May 14 marks the beginning of the fourth annual Chelsea Fringe Festival. With a one-day event fee from just £10 and project fee from £25, the Fringe invites anyone interested in gardening, growing and the landscape to register and get involved.
Despite being a month away, the festival has already attracted a large number of diverse participants – guerrilla gardeners, artists, crafters, including dry stone wallers and triffid makers! Venues include front gardens, community gardens, Temple Gardens and even London’s River Thames.
The capital’s radio station BBC Radio London 94.9FM is on board again to support the Fringe with coverage from the Robert Elms Show which airs weekdays at 12pm – 3pm and Saturday mornings 10am-1pm. Between now and the end of the Chelsea Fringe Robert will be chatting to an array of Fringe participants, volunteers and Festival Director Tim Richardson.
On May 16, the legendary Covent Garden Flower Market will reveal what lies “Behind the Wall.” Attendees will receive insider access to the market known for inspiring florists all across London. Another standout event is “Pickup a Stitch” taking place on Sunday, June 7in the Inner Temple Gardens. This Pop up knitting club invites people of all ages to create colourful wool decorations for the garden’s beautiful trees and statues.
Chelsea Fringe visitors and even passers-by will have the chance to plant their own tomato plants at The Happy Seeds Festival on May 16 near New Cross Gate. The Tomato Planting Extravaganza will feature 100 varieties of tomato plant/seeds available for purchase and planting. Local school children will also be selling tomato seedlings grown at their school gardens. Tomato gardening experts and helpers will be available to share gardening tips.
West London’s Edible Askew Road Presents ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ inspired by Eric Carle. Starch Green is the location and on May 16 where for the 3rd year local environmental charity, Hammersmith Community Gardens Association, and Askew business network have teamed up to create an edible Askew Road with “The Hungry Caterpillar” themed activities. The event will feature a treasure trail along the Askew Road and events in the lead up to and on the day at Askew Library. Local shops and businesses will be invited to participate offering food tastings, face painting and displaying clues to the treasure trail in their shop windows.
Moving East for the Summer Fair in Tower Hamlets the Cemetery Park near Mile End on June 6 will offer visitors a celebration of woodland crafts and local heritage. Activities will include basket weaving, rickshaw riding, face painting: Guests will be able to learn about Tower Hamlets history. East End WI will run a cake and tea stall
It’s not all about London, the Chelsea Fringe has grown beyond the capital and takes a fashionable turn as it heads into Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire for ‘An Evening of Floral Couture and Cocktails.’ Event host, florist Jo Wise will create a fresh flower dress inspired by a Matisse painting. The evening will be completed with a mixologist creating fresh flower cocktails.
“The Thames Floral Flotilla” sets sail on May 16th when the banks of the river Thames at Henley will be busy with spectators picnicking on Mill Meadow and enjoying the spectacle of decorated boats and rafts floating along the river. From May 16 to the 17, “Arboreata Streeta” will celebrate the natural wonders of the local trees through a community art installation trail. This event will be a part of the South Bank Bristol Arts Trail and the Blooming Bedminster Growing community festival.
On June 1st, “Pick up Pollination” seeks to draw the bees to Bristol. An upcycled Mitsubishi pick-up truck will be loaded up with fresh edible plants ready for a fresh dose of spring pollination. The event invites and celebrates the inclusion of bees and other insects that are beneficial to plants and humans, in local gardens. Haywards Heath’s “Strictly Gardening” event invites all Fringe visitors to be a part of a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. On May 16th, this family event will feature special guests gardening expert and TV personality, Charlie Dimmock as well as BBC Radio Sussex & Surrey’s Jean Griffin. Visitors will be able to participate in gardening projects, listen to local talent and browse through the array of event stalls.
Satellite Fringes registered for 2015 are in a whole host of cities including, Brighton, Henley-on-Thames, Bristol, Cambridge, Bath, Norwich, Kent, Milan, Bergamot, Brescia, Etna and Florence, Melbourne, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Ljubljana and Bristol.
It is not too late to become a part of the Chelsea Fringe. Projects can register up until the day of June 6th. For more information about the Chelsea Fringe and project registration visit http://www.chelseafringe.com/events/category/uk/london