Thursday, 07 July 2022

All events free at ninth alternative gardening festival

File picture of the Chelsea Fringe

CHELSEA Fringe Henley, a celebration of alternative gardens and gardening, begins tomorrow (Saturday).

It is the ninth year that the town has participated in the festival, which coincides with the Chelsea Flower Show and runs until May 29. All events are free to attend.

Co-ordinator Victoria Newton said: “I am always excited whenever the festival comes around for another year.

“We have had to move a lot of events online in the last two years due to covid so it is wonderful to be returning in person. Our aim is to bring together people who have similar interests, whether that be flowers, gardens, or green spaces.

“People often can’t relate to Chelsea Flower Show as it is exclusive, expensive and inaccessible. That is why we run events that are local, free and centred on participation.”

The first event is on Sunday when the Henley Quakers are hosting a “Peaceful Garden” event at the Friends Meeting House, Northfield End, from 2pm to 5pm. Visitors are invited to walk around the secret garden, where tea and cake will be on offer.

Also on Sunday a Gardening Drawing Club will take place at Watlington Methodist Church from 2pm to 3.30pm.

Artist Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck will show participants how to make a flower arrangement following the Japanese principles of Ikebana.

Greener Henley is running three nature-themed walks.

On Tuesday, a Riverside Flower Walk will take place around Mill Meadows, starting at 10.30am. This will be led by its wildlife expert Sally Rankin, who will identify wildflower varieties for walkers.

On Wednesday, there will be a walk in the Harpsden valley, starting at 9am, to see “therapeutic landscapes”.

Next Saturday (May 28), Greener Henley will hold a “Pockets of green you may never have seen” walking tour in Henley, beginning at 10.30 am.

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