Fantastic fun at Chelsea Fringe


Seeds for stories, poetry and art in the park were just some of the events held at Thrive Battersea during Chelsea Fringe.
Held over three weeks, the fifth Chelsea Fringe featured a wonderful mixture of public spectacles, horticultural happenings and community celebrations at a host of different venues.

The Fringe is about harnessing and spreading some of the excitement and energy that fizzes around gardens and gardening. The idea is to give people the freedom and opportunity to express themselves through the medium of plants and gardens, to open up possibilities and to allow full participation.

The Fringe showcases a wide range of work from professionals and enthusiasts, both from the gardening world and beyond. Contributors create installations, events and experiences, exhibits, talks and walks.

At Thrive our former St John Ambulance hut in the main garden at Battersea turned into a pop-up gallery for the week selling art connected with Battersea Park and surrounding neighbourhoods.

Made by a local group of established and emerging painters, illustrators and sculptors a selection of the work will be shown to the public for the first time.

We also had a 'purple day’ with the Stroke Association selling purple plants and offering blood pressure checks.

The tea tent was up all week and clients got involved in selling plants, including the stylish new  Willow Wand® a beautiful mini tree made of living willow which featured at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show in The Sun Flower Square (where Thrive's Eleanore Udall was) and on Jekka McVicar's Modern Apothecary show garden...sales of the willow will aid Thrive

In the Old English Garden Patricia offered seeds for stories and we had a wire art pop up gallery along with two afternoons of poetry accompanied by some good weather!

The Herb Garden was a hive of activity as a dye bed installation took place with a wonderful dye and spin workshop held at the weekend. Compost king and horticultural therapist Mark Emery held a workshop on how to make your compost great and fellow horticultural therapist Richard Jones took visitors on a tree walk through the park.

The events at Thrive Battersea were all co-ordinated by horticultural therapist Tim Reynolds, who said: "It was a fantastic week and it was great to see so many people visit Thrive and finding out a lot more about our work.

"We also raised more than £1,700 thanks to plant sales and donations for tea and coffee. We are already looking forward to next year!"