The Chelsea Fringe: A new festival of flowers, gardens and gardening

After being inspired by Amanda’s gorgeous posts on Chelsea windows this week, I decided to check out some of the events happening around The Chelsea Fringe. This brand new initiative is entirely volunteer-run and features a mix of public gardens, horticultural installations and community events all based around the subject of gardens, flowers, veg-growing or landscape flowers. Set in a host of different venues all over London it launched with the Dalston Flower Show last Saturday and is on for another two weeks.

There are some really interesting events going on in my neighbourhood and I wandered down to check out the Dalston Eastern Curve garden yesterday. This is a place I have mean to visit for a long time and was delighted when I walked through the small door, away from the madness of Dalston, to find a tranquil haven filled with art and nature. Created by a group of local residents and organisations, it was previously a derelict space behind an abandoned railway line. Over two years they worked with an architecture firm, the council and local knowledge to turn it into a delightful eco garden which partners with local youth and community groups and schools, hosts events and is enjoyed by local residents.

I love the random, up-cycled bits of furniture and art that are dotted about. The sofa is made from old coffee bean sacks, the bird feeders from old juice cartons and the graffitti art has little information plaques, like the plants and flowers.

It’s a perfect combination of the multi cultural, random urban-ness of Hackney and the beauty and simplicity of nature and well worth a visit if you are in Dalston. This summer they are building a greenhouse and hope to make pizzas using herbs and vegetables in their wood fired pizza oven – I want to live there!

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