Gardens Illustrated

Chelsea Fringe 19-27 May 2018

Published: May 16, 2018 at 10:47 am

The Chelsea Fringe is a showcase of events celebrating the joy of gardening and plants, from community projects and thought-provoking films to curious installations and art exhibitions. Here's a small glimpse at the 2018 programme to see what you can look forward to.

Taking place alongside the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the Chelsea Fringe Festival is a wonderful event celebrating the joy of gardening and plants. Taking place 19-27 May at venues across the country (although mostly in and around London), the festival is accessible to all and some events are even free to attend. Below you'll find highlights of this year's festival. For the full programme, visit


Related content

What's on at this year's Chelsea Fringe Festival

Urban Tree Festival: Mindfulness in the City

Take a mindful walk in the company of yoga and mindfulness teacher Mel Sutton, while discovering some of London’s greener spaces. 19 May, 4-5.15pm. £10. 60. St Giles High Street, London WC2H 8LG.

Chelsea Fringe at the Geffrye Museum

Visit the Geffrye Museum to celebrate the joys of the urban garden and join a guided cycle tour around East London's green spaces.
Visit the Geffrye Museum to celebrate the joys of the urban garden and join a guided cycle tour around East London's green spaces.

The Geffrye Museum in Hoxton, east London, is dedicating a day to the joys of the urban garden with veg-carving and herbal tea blending workshops, market stalls and lawn games. Or you can simply sit back in a deckchair and enjoy the garden. 19 May, 10am-6pm. Geffrye Museum of the Home, 136 Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA.

Tour de Plants
Dress your bicycle and helmet with plants and join the guided cycle tour around east London’s green spaces. The trail begins and ends at the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton and bikes are available to hire. 19 May, 11am-12.30pm. 136 Kingsland Road, Hackney, London E2 8EA.

Bitter and Twisted

Step aboard the Herb Boat, a narrow boat moored in Hackney Wick, to explore the history of bitters. See and smell some of the roots, herbs, spices, bark and berries used in their production and discover why introducing bitter herbs and foods into our diets may be beneficial for gut health. 19-20 May, 10am-5pm. The Herb Boat, The Slipway, London E9 5EN.

Chelsea Fever at Pentillie Castle

Florist Miranda Hackett will demonstrate how to make a beautiful floral tablescape at this Chelsea Fringe Event in May 2018.

Located on the banks of the River Tamar in Cornwall, Pentillie Castle and Estate is hosting a floral demonstration from Miranda Hackett Flowers on how to create a pretty floral tablescape using seasonal flowers and foliage, followed by traditional afternoon tea. All plant materials used at the event will be sourced from local growers and businesses in Devon and Cornwall. 22 May, 11.30am-2.30pm. £39.50. Pentillie Castle & Estate, Paynters Cross, St Mellion, Saltash, Cornwall PL12 6QD.

Seed: The Untold Story

A still from Seed: The Untold Story, a Collective Eye Film that follows five passionate seed keepers
A still from Seed: The Untold Story, a Collective Eye Film that follows five passionate seed keepers

A free screening at London’s Royal College of Art of this film by Collective Eye Films, which follows five passionate seed keepers, including Vandana Shiva (below) and Jane Goodall, in their David and Goliath battle with biochemical companies to defend the future of our food. 22 May, 7pm-9pm. Studio RCA,
1 Hester Road, London SW11 4AN.

Plant swap

Doddington Place Gardens is hosting a plant swap in the grounds of its amazing ten-acre historic garden. It’s a great opportunity to find a home for some unwanted plants and pick up some replacements to give your garden a new lease of life. 23 May, 11am-4.30pm. £7.50. Doddington Place Gardens, Doddington, nr Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 0BB.

Gorgeous: Poetry and Art

One of the works from Gorgeous: Poetry and Art, an exhibition at the Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery.
One of the works from Gorgeous: Poetry and Art, an exhibition at the Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery.

The Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery is hosting award-winning poet Edward Barker for a poetry-reading evening on the theme of gardens. He’ll be surrounded by the work of two portrait artists: Dutch artist Barbara Hoogeweegen and Madrid-based María Torroba. Both will explore the theme of portraiture in contrast with floral motifs, textures and colours. 24 May, 6pm-7.30pm. Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery, 2a Conway Street, London W1T 6BA.

Plants Play Music

Part of Carol Sharp's musical installation
This giant allium-like structure is part of Carol Sharp's musical installation at Bethnal Green Nature Reserve.

Artist Carol Sharp demonstrates a device that can read the electromagnetic vibration of a plant and translate it into music, during an installation at Phytology, an artist led project at Bethnal Green Nature Reserve. There will be performances with invited musicians during the day and Carol will talk about her exploration into plant intelligence. You can also visit between 21 and 24 May by appointment only. 25-26 May, 11am-6pm. Bethnal Green Nature Reserve, Middleton Street, London E2 9RR.

Walthamstow Street Gardeners

The residents of Walthamstow in east London have taken greening up the streets into their own hands and have created wildflower verges, pocket parks, street-planters and a community food-growing plot complete with a pizza oven. This tour takes you to some of their best-loved areas and gardeners from each project will be on hand to answer questions and share their experience of community gardening. 26 May, 11am-1pm. Tour starts at Brown’s Green at the junction between Brown’s Road and Hoe Street, London E17 4RZ. Email

Feeding Dreams

Omved Gardens was restored in 2017 to create a beautiful event and exhibition space that made use of the existing gardens and glasshouse. This year, for the Chelsea Fringe, Omved will host a series called Feeding Dreams to connect people to food, plants, gardens and art, and run individual workshops including Herbs in the Garden with chef Arthur Potts Dawson, who will share his experience of how herbs are used in dishes around the world. 26 May – 4 June, 11am-5.30pm. Check the gardens website for date and time of individual events. Omved Gardens, Townsend Yard, London N6 5JF.


Find more events at Please check event details with venue before travelling. Follow #ChelseaFringe on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Sponsored content