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The Chelsea Fringe begins at the weekend

The Chelsea Fringe begins at the weekend

The Chelsea Fringe begins at the weekend, a few days before its world-famous big sister, the Chelsea Flower Show, opens its doors. The Fringe offers an antidote to all that glamour with a little quirky and alternative horticulture of its own.

Last year more than 350 Fringe events took place all over the UK, plus a few other countries too. Nearly all the events are free and volunteer-run: they range from poetry recitals and art installations, to more off-the-wall street performances and guerrilla gardening.

Among this year’s offerings, in London there are botanical-themed ceramics workshops in Spitalfields, London; a knitted garden in Stoke Newington, and a vegetable puppet show in Vauxhall, while New Covent Garden Flower Market are offering free behind the scenes tours. In Bristol, there’s a giant watering can filled with tropical plants at Bristol Airport, while at Leeds Castle in Kent floral picture frames will be popping up all over the estate. Abroad, there’s a living wall at Dellavalle Giardini in Cremona, Italy; the townsfolk in Gubin, Poland, are opening their gardens for the weekend; and in Melbourne, Australia, pop-up gardens designed by schoolchildren are appearing in crates across the city.

The Chelsea Fringe runs from 21st May and 12th June: for more details visit www.chelseafringe.com.