Little Dobbies: The Shifting Idea of Gardening
Garden centres used to be straightforward things. These were places you went to buy anything from a garden fork to a pot plant or maybe something to put in a growbag. On the evidence of the third Little Dobbies, which has just opened in Notting Hill, in well-heeled west London, this simple definition may be changing.
The store is intended to fill the gap left by a full-size garden centre (the overwhelming majority of Dobbies’ estate are full-sized, full line, traditional garden centres) which cannot be accommodated in the city centre and is aimed at the ‘urban gardener’. Yet it turns out that this means, for the most part, potted plants and a few that might be planted in the garden.
To an extent this is easy to understand as space is at a premium in Notting Hill (and in central Bristol and Edinburgh, where the other two Little Dobbies are located) and for many, an urban garden will consist of little more than a window box.
All of which notwithstanding, this is a good-looking addition to west London’s retail landscape.