f you missed out on tickets for this year’s official Chelsea Flower Show you can still get your floral fix at one of the plethora of events that happen around London to mark the garden world’s biggest event. Here are my top picks.
Now in its 11th year, the Chelsea Fringe is an international event championing gardening in all its more weird and wonderful guises. Unconnected to the official RHS show, it is the antithesis to the glamour and expense of the show gardens.
Discover Bankside’s Crossbones Gardens. Once a post-mediaeval cemetery, the garden is now a precious part of the local community for quiet contemplation. It’s usually only open three lunchtimes a week but is operating extended hours this week. Tours of the garden are taking place on Friday 27th May at 12, 12.45 and 13.30.
In Highgate, reconnect with nature at the Wild Collective exhibition at Omved, a new growing space bringing nature back to a once-neglected wasteland. It will feature installations and events throughout the week.
Experience Shakespeare in the Wild in Bloomsbury, an immersive indoor forest, with a medlar gin garden Q&A and workshop dedicated to rosemary with writer Gerit Quealy. Booking essential.
Sketch’s dreamlike meadow for Mayfair in bloom
If dining out is more your thing, Sketch (the one with the loo pods), has transformed their restaurant into a meadow of dreams on the theme of ‘Peace’ for the week. Installations include giant daisy chains and a functioning swing. Booking essential.
Chelsea and Belgravia in Bloom
If you are making your way down to the showground, don’t miss the street-side celebration of gardens and flowers.
In Chelsea between Sloane Square, King’s Road and Knightsbridge there are close to 100 shop-front installations to admire; follow the online map to see them all.
Similarly between Elizabeth Street and Pimlico Road, Belgravia has pulled out all the stops.
Chelsea Barracks’ Spring Fair
For the first time, the excitement and atmosphere of the Chelsea Flower show extends across Chelsea Bridge Road into the Chelsea Barracks from the May 25-27.
An artisan market celebrates independent craft makers such as Wax Atelier candles and Plant Belles plant stands, plus garden designer Jo Thompson has curated a ‘Best of British’ series of seminars featuring The Land Gardeners, Jekka McVicar, and award-winning design duo Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg.
Tickets to the seminars are £10 and can be booked online.