Published: 03 June 2013
Chelsea Fringe Festival 2013
The Flower Show may be over, but the Chelsea Fringe continues apace!
The RHS Chelsea Flower show may be all over, but lovers of gardens and gardening need not despair as the Chelsea Fringe, the alternative gardening festival, still has over a week to run, offering a wide variety of interesting and quirky events across London until 9 June.
 
The Chelsea Fringe began on 18 May with more than 200 registered projects, doubling the size of the Fringe in its launch year in 2012.  Many of the projects are underway and there is still more to see in this ground-breaking festival. What’s more, the majority of the events are free to visit including community spaces, high streets, museums and small urban oases. 


History

The Fringe was created to run alongside the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show, but it is completely independent of it. This year’s Fringe boasts an incredibly varied range of projects, created by an army of willing volunteers. The only rules for a project to join the Fringe is that they must be interesting, legal and inspired by gardening, gardens, plants or landscapes. 
 
Fringe founder-director Tim Richardson says: “Big garden events and shows are great but visitors just roll up, walk round and go home. The Fringe is different. You can plan your itinerary of events across three weeks and discover hidden gems you had never visited before. There's a whole world of community gardens, art events and on-street happenings to be enjoyed and that is what makes the Fringe such a special new event in the gardening calendar.”

Open Square Weekend: Valance.  Image courtesy of Chelsea Fringe

Event Highlights

Bethnal Green Fingers. Image courtesy of Chelsea Fringe
Some highlights for the second half of the Chelsea Fringe include:

Arboretum Walk and Talk with Tony Kirkham
- 5 June
Kew Gardens Head of Arboretum, Tony Kirkham, will give a walk and talk through the Gardens. Please email to book a ticket.  £5 per person/30 people max.  Meeting point is Victoria Gate, Kew Road.
 
WC @ Vanguard Court – until 9 June
A neglected area beyond a disused toilet block in a yard of artists’ studios has been transformed into a secret garden.
 
The Office Garden – until 9 June
130 Buckingham Palace Road – have acquired a pop-up Office Garden for the duration of the Fringe. 
 
Battersea Power Station Hub – Until 9 June* 
For the first time in 30 years, the iconic Battersea Power Station will be open to the public for free, with around 20 projects in the newly opened temporary park. There will be sculpture, interactive artwork, performances and poetry, food and drink stalls, a surreal tea party and a mass human ‘planting’ to enjoy. *Access to The Chelsea Fringe at Battersea Power Station is via the new footpath created under Grosvenor Bridge Railway.
 
Visit chelseafringe.com which has a full list and map of the 2013 projects, a photo gallery download and a week by week view of projects taking place.

The Chelsea Gardener Outdoor Area. Image courtesy of Chelsea Fringe


Festival Facts

Some interesting facts about the Chelsea Fringe so far...
 
There are more than 200 events across London, Kent, Bristol, Brighton and Vienna
An estimated 45,000 people attended events in 2012
The Fringe was an original idea by founder-director Tim Richardson, a garden writer and historian
The Fringe is a Community Interest Company (CIC)
It is a true Fringe festival, in that it operates on the Fringe of an established event (the RHS Chelsea Flower Show) and entries are on an ‘open access principle’
 
For more information about events taking place and all that is going on for the Chelsea Fringe 2013 you can also visit their Facebook page or Twitter account.

The Gardening Times team wish all those involved in the Chelsea Fringe  a successful second half for all their remaining events.
 
Reported by Chris Allen  
   
 

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