Arts & Culture  News

Chelsea Fringe takes root once again in Nine Elms

The alternative garden festival, Chelsea Fringe, returns to Nine Elms and Vauxhall for a sixth consecutive year, taking place between 20th May and 4th June 2017.

Dawn to Dusk, Studio Tord Boontje. Riverside Gardens Nine Elms SW8. credit – The Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership

Published on
May 12, 2017


Our Chelsea Fringe programme this year is the biggest yet with dozens of activities across Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea celebrating everything from guerrilla gardeners to community projects; talks, walks and new installations.

The programme at Nine Elms takes inspiration from the area’s horticultural and industrial heritage, celebrates the area’s flourishing green projects and offers a glimpse of the area’s future landscape.

We are greening big swathes of former industrial land in Nine Elms: creating a new Nine Elms Park, turning private land into public open space, and opening up the Thames River Path. In ten years’ time it will be possible to walk right along the south bank of the river, from Battersea Park to Lambeth Bridge and onto the cultural institutions along the South Bank at Waterloo. New sections of the riverwalk have already opened by Riverlight Quay and by Battersea Power Station’s first phase, Circus West Village.

Our local Chelsea Fringe programme is as varied as ever, with an emphasis on local community events.  Most events are free although some require pre-booking.

Chelsea Fringe highlights across Vauxhall, Nine Elms & Battersea include:

• Dawn to Dusk by Tord Boontje Inspired by one of JMW Turner’s favourite painting locations, these new rotating seats by the Thames let you chose your preferred view whilst enjoying the scented planters.  Riverside Gardens, Nine Elms Lane, London SW8 5BY – next to The Tower, 1 St George Wharf (a new permanent commission by The Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership)

• An evening at Lambeth Palace Gardens Unique evening tour of the 12th-century garden at Lambeth Palace – London’s oldest cultivated garden.  There will be guided tours and practical tips on beekeeping with the Head Gardener.  Lambeth Palace, London SE1 7JU. (24th May – 5.30-8pm – £5 per person charitable donation – pre-booking required)

• The Hothouse events Join community gardener Sue Sheehan and local green-fingered artists for a series of fun and practical art and horticultural workshops – from creating a vertical window garden to fabric printing. New Union Square, 5 Nine Elms Lane, London SW8 5DA. (Various dates – see website for details.  Free entry – pre-booking required)

• Planting party with Father Nature Get planting with Father Nature, an educational community gardening group that makes gardening fun by using hay bales to sit and play on.  Supported by Vauxhall One.  Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, Tyers Street, London SE11 5HL. (27th May – 12-4pm – free entry)

• Glimpses of Battersea  Join artist Luke Walker for a tour of the area around Battersea Power Station and the best views of the building and its new public realm.  Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station (accessed through Grosvenor Arch, Grosvenor Bridge), London SW8 4NU. (21st & 28th May – 2-3.30pm.  Free entry – pre-booking required)

• Doing the Incredible Edible Lambeth Walk  A guided walk of inspirational green spaces loved and cared for by local residents.  Starting at the Garden Museum we will take in small green parks including Old Paradise Street, Pedlars Park, Vauxhall City Farm and ending at Bonnington Square.  Walk led by Sue Sheehan from Incredible Edible Lambeth.  Meet outside the Garden Museum, London SE1 7LB. (27th May – 12-3pm.  Free entry – pre-booking required)

Cllr Ravi Govindia, co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership and leader of Wandsworth Council said, “Nine Elms has such a strong horticultural heritage, with our history of market gardens and as the home of New Covent Garden Market – the largest wholesale fruit, vegetable and flower market in the UK.  So it’s always a delight to celebrate our roots through supporting Chelsea Fringe and supporting our green-fingered local communities.”

Tim Richardson, Founder-director Chelsea Fringe added: “It’s fantastic that Nine Elms is participating in the Fringe again this year. The spread of events — walks, workshops, art events and community garden activities — is a good reflection of the overall spread in the Chelsea Fringe, making this a mini festival within the festival.”

Cllr Lib Peck, co-chair of the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership and leader of Lambeth Council said:  “Lambeth is proud of its passionate gardeners and green spaces and Chelsea Fringe is a lovely way to celebrate green fingers and inspire new gardeners.”

For the full programme of Chelsea Fringe events across Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea, including details on how to pre-book your space, visit


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