After dashing around all morning in South London, buying plants for clients, I popped into the delightfully minty Garden of Disorientation in Clerkenwell on my way home to North London.
I forgot to ask Lynne Isham (who supplied the stylish garden furniture, above) why so disorienting, but felt the serene interior was a true antidote to its busy urban exterior in Smithfield Market. Rather than feeling disoriented though, I sank into the calm and cool interior and was further relaxed by a refreshing nonalcoholic tipple. This unexpected space reminded me of my visit last summer to Peter Zumthor’s Pavillion at the Serpentine Gallery, where Londoners were treated to Piet Oudolf’s glorious informal planting after entering Zumthor’s unpromising matt black shed-like structure.
Brainchild of Deborah Nagan, many have collaborated to make this temporary space such an enjoyable venue. Smithfiled butchers delivered unwanted pallets which have been artfully used to house thousands of mint plants (donated by Steve’s leaves) and to give height and structure to this previous meat-packing warehouse. Mike Bekin has supplied heavy-duty flooring, installed by much praised Dan the carpenter and The City of London Corporation have granted a 3 week license to serve up mojitos for weary workers after a hard day’s graft.
Plenty of visitors have enjoyed this thoughtful, quirky space, where the pared back, uncommercial interior echoes the ethos of the Chelsea Fringe itself and the mint filled rooms provide a restful haven, much appreciated as a green pause button in our busy urban lives.
The Garden of Disorientation is open from the 5th-9th of June 11-6pm and until 10pm Wed 6th-Sat 9th June. And there’s still tons of other Chelsea Fringe events on offer, most of which are free, until Sunday June 10th.