As rain and cooler weather are predicted for the coming Jubilee weekend, I was reflecting on how lucky we were with exceptional weather for our Chelsea Fringe event last Sunday. Neighbours in our community veg growing scheme have been getting together at ‘Cake Sundays’ a couple of times a year since 2009, for a seed give-away and to catch up with each other over tea and home-made cakes. This May, as part of the Chelsea Fringe, we invited others to join us and put on a bumper spread with oodles cakes and bunting. It was a really enjoyable afternoon.
Annie (top pic) was on hand to advise on veg growing and gave away over 200 packs of seeds (and many borage and nasturtium plants too), and I was happy to talk to anyone about the delights of edible window boxes. (Giant red mustard leaf and violas above).
Nicolette had loads of visitors wanting to know more about how we started up our veg growing scheme, travelling from South London and as far as Colchester and Manchester to hear our story!
Neighbours and friends baked up the most gorgeous cakes I’ve ever seen (and tasted!),
and we also encouraged entries for the best planting around the base of our street trees, which were judged on the day by Veronica Peerless, deputy editor of Which? Gardening magazine.
Small events punctuated the afternoon and Tim Bushe was a real crowd pleaser with his virtuoso topiary demonstration.
and the afternoon continued with very entertaining veg races involving various transportation methods of cucumbers (hands), cabbages (knees) and potatoes (spoons).
Tim Richardson, creator and director of the Chelsea Fringe, joined us for tea and cake and happily agreed to present Best Tree Pit trophies. Runner up, Nicola, was delighted to recieve her award for a fantastic sculptural framework for sweet peas in her tree pit,
and Eugenie’s winning tree pit was deservedly recognised for providing gorgeous colour and interest in the form of snapdragons, verbascum, cabbages and wildflowers. Always a pleasure to walk by on the way to the shops!
And finally, the warm sunny afternoon was perfectly rounded off by a 10 minute play called ‘Pumpkin Patch’ about stealing veg in a community garden. Heaven forbid!
The Chelsea Fringe continues over the next 2 weekends, up until June 10th with tons of interesting horticultural happenings all over London. I rather fancy the Living medicine cookery workshop in Ladbroke Grove tomorrow afternoon (booking essential) and popping by for more tea and cake at a cheeky land grab in Greenwich on June 10th. Tim Richardson highly recommends, amongst others, the minty Garden of Disorientation in Smithfields, open daily until June 9th (but closed 3rd and 4th June) and the Floating Forest installation, again in Ladbroke Grove. There are up to 90 events listed, so take your pic to get your horticultural fix over the next 10 days. You won’t be disappointed!