank you for writing about your experience and sharing. I was born in Stockwell and remember growing up in and around Brixton, especially the 1980’s when the riots and trouble flared up. Some parts of Brixton were no-go areas. It is so nice to see how Brixton has changed and has become a real cool and hip place to be, especially with the set up of Brixton Village that has more community spirit and backing. It is great to see and I will definitely be visiting (I now live in Croydon). Thank you.

  2. says

    It’s so interesting to experience areas changing. I’ve only lived in Crystal Palace for two years and even in that time it’s changed (improved) a lot. At the moment it’s in a fascinating transition phase – the run-down shops are still there but delis, cafes and smart gastro-pubs are moving in at a rate of at least one a month. I really hope the development can be sustained – it’s a beautiful but unappreciated area and a century after its heyday it’s about time Crystal Palace was back on the map!


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