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Chelsea Fringe

Articles: Chelsea Fringe

Fernery detail, WC@Vanguard Court, Chelsea Fringe, 2013. Photo: courtesy Anna Rose Hughes

Each May, the Chelsea Fringe does not wait for gardeners to come to the garden, it sends the garden out through the streets of London, among the people. The three-week festival skirting the famous Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show captures the attention of any stray passerby, enticing them with flowers, foliage, and food.

Although both festivals are full of gardens and gardeners, the difference is in the approach. RHS, a proponent of the Fringe, offers carefully constructed main avenue gardens that are sponsored, judged, and awarded. The Fringe takes 
a hands-off approach: it asks nothing of those creating its myriad of events apart from a small registration fee. “It’s a true Fringe,” says founder Tim Richardson. “We’ve no selection process and no funding.”

The Fringe comes in many forms—it appears as a pop-up cocktail bar, gnomes invading neighborhood tree pits, musical 
performances, and dusk walks through Kew Gardens.

Tim Richardso...

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