Monday, 20 September 2021

Prospect of flower market at Chelsea Fringe

ORGANISERS of Chelsea Fringe Henley hope to host a new flower market as part of this year’s event

ORGANISERS of Chelsea Fringe Henley hope to host a new flower market as part of this year’s event.

The three-week festival is returning for a second year and will see the return of a floral flotilla along the Thames to launch it.

Gardener Victoria Newton and florist Jane Macfarlane Duckworth introduced the alternative gardening festival to the town last year.

Chelsea Fringe is endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society and promotes an inclusive approach to flowers, gardens and gardening.

It coincides with the Chelsea Flower Show and this year will run from May 21 to June 12.

Mrs Newton asked a meeting of the Henley in Bloom committee on Tuesday about possible locations for the flower market and demonstrations.

She said: “We have started talking to people about events and getting those into the calendar. One of the ideas we were thinking about was if we could get together a flower market for Henley but we don’t want to be in competition with the allotment association’s market.”

She said she had spoken to Councillor Sam Evans about how the council was trying to encourage more people to use Freemans Meadow and Makins recreation ground.

Mrs Newton said: “Rather than having the flower market in Market Place we could have it in one of the spaces we’re looking to improve and get more community ownership of.

“It could help to raise awareness of the areas and it could be done in connection with Henley in Bloom or the council.”

It was suggested that the council’s park services manager Gareth Bartle meets Mrs Newton to consider possible venues.

The Chelsea Fringe organisers are seeking people wanting to run their own events as part of the festival.

Ms Macfarlane Duckworth said: “It doesn’t matter if people are not experienced or knowledgeable, it is about inclusiveness. If anyone is enthusiastic we would welcome them.”

For more information, call Ms Macfarlane Duckworth on 07725 040733, (01491) 575603 or email or Mrs Newton on 07780 607738, (01491) 629636 or email

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