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While the Chelsea Flower Show is busy celebrating a magnificent 100 years, its more alternative younger cousin, the Chelsea Fringe, is gearing up for its second year.
If you are in London for the Chelsea Flower Show, it's well worth popping along to some of the Fringe events. From community and guerilla gardening projects, to art installations and pop-up restaurants in inspiring venues, just about anything goes for the Chelsea Fringe, as long as it asks us to reconsider our ideas on what gardens and landscapes, flowers and plants can be about. There are over 200 events taking place in and around London – PLUS - if you're not in London look out for a selection of events taking place at regional locations.
A few highlights:
If you're going to the Chelsea Flower Show, visit the Gardens Illustrated stand and sign up to our special subscription offer. Save 40% on the shop price* and choose from either Piet Oudolf's latest book or a Haws copper watering can as your free gift.
Subscribe to GARDENS ILLUSTRATED at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show (21-25 May). You'll save 40% on the shop price* and you can choose a FREE gift as part of your subscription package. Choose from either:
Our Design Sourcebook picks out nine of the best lawnmowers to get your grass looking perfect - whatever the size of your lawn
You could consider cutting the lawn a chore but if you have the right kit for the job then there's no reason for it not to be enjoyable. Here's some 2013 mower recommendations that we like the look of .
MOWING BY HAND
Fergus Garrett, head gardener at Great Dixter, selects his favourite plants for the March garden. Here we highlight Pulmonaria 'Diana Clare'.
Pulmonaria 'Diana Clare'
A first-class clump-forming lungwort with glittering long basal leaves 25cm long and covered in a silver wash. The leaf midrib and leaf edges remain a contrasting green. Produces clusters of shallowly lobed funnel-shaped flowers held in purple brown calyxes on elongated stems, which are decorated with small silver spotted stem leaves. The flowers open rosy purple and change colour to violet and violet blue. The whole plant is covered in bristly hairs. Benefits from a haircut after flowering.
Have you heard about GroChar? It’s a form of biochar that helps the environment in two ways – it locks away carbon dioxide normally released by decomposing plant matter, and when added to soils it acts as an effective improver. Here's your chance to win a tube to try it for yourself.
Biochar is a form of charcoal that is made specifically for use as a soil improver. Carbon Gold’s GroChar is a special recipe that helps biochar work quickly and effectively to stabilise nutrients in your soil – and improve plant health. Enter our competition for your chance to try GroChar for yourself.
It may be a little chilly out there but given a sunny day, there's still reason enough to get outside. Here's a few items to help keep you warm once you are out and about.
This wood-fired ‘Dutchtub’ by Welvetree can be used anywhere you have access to water. In a range of colours, £4,500. Accompanying ashtray and chimney, priced £135 and £595 respectively, all available from bigfire, tel 01395 275300