Chelsea Flower Show fringe: the best flower displays, garden events and spring fairs across London this week
Chelsea Flower Show is the hottest gardening ticket of the year but with that status comes crowds and steep ticket prices.
If that’s not your bag there are horticultural events spilling out of the show ground and into the streets of London this week. From secret garden tours to striking floral displays, here’s the best of the Chelsea fringe events happening around town.
The Exchange Garden, Erith
If you’d like to see the work of a garden designer away from the madding crowds of Chelsea, head to the garden at The Exchange, the former Carnegie library in Erith, south-east London.
Designed by Sarah Price, who this year also has a Cedric Morris-inspired garden on Main Avenue at Chelsea, The Exchange Garden makes use of salvaged materials, features a climate-resistant Mediterranean garden and a greenhouse inspired by the first-ever purpose-built mobile library.
The garden is open to explore all week to visitors, and on Saturday (May 27), head gardener Colin Stewart will give guided tours at 11am and 2pm.
The Old Library, Walnut Tree Road, Erith, DA8 1RS (theexchangeerith.com)
Located at the top of Hampstead Hill, Omved is a new green urban space with a focus on sustainable living.
This week and into June it is opening an exhibition called Trace, taking an alternative look at gardening by exploring our impact on the planet.
Additional events include late openings on Friday (May 26) and June 2, a floral art workshop with Metafleur on Sunday (May 28) and a leave-no-trace dinner on June 1.
For more info and to book, go to https://www.omvedgardens.com/chelsea-fringe-festival
Belgravia in Bloom
If you are making your way to or from the flower show, or if you just happen to be passing through the area, be sure to look out for the floral displays outside some of Belgravia’s best-known shops, cafes and restaurants. This year, in collaboration with the London Wildlife Trust, the theme for Belgravia in Bloom is ‘Into the Wild’.
Expect to see floral owls, peacocks and orangutans on the street all week. If you need a sweet fix, Peggy Porschen Parlour is baking coral-themed cakes to accompany its sea-themed installation.
Athenaeum green wall and floral cocktails
The hotel is home to one of London’s oldest and most impressive living walls. Designed by green wall expert extraordinaire Patrick Blanc, it wraps around the entire height of the hotel and can be enjoyed from inside the hotel bar.
In the spirit of the Chelsea Flower Show, and to celebrate its horticultural connections, the hotel has partnered with the decadent flower box florist Haute to curate four floral-themed cocktails that are available all week.
Chelsea Barracks Spring Fair
From today until Friday, Chelsea Barracks, neighbouring the showground, is holding its spring fair. It’s free to enter and the artisans’ market is working in collaboration with House & Garden in Mulberry Square, where you will find affordable vintage art, handmade homewares and boutique beauty products.
Each weekday afternoon a series of gardening workshops and seminars is also taking place, with the likes of Chelsea award-winning designer Jo Thompson starting today all just a stone’s throw from the flower show on Chelsea Bridge Road.
For the full Chelsea fringe line-up and to see what’s on near you, visit chelseafringe.com