London Life Shops

Conservatory Archives

February 4, 2016

Today, I’m über excited to introduce you to the latest addition of a specialist shop in London. Conservatory Archives is a plant shop like no other I’ve encountered.

conservatory archives // colourliving

Opened just before Christmas 2015, owners Jin and Giacomo are currently working on their website. Unfortunately for now you’ll have to take a trip there but boy will you be pleasantly surprised and rather overwhelmed with so much beauty, integrity and discernment.

So what will you find there? Well, if you’re after the usual plant suspects, you’ll find a few of those. Mostly there are unique beauties, be it extra large cacti, airplants and monsteras. You’ll find many small succulents for terrariums, some very rare species obtained from real plant collectors. There are vintage pots and some furniture. The choice and selection is truly breathtaking and you can see the discerning eye. I didn’t know where to look first and I felt that I was in a place where someone knew their craft.

Meet Jin, who tamed my curiosity.

conservatory archives // colourliving

What’s your background? I’m originally from Seoul, where I studied graphic design and also worked as a fashion designer. I came to the UK 5 years ago to study English in Edinburgh, where I met Giacomo. Then I went on to Chelmsford to get a BSc (honour) in Horticulture. Last year we came to London and planned this shop.

What’s the idea? When studying Horticulture, most students focused on landscape gardening. I knew I wanted to work with an ‘indoor garden’. I come from a big city (Seoul) so living with indoor plants in a big city really fascinates me.

conservatory archives // colourliving

conservatory archives // colourliving

Why the name ‘Conservative Archive’? When we took the lease for this shop we knew it used to be london’s oldest ironmongers. A raw and wonderful space. We sadly couldn’t keep the shop facade without painting it due to bare wood not weathering well in London. It ended up looking like a conservatory. There have been pop-up shops here since the ironmongers closed. We plan to stay indefinitely, hence the word ‘archive’.

Do you collect anything? Except for everything to do with plants, I love collecting bric-a-brac, animal figurines, Dieter Rams’ Audio players for Braun. We love going to flea markets and antique markets. I love sourcing containers, pots and anything that will house a plant.

conservatory archives // colourliving

conservatory archives // colourliving

Tell me about the vintage furniture here in the shop! Giacomo and I both love vintage furniture. We have quite a large collection back in Italy, where Giacomo is from. Slowly we’re hoping to bring bits over. We love mid-century furniture and often source form Sweden and Denmark.

Where do you source your unique plants from? Oh, anywhere and everywhere. Our favourite thing is to get into our van and drive to the middle of nowhere where a plant collector hopefully will sell us his beauties. Often they don’t want to part with them. We go literally anywhere.

conservatory archives // colourliving

conservatory archives // colourliving

conservatory archives // colourliving

conservatory archives // colourliving

This will be my go to shop for anything plant related. I bought the most beautiful and unique cactus which no doubt will be featured in another post! Jin, it was such a pleasure to meet you. I cannot wait to return. Now I just need a bigger flat!

Oh, I have it on good authority that there will be coffee served there soon.

Conservatory Archives
493-495 Hackney Road
E2 9ED

Open: Tuesday -Sunday
11.00 am -7.00pm
Instagram: @conservatory_archives

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  • Reply Igor February 4, 2016 at 8:57 am

    How wonderful is this place!!?? And it looks like it’s spot on for the February topic of the Urban Jungle Bloggers – look at those cute little animal figurines among the lush plants!! Wonderful and a pleasure for the eye!

    • Reply tina February 11, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Ha. You are right, it’s spot on for the ‘jungle animals’ edition.

      This place is magical. I hope you put it on your itinery for your next London visit!

  • Reply Alison Sye February 4, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Wow! What a wonderful place. So good to see. Wish I lived nearer 🙂

    • Reply tina February 11, 2016 at 8:40 am

      It’s amazing in every way.
      You could venture out with family!

  • Reply urbanjunglebloggers - jungle animals - colourliving colourliving February 11, 2016 at 9:26 am

    […] of you might have read my post about my new fav plant shop Conservatory Archives. Well, I picked up this rare cactus called: Copiapoa Humiles. Gorgeous or what? And Miss Flamingo […]

  • Reply mel February 12, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    This store looks like a heavenly place to visit. I love how they mix in some vintage and midcentury furniture with their plant collection. Mel x

    • Reply tina February 21, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Ha. Honestly, it is heaven on earth.
      Went back yesterday. I think this will be the only place I’ll ever go to for my plant needs.

      Yes, I think they would like to expand the vintage furniture display but they only started back in December and plants are a priority right now. They’re also the sweetest couple and Jin really knows her stuff. In fact I took one of my terrariums to her for a quick hospital visit:-)) x

  • Reply UrbanJungleBloggers - planty table setting - colourlivingblog May 17, 2016 at 7:33 am

    […] love this terrarium, lovingly restored by Jin from Conservatory Archives. The succulent in it is growing a flower. Note the amethyst. Meet also my two other succulent […]

  • Reply dean July 27, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    ive visited twice alraedyinspanof 10 days.Its quite addictive>>>nice spot in east london.And the plants are so rare that you cannot findinany other plant shops here inlondon.And the good thing is they are not so pricey.Will be back for some more plants…Happy Days! Both jin and giacomo are very acccomodating owners…thanks for featuring them Tina!

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