The shops, streets, galleries and gardens of London go flower-crazy for three weeks, starting this Saturday. Make the most of the city’s sparkling and irreverent alternative flower festival with our guide to the highlights.
Click here to find out more about Chelsea Fringe and visit chelseafringe.com for more details on all events.
Our programme guide to this year's Chelsea Fringe Festival map (see above)
1. Tree follies at Walpole Park
Admire foliage fantasies at both Walpole Park’s PM Gallery garden and Lambeth’s Garden Museum, where artist-ceramicist Rosa Nguyen’s installations of dead trees are given fresh life with ceramic and glass ornaments; throughout the Fringe.
2. Brompton Design District
The design shops, exhibition spaces, museums and institutions in and near Brompton Road join the Chelsea Fringe to bring events, exhibits and activities, including Clifton Nurseries’ trees and flowers decorating lower Exhibition Road.
3. King Henry’s walk garden
Get your kids cooking on Saturday at a pizza workshop, 10am to noon, at King Henry’s Walk, Islington. Call or text 07901 931018 to book, £5 per child. See the Great Garden Bake Off, noon-4pm.
4. Urban floral day, OXO Tower
Six designers show their work, from jewellery to ceramics, at galleries in the Oxo Tower, all through the Fringe. Celebrate the last day at Oxo’s Summer Sunday with minstrels, poems and shopping discounts, 1pm-6pm.
5. Inner Temple Dog Show
Enter your dog in the It’s a Dog’s Life show on June 9, at historic and glorious Inner Temple Garden. Rosettes and doggy treats for the winners. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. The Poppy Estate
Celebrate the green space at Clapton Park Estate, famed for its food growing and floral railings. Arrive on the 242 bus and be greeted by choirs, tea, cakes and samosas. All day, June 8.
7. Osterley House wildlife day
Join one of a series of guided walks around the Osterley estate, Osterley House, Isleworth, led by National Trust wildlife and gardening experts, on June 9, 11am to 5pm.
8. Herbal High Road Chiswick
Sniff out the Herbal High Road, a mile-long stretch of aromatic herbs and edible climbers, in Chiswick High Road, Devonshire Road and Turnham Green Terrace, this Sunday and throughout the Fringe.
9. The Office Garden
View from the street the extraordinary flowering office garden of Oldfield Partners LLP, throughout the Fringe, at 130 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1.
10. Pop-up Poetry Garden
Enjoy a day of poetry in Potters Field Park by Tower Bridge, May 28, with Abegail Morley, Emer Gillespie and Jo Hemmant, plus four young Poets of the Year, 11am-4pm. Poetry workshop at 3pm.
11. Victoria Park roundabout
Take a walk on the zebra crossings around the roundabout in the centre of Victoria Park Village — the roundabout has been planted with aromatic plants and crossed with gravel pathways.
12. Flowers, Little black gallery
The Little Black Gallery, 13A Park Walk, SW10, presents photos of white flowers by Hiroyuki Arawaka and Lisa Creagh, and will be transformed into floral heaven by florists Scent by Design. From May 18-June 1, 11am-4pm.
13. The Chelsea Physic gin garden
Sample gin flavoured with herbs, fruits, flowers and local honey at the Gin Garden’s Botanical Bar at Chelsea Physic Garden, Swan Walk, SW3; 4pm-8pm, May 31 and June 7.
14. Battersea Power Station
Visit the installations in the shadow of this iconic venue, around the temporary park created by its developers. They include a “pod henge”, a herb hub, decorated deckchairs, scented flower hammocks and a conveyor-belt plant swap. May 18-19, 10am-9pm; May 20-25, noon-9pm.
15. The edible bus stop
Come to the grand opening of the redesigned Edible Bus Stop garden at Lambeth Hospital bus stop, route 322. The event will celebrate the locals’ love of growing edibles. This Saturday, 1pm-6pm.
16. Incr-edibles at Kew gardens
Part of Kew’s IncrEdibles Summer Festival (kew.org), the Palm House Pond is transformed by Bompas & Parr into a giant fruit salad boating lake with pineapple island, banana grotto and fruit-shaped rowing boats. From May 25 to September 1.
17. Petersham Nurseries
Be inspired by the creative container displays at Petersham Nurseries, Richmond, which will incorporate plants used in the kitchen or in medicine, from staples to rare heritage edibles. Runs all through the Fringe.
18. Van Gogh's walk to work
Follow the steps of Vincent van Gogh as he walked from his lodgings in Hackford Road, Stockwell, to work for a year for an art dealer in 1873. This Sunday, from 2pm-5.15pm.
19. The meadow line
The River of Flowers marks the Tube’s 150th birthday by displaying wildflowers in tubular containers on 10 London Underground lines. To travel on the Meadow Line this Sunday, see riverofflowers.org
20. Brixton nights
Spy urban birds, both real and artificial, on a magical evening in a contemporary garden, 225a Brixton Road. Open every Tuesday and Wednesday during the Fringe from 6.30pm till late. Tickets £3.50 from email@example.com
21. Horniman museum gardens
Be inspired by a planted-car installation at the Horniman Museum Gardens, SE23, to plant insect-friendly flowers; also storytelling, bee and garden craft workshops. This Sunday, noon-5pm.
A: Garden of surprises
Pack a picnic and head to Gunnersbury Park on June 2, 10am-5pm, for a day of heritage and horticulture, plus guided trails, craft activities and music from the Hounslow Symphony Orchestra.
B: Guide to green scents
Marvel at the green wall at The Athenaeum hotel, Piccadilly, and learn how to create one from the man who maintains it. Enjoy canapés and cocktails to complement the theme and sample fresh, green scents from perfumer Lila Das Gupta. From 6.30pm-8pm, May 21. Tickets £15 from firstname.lastname@example.org
C: Prosecco, poetry and art
Sip prosecco at the Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery, Charlotte Street, W1, while listening to Edward Barker’s acclaimed poetry with a floral theme, and see collaged nature paintings by James Farrelly. From 6pm-8.30pm, May 30. Free.
D: Myatt's fields park big lunch
Sample free menus prepared by local home cooks who have taught ethnic cuisines to their neighbours over the past two years in a funded project. With South American music, 1pm-4pm, June 2. Myatt’s Fields Park, Cormont Road, SE5.