What is Chelsea Fringe?

by Bethany Day on May 16, 2014


The Chelsea Fringe Festival is gearing up for its third year on the gardening scene and is promising an exciting programme of events for 2014.

The festival, which this year runs between 17th May and 8th June, coincides with the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show but is run completely independent of it by a group of passionate volunteers. For many gardening enthusiasts it provides a quirky counterpoint to goings on in the grounds of the Royal Hospital.

The Fringe itself is made up of a series of events, the majority of which take place across different sites in London, allowing people who ordinarily wouldn’t be able to attend the main RHS Chelsea Flower Show a chance to get inspired by the latest horticultural fashions. Other events are planned across parts of Bristol, Brighton, Norwich, Kent and even as far away as Vienna and Ljubljana.

Indeed some of the key principles of the Chelsea Fringe Festival are accessibility and participation. Many of the events are free and almost anyone can enter a project. It’s all part of the festival founder’s philosophy to give people the freedom and opportunity to express themselves through the medium of plants and gardens.


Chelsea Fringe founder-director Tim Richardson said: “The idea with the Fringe is to tap into all this energy and creativity in the gardens world, which at the moment has no outlet. The open-access principle of the Fringe means that just about anything goes- so long as its legal, interesting and worth visiting and on the subject of gardens, flowers, veg-growing or landscape.”

But the Chelsea Fringe isn’t just about beautiful landscaping, it’s about pushing the boundaries too.

In 2012, the Fringe gained international media coverage for its ‘Bicycling Beer Garden’, a project involving a bicycle contraption festooned with planted-up beer gardens, which was cycled to a number of the festival’s venues.

And if that’s captured your imagination then the line-up for 2014 shouldn’t disappoint either. We’re looking forward to attending The Night of the Triffids, Blooming Urban and The Greening of St Pancras Station. See http://www.chelseafringe.com/ for the full programme of events.

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Bethany Day

Blogger and online PR guru for Interflora UK. Interested in guest-posting on our blog? Email blog@interflora.co.uk or connect with me.

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