Chelsea Flower Show fringe events across London this week


If you’ve missed out on tickets to this year’s official Chelsea Flower Show, you can still pick up flowers at one of the many events taking place around London to celebrate the gardening world’s biggest event. Here are my top picks.

Chelsea Fringe

Now in its 11th year, the Chelsea Fringe is an international event celebrating gardening in all its weirder and more wonderful manifestations. Regardless of the official RHS show, it’s the antithesis of the glamor and expense of the show gardens.

Discover Bankside’s Crossbones Gardens. Once a post-medieval cemetery, the garden is now a valuable part of the local quiet retreat community. It’s usually only open three times a week for lunch, but this week has longer opening hours. Guided tours of the garden will take place on Friday 27 May at 12pm, 12.45pm and 1.30pm.

Crossbones Gardens: once a post-medieval cemetery, now a valuable part of the local community for quiet contemplation

/ Jo de Banzie

In Highgate, reconnect with nature at the Wild Collective exhibition at Omved, a new growing area that is bringing nature back to a once-neglected wasteland. There will be installations and events throughout the week.

Experience Shakespeare in the Wild in Bloomsbury, an immersive indoor forest, with Q&A in the medlar gin garden and a rosemary workshop with writer Gerit Quealy. Reservation needed.

Sketch’s dreamy meadow for Mayfair in full bloom

If you’d rather eat out, Sketch (the one with the loos) has transformed its restaurant into a dream meadow for this week’s ‘peace’ theme. Installations include giant daisy chains and a working swing. Reservation needed.

Sketch: Installations include giant daisy chairs and a swing

/ Mark Cocksedge

Chelsea and Belgravia in bloom

As you make your way to the Exhibition Grounds, don’t miss the festivities with gardens and flowers lining the roadside.

In Chelsea between Sloane Square, King’s Road and Knightsbridge there are almost 100 window installations to admire; Follow the online map to see them all.

Belgravia has also pulled out all the stops between Elizabeth Street and Pimlico Road.

A craft fair at Chelsea Barracks this week

/ Beautiful & Useful

Chelsea Barracks Spring Market

For the first time, the excitement and atmosphere of the Chelsea Flower Show extends from 25th to 27th May across Chelsea Bridge Road into Chelsea Barracks.

A craft market celebrates independent artisans such as Wax Atelier Candles and Plant Belle’s plant stands, and garden designer Jo Thompson has curated a ‘Best of British’ seminar series featuring The Land Gardeners, Jekka McVicar and award-winning design duo Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg.

Tickets for the seminars cost £10 and can be booked online.

About Rachael Garcia

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