This weekend heralded the beginning of the marvellous Chelsea Fringe , where you can attend many a quirky horticultural happening, mostly in London, (although lots also happening around the UK, especially Bristol and Bath and further abroad) until June 12th-mostly for free.
Last Sunday, the Inner Temple Gardens were holding posy making workshops as part of the Fringe. Rarely being open to the public at weekends, this was a great opportunity to visit the gardens and they certainly didn’t disappoint.
This year, head hardener, Andrea Brunsendorf made the decision not to clothe the beds with tulips, but instead, concentrated on foxgloves and sweet rocket (Hesperis matronalis). On entering the garden you couldn’t helped being wowed by this heavenly display. I also espied (top left) the rather tricky to grow Geranium maderense which is just about hardy in London and takes two to three years to flower. Mine never survived further than the first year of flowering-do they ever?
Not having the space to grow their own, five hundred ‘Camelot Lavender’ foxgloves were commercially grown for the gardens and this abundance of repeat planting created majestic swaying rhythms throughout the borders.
Gorgeously hand crafted hazel supports were in evidence for later flowering perennials, such as asters, and this only added to the sense of a thoroughly well-planned (and beautifully executed) garden.Hanging out in a Mulberry tree near the posy making were these delightful peony posies in jars. As I said, well thought out and executed to perfection.
If you can get to visit during the week, the Inner Temple gardens never disappoint and are open to the public between 12.30pm and 3pm. (Nearest tube Blackfriars.)
And I’m hoping to get to see loads more Chelsea Fringe events over the next couple of weeks. Tomorrow evening (Thursday 26th May) there’s the Guerilla Gardeners’ Walking Tour in Lambeth, Friday morning (27th May and other dates) you can get a sneaky look into one of Stefano Marinaz’s latest designs in a private garden in South Kensington.
The Olden Community Garden in North London (just opposite the Emirates Stadium) always has a great event an offer, and on Sunday 5th June they’ll be throwing a Music Party between 2pm and 7pm. You can expect an eclectic mix of sounds including English, Irish and American Folk, Tuodr Polyphony (sounds interesting), French Jazz and more, all set within the walls of this urban oasis.(Nearset tubes are Highbury and Islington and Holloway Road.)
Whenever I’ve been to a Chelsea Fringe event in the past, I’ve (nearly) always come away inspired. I loved Deb Nagan’s Garden of Disorientation back in 2012 and Anna Rose Hughes’ planted up toilet in Peckham (above) in 2013, so I’m off to peruse the website for more possible treasures.