Chiswick Flower Market to go ahead in November with support from LB Hounslow and Chiswick councillors

The organisers of the Chiswick Flower Market have announced that the November market will go ahead as planned.

As with the first one in September there will be an interesting mix of stalls selling live plants, cut flowers (more this time), bulbs, indoor plants and horticultural accessories at Old Market Place (opposite Marks and Spencer) from 09.30 – 3.00pm on Sunday 1st November.

You can see our video of the first Flower Market HERE

New to the market

The organisers look forward to welcoming Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, who have won no fewer than 24 gold medals at RHS Chelsea Flower Show over the years. They sell live plants, specializing in herbaceous perennials, grown at their nursery in Hampshire, but are also planning to sell bunches of cut flowers.

“We love doing events like this and it will be nice to be back in London, to meet up with some of our customers” says Robert Hardy.

Of particular interest will be their new Anemone ‘Frilly Knickers’, with its romantically ruffled semi-double petals, which they launched at the Hampton Court Flower Show this summer.

Returning to market – already favourites

Stallholders returning to the market include Steve Burridge and London House Plants’ Vicky Fleming, both well-established Columbia Rd market traders, and new business Urban Tropicana.

Helping local start-ups

Other start-up local businesses at the market include Greenka, selling indoor plants and pots, Lily Matilda, selling bunches of fresh and dried flowers, handmade pottery and garden inspired notebooks and Fiddlefig, selling a variety of indoor plants.

Vanessa Brandon will also be there with her son Jamie, a local tree surgeon. They’ve started a business together selling decorative glass and ceramic spheres and cylinders planted with succulents, cacti and moss. Vanessa was recently made redundant after 20 years in retail.

“Having a stall at the Chiswick Flower market is a fabulous opportunity for us  to connect with the public and show people what we do” she said.

Established Chiswick businesses Pot Pourri and W4 Flowers will also be there. W4 Flowers are looking forward to meeting Chiswick customers again, having been shut during the pandemic. They are the longest established flower trader on Chiswick High Road.

Covid precautions

After the success of the September market the organisers cancelled October’s market while they considered how they could make the market Covid secure.

“We’ve consulted with Hounslow Council’s Director of Public Health, Kelly O’Neill, scrutinised the government’s Covid regulations and kept an eye on what other markets are doing. We are confident that our Covid preparations are among the best.

We’ve taken additional steps to make the market as safe as possible by altering the layout, spreading out the stalls more. We’ve changed the queueing system,  making it easier to manage should we get big numbers turning up, though we don’t expect as many people as last time.

Our marshals, all community volunteers, will be assertive in requiring people to wear masks and exercise social distancing both in the queue and in the market itself. Visitors will be expected to use hand sanitiser on entry and we will stop people entering the market to stop it becoming too crowded, if the number of visitors reaches the limit agreed with the council” say the market organisers.

‘Tender Perennials’

They are also introducing a ‘Tender Perennials’ hour from 08.30-09.30 for older (70+) and more vulnerable (any age) shoppers to come with a friend, if you need someone to help you, to get first dibs without having to queue along with everyone else. Having to take extra care should not preclude you from being able to wander round and experience the colourful display of plants on sale without pressure.

The current legal position is that outdoor events are not restricted to a specific number of attendees and may go ahead provided (i) they have carried out a thorough risk assessment and (ii) taken all reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of viral transmission.

The organisers added “As partners in the Chiswick Flower Market, we have consulted with officers at LB Hounslow every step of the way, from traffic management to risk assessment. Our Covid planning, carried out in conjunction with Hounslow’s public health team, delivers a market with the highest standards in London.”

Leader of Hounslow Council, Steve Curran said:

“Chiswick Flower Market is a fantastic addition to the borough. Its inaugural market in September was a real success.

“It’s great news to hear that a Covid-secure way has been found for it to go ahead in November, albeit at reduced capacity. I know a lot of work has been carried out by the organisers to bring in proper safety measures, and this has been supported by Council officers. I’d like to say a big thank you to all involved.

“I’ll definitely be going and urge anyone else who does to be responsible, to keep following the national guidelines and be respectful of the measures put in place by the market organisers.”

Leader of Chiswick’s Conservative councillors Gerald McGregor added:

“Given the precautions being put in place, the market will be safe and well organised. Providing the weather is good, it will provide traders and visitors with activity and enjoyment”.