Chelsea Fringe - alternative garden festival

We partnered with Chelsea Fringe to promote over 200 nature-inspired events in and around London.

Our Chelsea Fringe programme explored the many ways to enjoy London's green spaces and wildlife from dusk to dawn. For three weeks in May and June, we provided opportunities to walk and talk with nature experts around our London places. Visitors could dig in to gardens, buzz with bees and follow foxes through a live Fox Cam with artist Sonia Levy. Our Chelsea Fringe events offered something  to encourage everyone to get out and discover London’s nature, green spaces and wildlife.

We are still working with Southbank Centre's Festival of Neighbourhood to bring Octavia's Orchard to the South Bank for all to enjoy - look out for the new fruit trees next to the Royal Festival Hall by Waterloo. Octavia's Orchard is designed by the brilliant team at What if: projects.

    Octavia's Orchard

    Apples growing in the orchard at Packwood House, Warwickshire

    A new green space for refreshment, rest and play, situated on one of the capital’s busiest pedestrian thoroughfares connecting Waterloo with the River Thames. Inspired by our founder, Octavia Hill, who championed access to open spaces for city dwellers, the orchard is created by What if: projects and produced in collaboration with Southbank Centre.

    Write a dawn chorus on Twitter

    As the sun rose on Sunday 9 June, we organised a mass creative tweet-in and hosted writers at six of our London places as well as at Keats House. See the text created in our new dawn chorus of tweets on Twitter. Anyone could join in this public performance at #dawnchorus.

    Open Garden Squares Weekend

    Garden Barge Square which is opening for London Open Garden Squares weekend

    Over 200 gardens across the capital that are normally inaccessible opened their gates on 8 and 9 June. Spread out across 27 London boroughs, a wide range of gardens were open to explore, from the new and experimental to the historic and traditional, from roof gardens to community allotments.

    Wild About London

    Carer with toddlers in field with wild flowers at Morden Hall Park

    An exciting 24-hour programme of nature adventures in London. This was an opportunity to join wildlife experts to explore the magnificent Osterley Park, get involved in a celebration of the Wandle River clean-up at Morden Hall Park or take part in a night-time fox watch walk in central London.

    Sow and Grow Food Fair

    Garden guide talking to visitors in the kitchen garden at Ham House and Garden, Surrey

    Our family food and gardening day at Ham House's beautiful 17th-century kitchen garden set out to inspire Londoners to grow their own fruit and vegetables.

    Our activity packed day included seed sowing, storytelling, craft and posy making. We also ran garden and herb tours and hosted stalls selling delicious local produce.

    Chelsea Flower Show 2013

    This year, we supported the Food and Environment Research Agency’s groundbreaking show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The Stop the Spread garden highlighted the threat from pests, diseases and invasive non-native species.