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CHELSEA FRINGE REACHES 80 EVENTS!
By: Steve Ott
The first ever Chelsea Fringe is now open (May 19-June 10 and the RHS have announced that tickets to Chelsea Flower Show have sold out. The RHS is suggesting visitors should instead buy tickets to other RHS shows over the rest of the summer. But the volunteers at the Chelsea Fringe like to think that visitors might consider this 'alternative' gardening festival, which now boasts 80 registered projects, most of them free of charge.
These initiatives span a massive range of topics, from avant-garde performance art projects, to hands-in-the-soil community gardening in inner-city streets, to restaurant and flower-store pop-ups, to parties and poetry or music evenings.
Fringe founder-director Tim Richardson says: 'We always hoped we would get maybe twenty to thirty projects in the first Fringe, so we are amazed and delighted we now have eighty initiatives right the way across London.'
All the details (including map, calendar and press area) can be found on the website, but here is a selection of Fringe events, to provide a flavour:
The 'Floating Forest' in the waters of Portobello Dock -- 600 sawn logs positioned by Montreal design team NIP Paysage
'Heavy Plant Crossing' -- Astonishing performance art piece (Arts Council funded) by Julia Barton, dragging a metal plant around west London
Aromatic Herb Mobile at the Geffrye Museum, created by Italian art team
The Wishing Trees project, just off Sloane Square (make a wish and tie it to the trees)
The Bicycling Beer Garden [all over -- two guys have made a mad bike covered in beer cans planted with veg]
Episodes of a Flowerbed -- particpatory plant-painting project by Viennese artists
'Towers' -- massive planted towers loom outside the Garden Museum, created by designer Adam Shepherd
The Edible High Road -- spot all the fruit trees placed along Chiswick High Road and adjacent streets
Open Garden Squares Weekend -- special events for the Fringe across June 9/10
The Oranges and Lemons garden (inspired by the rhyme) in front of St leonards Church, Shoreditch
Healing herbal walks at 'Living Under One Sun' community garden in the middle of 'riot-torn' Tottenham
Audio-described tours of Chelsea Physic Garden for blind and partially-sighted people
The Dalston Flower Show -- lots of events curated by the stylish Dalston Eastern Curve garden
The Edible Bus Stops -- events around this Brixton bus-stop cum veg garden
SHOP AND EAT
Cliftons Nurseries pop-up flower shop in the COS Store on Brompton Road
EAT OUT at Vacant Lot: homegrown suppers in a pop-up vegetable garden in Hoxton
Daphne's restaurant, Chelsea, is transformed into The Tuscan Garden -- with special garden-themed menu
PERFORMANCE / TALKS / WALKS
The Garden of Disorientation -- mint-themed space complete wit mojito bar in a disused slaughterhouse in Smithfield -- grea venue for talks, debates and films
The 'End of the Fringe Picnic' on June 10, in the newly restored Jubilee Gardens under the London Eye, featuring a wind octet conducted by Charles Hazlewood
Hidden Hyde Park -- a unique walking tour convened by the experts of the Garden History Society
The Idlers Grove -- Come to the party to celebrate unveiling of a medieval herber garden at the Idler magazine salon/shop in Notting Hill
An evening of garden-themed poetry at the Libertine pub, Borough (May 26)
The Chelsea Fringe festival is a brand new initiative that's all about harnessing and spreading some of the excitement and energy generated around gardens and gardening at this time of year. The idea is to give people the freedom and opportunity to express themselves through the medium of plants and gardens, to open up possibilities and to allow full participation. Entirely independent of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (though acting with its support), the Fringe will explode out of the showground in three ways:
-- Geographically, in that the Fringe events are occurring across London, not just in Kensington and Chelsea
-- Demographically, in that the Fringe reaches out to include all those who might not normally consider visiting the main show
-- Conceptually, in that the Fringe covers everything from grass-roots community-garden projects to avant-garde art installations
For more information about the Chelsea Fringe visit www.chelseafringe.com
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