This summer sees the return of the Chelsea Fringe. Now in its second year, this exciting, entirely volunteer-run celebration of plants, gardens and landscapes returns to London for three weeks from May 18 – June 9 2013.
From community and guerilla gardening projects, to art installations and pop-up restaurants and shops in inspiring venues across London and beyond, just about anything goes.
Last year there were over 100 projects and events, ranging from a floating forest in W10 to a bicycling beer garden roaming the capital. This year we’re expecting even more entries. And while the Fringe acts with the support of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, we are entirely independent of it. This is what sets us apart:
London and beyond: Fringe events are occurring across London and further afield, not just Kensington and Chelsea (there are satellite Fringes planned for Bristol, Brighton and Vienna).
A show for everyone: Unlike the bigger shows, we won’t sell out, anyone can visit and, even better, most events are free. Anything goes: We work on an open access principle: as long as it’s legal, inspired by gardening, gardens, plants or landscape and, above all else, interesting to look at or interact with, then we want it.
Highlights of 2012’s Chelsea Fringe included:
- The Edible High Road: an orchard of fruit trees ‘planted’ outside more than 50 shops along Chiswick High Road and Turnham Green.The Garden of Disorientation: landscape designer Deborah Nagan transformed a disused Smithfield slaughterhouse into a scented mint garden, complete with mojito bar, exhibition space and performance area.
- The Bicycling Beer Garden: the unexpected hit of the Fringe, featuring a customized bicycle laden with planted-up beer cans, which travelled from venue to venue.
- The Vegetable Olympics: an irreverent take on the Olympics involving several Fringe venues, opened by HRH the Duchess of Cornwall at Spitalfields City Farm.
- ‘Floating Forest’ at Portobello Dock: a mesmerising floating grid of 600 sections of tree-trunk, created by a Montreal design team and funded by the Government of Quebec.
Chelsea Fringe founder-director Tim Richardson says: “After the success of 2012, we’re gearing up for the Chelsea Fringe 2013 to be bigger and better. We have secured some fantastic venues ranging from Battersea Power Station to Hoxton’s Geffrye Museum and are attracting entries from all over the world. We may be a baby compared to the 100-year-old Chelsea Flower Show, but what we lack in age, we make up for in innovation – people involved in the Fringe are pushing the edges of our ideas of what gardens and landscapes, flowers and plants can be about, and that’s incredibly exciting.”
Click here for our Chelsea Fringe 2012 Pinboard.