Back to results

About Rita

Rita Botanicals is a story about two Rita's, one named after the other. My name came from my Nonna, my Italian Grandmother, Margherita, Nonna Rita for short. It's normal in Italian culture to be named after your Grandparents. My Nonna is my best friend. We sing old Italian songs, watch gameshows, talk about food (what Italian wouldn't), dance and reminisce over her memories of her childhood growing up in a small fisherman town called Cagnano Varano, Provincia di Foggia, Puglia (in the South of Italy).

Much of my childhood was spent with my Nonna Rita & my Nonno Mario as they danced Tango & spent day after day on their allotment ("allotlament" as they pronounced it). They made wine from my Nonno's vineyard and grew their own humungous vegetables; the kind I will probably never lay my eyes on again, at least not in this country.

My memories are flooded with the scent of strong giant basil growing on my Nonna's windowsill, thriving more so as she picked countless leaves to be put in her famous sugo.

She now lives with the beginnings of a Dementia, and although she remembers me, much of her enthusiasm for life seems to be slowly fading with outbreaks of song happening less frequently. And with that the basil no longer grows in her windowsill as it once did.

That's where the plants come back in! They helped me regain myself during the hard times of coming to terms with these changes in my Nonna and our relationships. They taught me to take it one day at a time and each stem keeps me feeling connected with my Nonna.

My Vision

One day I dream to create a space where all are welcome and where I would host tailored workshops working closely with the elderly to encourage engagement with the naturally wondrous plants - from sowing seasonal seeds and gardening to plant care sessions. I want to give back to the community and become a safe haven amongst the concrete jungle.

This vision is what brings me to where I'm at today... I quit my soul sucking job in marketing🙅🏻‍♀️. I loved what I did, but it didn't spark joy the way plants do. Having always loved plants, I realised I had subconsciously grown a thriving collection! I found that when I tend to my plants, seeing new leaves unfurl and delicate flowers bloom I felt at peace, connected and grounded. I was becoming more myself than ever.

Going through a turbulent time with the changes happening in my Nonna, plants have shown me how to live again and that I can continue to grow, living as happily as they do.🌿 So I took a job in a plant shop to delve deeper into the plant world and learn about the plant species I had never seen before. Eventually, I decided to step up and launch my own plant business as a market stall on Portobello Road Market.

Here I am as Rita Botanicals; ready to help you through your plant healing with a variety of majestic, easy care, air purifying, pet friendly & rare greenery! �*

Opening hours

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
  • 09:00 -17:30
  • 09:00 -17:30
  • 09:00 -17:30
  • 09:00 -18:00
  • 09:00 -18:00
  • 09:00 -18:00
  • 11:00 -17:00

Find us

11 White Lion Walk, Guildford, GU1 3DN