Christmas Flowers at Columbia Road

I spent yesterday morning on the eastern side of London, in Shoreditch and Spitalfields.

Columbia Road sign

I was buying flowers for Christmas at Columbia Road Flower Market.

Lilies Ilex

Both sides of Columbia Road were lined with stalls selling Christmas trees, ilex berries, eucalyptus, pussy willow, holly wreaths and poinsettia.

ilex roses

I started small with some holly.


Then I bought a bunch of mistletoe for £1, from a man who told me it would bring good luck, as long as I didn’t let it touch the ground.  He also warned me that witches might be out in the solstice sunshine…


This is not a witch-catching machine.  It wraps Christmas trees for easier transportation.

Wrapping the Christmas tree

Christmas trees wrapped

I had no car, so I resisted the temptation to buy a tree, but I still ended up with armfuls of flowers. So can London’s markets compete with India’s?  What do you think?


8 Comments Add yours

  1. You have a knack of capturing colours – both markets are gorgeous through your camera lense.

    Funny how we grew up only having ‘real’ Christmas trees and even grew a few of our own in our front yard. When I mentioned that here in Mumbai – folks were aghast. You cut down a REAL tree? How utterly shameful! Like it was some sort of crime against Christmas… took a moment to click how wood is plentiful in Canada, scarce in India and obviously there are no ‘Christmas tree’ farms here! Duh!


    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Back in Northern Ireland, one of the neighbouring farms on the distant drumlin grows Christmas trees – So I’m comfortable with the idea of the real Christmas tree.
      One of the nicest Christmas trees in London is the Norwegian tree donated to London every year by the City of Oslo as a gesture of gratitude for British assistance to Norway during the Second World War. I was singing Christmas carols under that tree on Friday, and it looked beautiful, standing in the middle of Trafalgar Square draped in lights, and crowned with a star. But it’s true that it would have looked more beautiful if it were still living in a Norwegian forest.


      1. How marvellous! I was just thinking next year I should organize some carolling – hijacked two books of carols from my parents – but its been too hectic this year with my partner’s family here. Always next year! 🙂


  2. I can totally understand what the commentor above means – it horrifies me too to hear that so many trees are cut down for decoration purposes. No offense meant to old-time traditions, of course. I can’t bring myself to accept that I am cause for the felling of a tree. 😦

    Gorgeous pictures, as always. Love the flowers, and the witch story. I would love to visit these markets personally some day, and buy these flowers. 🙂


  3. Lisa Bohner says:

    I just love visiting your blog Karolyn. It makes me happy every time.


    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Thank you Lisa- blogging makes me happy too.


  4. simplesoule says:

    So beautiful!! Hope you have a wonderful holiday!!


    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Thank you. Have a wonderful Christmas in Japan.


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