What do nuns and 5ft roses have in common?
Not alot you might think - but at New Covent Market Flower Market they contribute to the history and future of this great British institution.
On a recent school tour of the market we were amazed to hear how the original Covent Garden market was founded.
Covent Garden dates back to times when nuns grew flowers in the 'Convent Garden'. Over the wall was the fruit and vegetable market and the excess flowers grown in the nun's garden were soon being sold by the these traders in the market.
The Market grew rapidly and the Dedicated or 'Charter' Market, designed by James Fowler, was erected in 1829/30. Eventually the Market spread to some 30 acres.
In 1961 Covent Garden Market Authority was established. They selected a new site at Nine Elms, Vauxhall as the new home for the Market and began in 1971.
Today, the Flower Market is separate to the Fruit and Veg, and there are still flower traders today at New Covent Garden who traded at the original site.
For those looking for new varieties, the latest trends and 5ft roses for Valentines Day a trip to New Covent Garden is full of inspiration.