Friday, 29 May 2020

Gardening festival to go online

Gardening festival to go online

THIS year’s Chelsea Fringe Henley festival is to be held virtually.

Various events in and around the town were due to take place between May 16 and 24 before the coronavirus outbreak.

Now organisers Victoria Newton and Jane Macfarlane-Duckworth have decided to take the festival online.

Mrs Newton said: “Many of our previous participants have come forward and have now planned virtual events.

“These include a live-streamed garden gong bath, virtual tours of some local private gardens, an online tasting from the Fairmile Vineyard and a selection of poetry readings from the Free Range Poets in their gardens.

“We plan to run a short, daily video from local gardens so if readers would like to participate in that please contact us.

“We would really like to encourage Henley residents to join in with celebrating the wealth of garden-related activities in the area. This could be by holding your own online event, whether it be a Zoom gardeners’ question time, a video tour of your o garden or perhaps you are an artist who could do some painting in your garden or outdoor space?

“Do you have a vegetable garden and fancy doing a plot-to-plate video or would you be happy to share some photos of what you are up to as part of the Chelsea Fringe?

“Now that some people have time on their hands and are at home, we hope that the festival will provide a distraction and celebrate the benefits that gardening can bring on many levels.

“We were really keen to make sure that Chelsea Fringe Henley remained in the Henley calendar in some form or another. We were holding out in the hope that it was going to be possible to continue with events. That, sadly, now looks impossible, but, as the Royal Horticultural Society has announced the move to take the Chelsea Flower Show online, we have responded by doing the same.”

Mrs Newton is also hoping to involve Henley in Bloom and to encourage residents to add to the decorations they have made for NHS and key workers with something floral.

If you are interested in taking part, call Mrs Newton on 07780 607738 or Ms Macfarlane-Duckworth on 07725 040733.

For more information, visit

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