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“Flecks of sunlight dapple the path, beckoning us on to discover what lies at its end … This is Petersham Nurseries, and this is its story.”

Lying nine miles or so southwest of London, between Richmond and Ham, Petersham is a place apart. There’s no high street as such and, though there are a good number of historic houses and a charming, if somewhat hidden, 18th-century village lock-up, none are open to the public. By car, it would be easy to miss the village, but approach from the river, and the picture is more seductive.