Postcode Pioneers: The Allotment Florist, North London

Postcode Pioneers: The Allotment Florist, North London

In Postcode Pioneers, we celebrate independent shop owners from across the world as they share their neighbourhood haunts. This week, we chat about sustainably grown flowers and hidden corners of Hampstead Heath with the green-fingered doyenne behind north London’s The Allotment Florist.

a sucker for a fresh bouquet, even more so if they’re
scented and sustainably grown. As part of our Postcode Pioneer
series that shines a light on small businesses, we’re calling upon
Helena Willcocks of The Allotment Florist to share with us her
must-visit places in north London.

After Helena realised that many of the flowers in the florists
she worked in were being imported, she set about growing her own
blooms on a north London allotment. Since opening in 2016, The
Allotment Florist’s wild-flower wreaths and dried-flower postcards
have blossomed across town.

Here, the green-fingered guru shares her favourite place for
dinner, other independents she loves and tips on snagging your own
green patch.

Blooming marvellous: The Allotment Florist shares her North
London hotspots

Where are you from and how has that shaped your business?

Originally from Leeds, I grew up surrounded by the beautiful
Yorkshire Dales. This wild and dramatic landscape continues to have
a huge influence on me and my work. My aim is for every arrangement
to look, smell and feel as if it has been freshly picked the

What was the inspiration behind starting The Allotment

After working for others in the floristry world, I was shocked
by the huge quantities of flowers that are brought in from abroad.
These blooms are cut, doused with chemicals and often flown
thousands of miles before we actually see them – so much so that
they often lose their scent. This just didn’t make sense to me. So
I started a business that had a more organic approach and starte to
grow flowers in a more sustainable way.

You’ve got a studio and allotment in North London. What first
drew you to this neighbourhood?

I’ve always lived in north London. Areas such as Stoke
Newington, Crouch End and Muswell Hill are some of my favourites
because they feel like small villages in the city. Maybe it’s
because I’m a northerner, I was drawn to the north.

Describe the vibe of the neighbourhood…

North London feels relaxed and friendly to me. I love being in
nature and this area feels very green – you have so many lovely
places on your doorstep such as Hampstead Heath, Ally Pally and

Where should we go in north London for coffee?

My favourites are Common Ground or Fink’s Salt and
, both in Finsbury Park

And hangover breakfast?

You can’t beat a fry up at The Haberdashery in Crouch End.

What about somewhere for dinner with friends?

in Crouch End is fun, though my absolute favourite is
Sandwich Shop
in Crouch Hill.

What about on a date?

It may be a bit cliché but you can’t beat a picnic on Primrose

Where shall we go in North London to go to buy a present?

I love Search and Rescue and Nook on Stoke
Newington’s Church Street.

Any other independents in the neighbourhood that you love to
buy from?

Cheeses of
Muswell Hill
is a firm favourite.

Any secret spots only locals know about?

There are a few hidden spots in the Heath that make you feel as
though you’re the only one there. Keep searching and eventually
you’ll find them.

We want to start growing our own flowers. Can you share with us
some green-fingered tips?

Start with something easy but very rewarding such as cosmos,
ammi majus, dahlias, sweet peas or roses. Also, be patient. Some
things will work, some won’t, but I guarantee you will have fun.
Plus, the best thing about gardening is that there’s always next

Any suggestions on how we can secure our own allotment?

Just get yourself on the waiting list for all of your local
allotments. There will be more than you think. Then it’s just a
waiting game.

Finally, what should we buy from your store?

Our autumnal dried wreaths, or our dried flower postcards to
send to loved ones.

Discover More
Where to Buy Flowers in London