January 27, 2023

Chelsea Flower Show Fringe: don’t miss the Garden/Dog show at Inner Temple!

The second year of the Chelsea Fringe continues until June 9th: five more days of alternative gardening activity across London and beyond, all conceived as a ‘fringe’ to the celebrated Chelsea Flower Show. Among the highlights this year have been various installations and other events at Battersea Power Station. Installations such as ‘Coal Frame’ and ‘Garden Optics’, are all about the concept of ‘looking’ in this eminently viewable space.

Among the exciting installations to look out for are one for Crabtree & Evelyn in the middle of Covent Garden, and the ‘Millefleurs’ planting installation in Broadgate, behind Liverpool Street. Then there are the community gardens who are involved — like the Garden Of Abandon in Highbury. The fabulous Rosendale Allotments in south London are curating an ambitious range of talks and events across the Fringe period. Food events include the Dinner to Dye For (making dyes and then eating the plants used as sources) over at Oxford House in Bethnal Green, next to Weavers Fields, where the theme of weaving and dyeing informs a whole range of artistic activities and exhibitions. And don’t miss the ‘garden/dog show’ at the Inner Temple on the last day of the Fringe, June 9.

Last year’s Fringe comprised just over 100 events, and this year we have already doubled that — so the team of 60 volunteers who have made it all happen are delighted. The Edible High Road over at Chiswick — a big success last year, with more than 60 shops taking part by displaying fruit trees — is being repeated this year as the Herbal High Road. There are several other ‘edible high roads’ springing up for the duration of the Fringe as well as a tree trail on the Kings Road.

Museums are heavily involved — there are various events at the Horniman in south London, the Geffrye Museum is laying on tours and installations, while the Garden Museum is hosting an artist- in-residence during the Fringe. Art galleries such as Rebecca Hossack in Charlotte Street, Great Western Studios in Paddington and the Espacio Gallery in Bethnal Green are taking part, as well as the Testbed space in Battersea. And the Fringe’s new backer, The National Trust, is putting on a variety of events for the Fringe including a wildlife day at Osterley (June 9) and that morning a ‘Dawn Chorus’ project involving artists and poets tweeting their impressions of the dawn at various Trust properties in and near London.

Drinks are quite a theme, as well! There are garden-themed cocktails to go with the amazing living wall at the Athenaeum Hotel opposite Green Park (with a talks evening as well), while the pop-up Gin Garden is setting up its stall at Chelsea Physic Garden, Hoxton Hotel and elsewhere. And the Cocktail Gardener is mixing it up over at the Brunel Museum on weekend afternoons and evenings.

Oh, and all you tech lovers — we also have a Fringe app (kindly donated by our friends at Intogardens) which is of course downloadable (free!) from the App Store and allows you to navigate Fringe events with ease.

Click here for more details of what is on during the last week of  the Chelsea Flower Show Fringe


by Fringe founder-director Tim Richardson

Among the highlights this year are various installations and other events at Battersea Power Station, across the first week and two weekends of the Fringe period. Installations such as ‘Coal Frame’ and ‘Garden Optics’, are all about the concept of ‘looking’ in this eminently viewable space. Then there are slightly crazy things such as the ‘Planted People’ project created by the Pop-Up Foundation for the first afternoon of the Fringe (May 18), which sees humans being planted in the earth.

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