Style on the wing: May diary

The capital pulls out all its arty stops for a month-long fest of design, art and crafts events
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Chelsea Flower Show is open to the public from 22 to 24 May
Chelsea Flower Show is open to the public from 22 to 24 May
May will be a manic month if you try to catch up on everything on offer, from a lively line-up of design, garden and art and craft events, ending with the bang of a second bank holiday at the end of the month. This is museum and galleries month, when the capital pulls out its formidable arty stops. You can browse the list of special shows and workshops at

Insular London even joins the Continent on Saturday 17 May for Nuit des Musées, a great European idea for free late-night openings once a year. Use the interactive map on to zoom in on the capital.

And why not take home a treasure from a quirky design or art event, not to mention the garden glories of the Chelsea Flower Show, which kick-starts the summer season.

It must be summer with blooms on full parade at the Chelsea Flower Show (SW3) from 20 and 21 May (members only). It opens to the public from 22 to 24 May, from 8am to 8pm, but closes at 5pm on 24 May, with the famous plant sell-off from 4pm.

Tickets have to be booked in advance and cost £41 all day, £23 after 3.30pm and £18 after 5.30pm.

Call 0870 906 3781, or visit

The Year of the Tree Festival starts on 24 May at Kew Gardens, west London, with the opening of the 18m-high Treetop Walkway (designed by Marks Barfield Architects). Wander through a canopy of sweet chestnut, lime and oak.

Admission is £13 for adults, £12 for concessions and free for children under 17.

Call 020 8332 5655, or visit

Wing chair embroidery by Maxine Sutton at Craft Central
Wing chair embroidery by Maxine Sutton at Craft Central
Everyone's doing design on Saturday 17 May from 11am to 4pm at the Design Museum near Tower Bridge. Drop into design/make workshops, follow exhibition trails and tours, meet the designers and together build a giant balloon showpiece. The fab finale is an afternoon photo call to show off self-designed hats and accessories. These pictures will go up on the museum's website, with Design Museum membership for the funkiest family.

Admission is £8.50 for adults, £5 for students and concessions, and free for children under 12. No booking is necessary.

Design Museum, Shad Thames, SE1 (0870 833 9955;

Bird accessories
Bird accessories by LUSH Designs at Cockpit Arts Open Studios
Buy or commission a unique treasure at Made in Clerkenwell: Summer Open Studios (with 70 designer-makers on call) at Craft Central on 15 May, from 5pm to 8pm, and from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 May, from noon to 6pm. Admission is £2.50.

33-35 St John's Square, EC1 (020 7251 0276;

Stunning stitchery by textile artist Maxine Sutton is at the same address from today until 31 May in an exhibition of beautiful contemporary embroidery inspired by the Geffrye Museum (01843 570752;

Drop by Deptford to explore about 65 more Open Studios on 17 and 18 May at Cockpit Arts and buy fashion, home accessories and art direct from their creators. Also see demos, which include hat-, guitar- and felt-making, handraising silver, and weaving. There will be a "popup café" from East Dulwich Deli, and a treasure hunt for children.

18-22 Creekside, SE8 (020 7419 1959;

Blast! 2008 shows glowing work by 16 British glassmakers at the London Glassblowing Workshop from Saturday until 8 June.

The Leathermarket, Weston Street, SE1 (020 7403 2800;

Woodcuts and etchings by Marianne Fox-Ockinga at Channing Art Fair
Woodcuts and etchings by Marianne Fox-Ockinga at Channing Art Fair
See and buy high- quality local art at the Channing Art Fair this Saturday and Sunday. You will find about 50 artists and makers with paintings and prints, jewellery, photography, mixed media, ceramics and with prices from £20. Call 020 8365 2358 for more details.

Channing School, The Bank, Highgate Hill, (opposite Lauderdale House), N6.

Greenhouse Britain at City Hall
Greenhouse Britain at City Hall
See a giant multimedia installation simulate rising waters on our coastline at Greenhouse Britain, from 14 May to 10 June at City Hall, SE1 (020 7983 4000;

Also at City Hall (from 12 May to 12 June) is Transformations: the Lea/Lee with large glossy photographs by Canadian Philip Jessup ( showing the Lea River and Lee Navigation Channel from the M25 to the Thames - a landscape soon to be transformed by the 2012 Olympics.

At Home is a two-day seminar at the East End's Geffrye Museum this Friday and Saturday, looking at urban middle-class homes in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Tickets cost £60 for both days, or £35 for one (020 7739 9893;

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