Crews Hill is a hot spot locally for nurseries and garden centers, but if you continue driving for another few minutes you’ll reach rather more special Clockhouse Nursery in Forty Hill.
Growing up in Enfield with a florist mother, I’ve spent a lot of time in Crews Hill over the years. Whereas a lot of the nurseries have diversified and sell furniture, hot tubs, tropical fish or have been taken over by big chains like Wyevale, Clockhouse remains resolutely plant focused. Clockhouse was established in 1928 by Archibald John Mills and most of what they sell is grown on-site on their extensive grounds in the Forty Hill conservation area near the New River.
For me, one of the main attractions is that it’s such a pleasure to visit. Driving from Barnet takes you through wonderful Green Belt countryside past Trent Park, turning northeast onto the Ridgeway and then taking East Lodge Lane through Botany Bay (and Googlies Jazz Club) and onto Cattlegate Road. You’ll pass some of the aforementioned garden centres but then turn onto Whitewebbs Road. Just before you reach Bulls Cross you pass the Spurs training ground near Capel Manor and coming south towards Forty Hill you’ll see the entrance to Myddelton House and gardens on the right. Cross over Maiden’s Bridge over Turkey Brook and shortly beyond Jesus Church the Clockhouse Nursery is signposted on the left. Forty Hall (with its vineyard) is a little further along on the right.
The nursery is clearly laid out and spacious – there isn’t café (like our other favourite, Finchley Nurseries), just a great selection and helpful staff. On my latest visit I stocked up on spring bulbs before all the interesting ones sell out, but there’s plenty to tempt you (I resisted the David Austin roses). It’s a good time of year to restock your garden while the soil is still fairly warm – and we have plenty of suggestions from our gardening correspondent, Manoj Malde.
Winter: 9am–4pm 7 days a week.
Spring-summer: 9am–5pm, 7 days a week including bank holidays