Monday, 24 June 2019

Chelsea Fringe is back in town

THE Chelsea Fringe Festival — a nine-day celebration of gardens and gardening in towns and cities around the UK — is returning to Henley tomorrow (Saturday).

Starting at 10am, the Fairmile Vineyard is hosting a “Grape to Glass” talk, tour and wine-tasting. The event is also running at 1pm and 3pm. Tickets are £10. To book, call Anthea on (01491) 598588.

All other Chelsea Fringe Festival Henley events are free to attend.

On Sunday (May 19), the Henley Quakers are hosting a “Peaceful Garden” event at the Friends Meeting House, Northfield End, from 2pm to 5pm.

A spokesman said: “Everyone is welcome to visit and sit a while, maybe draw, share the garden and enjoy afternoon tea. Admission is free and there are suitable crafts for young children available.”

Next Thursday (May 23) at 3pm, Henley’s Free Range Poets group is hosting a “Poetry and Pimm’s” event in the garden of Southbrook Cottage in Hambleden. The postcode is RG9 6SX.

The following evening, a “Floral Drinks Party” is being held at the Old Fire Station Gallery in Market Place from 6pm to 8pm.

Anyone interested in the Chelsea Fringe is welcome, but please register your interest by emailing

Then on Saturday, May 25, from 11am to 1pm, “Add Some Funk to Your Junk” will show you how to reuse and upcycle items in your garden at Freemans Meadow, Northfield End, between Leicester Close and Pearce’s Orchard.

The festival finale takes place on Sunday, May 26, in the form of the “Fabulous Floral Flotilla” on the River Thames at Mill Meadows from 2pm to 4pm.

To register a flotilla craft, email victoria.newton@

For more information, go to

The Chelsea Fringe Festival is independent of but supported by the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which returns to London from May 21 to 25.

A key theme of this year’s show is encouraging people to reconnect with nature, with gardens celebrating the beauty of the natural world.

Seven-time gold medal winning designer Andy Sturgeon is back, drawing inspiration for his garden from nature’s power to regenerate.

Multi RHS gold medal winning designer Sarah Eberle returns to Main Avenue with a garden celebrating 100 years of forestry with The Forestry Commission.

The Resilience Garden looks ahead to the biggest challenges facing our forests in the future.

Three gardens on Main Avenue this year represent striking natural landscapes.

Jon Snow for Trailfinders is bringing the temperate rainforests of South America to central London, complete with lush planting and dramatic waterfalls.

The importance of having access to nature and green spaces for all ages and abilities has inspired the brief for The Greenfingers Charity Garden, designed by Kate Gould.

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has co-designed the RHS Back to Nature Garden, along with Davies White Landscape Architects.

The UK’s top nurseries will fill the Great Pavilion with thousands of plant varieties.


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