Community garden planted by children at a Battersea primary school

Children tried their hand at gardening as plans to grow a community garden as part of the Chelsea Fringe at Nine Elms on the South Bank got under way.


Published on
May 27, 2016


Scores of youngsters got their hands dirty potting up plants that will bloom into edible flowers and herbs to be used in a community market Garden.

The children helped experts from Edible Bus Stop to sow seeds and seedlings into larger pots which they have taken home to nurture. The children will learn how to make them grow over the coming weeks. They will be invited to bring them back on Saturday 11 June and Sunday 12 June when the young plants will form the centrepiece of a community garden in Thessaly Road in time for summer.

The Edible Avenue, which will also feature white picket fences, sculptures and seating, is being created as part of the Chelsea Fringe at Nine Elms on the South Bank festival.

The garden draws its inspiration from the rich history of the area, which for hundreds of years fed the nation’s capital, and from New Covent Garden Market, which is set to be given a new home as part of the major regeneration of Nine Elms on the South Bank.

The children were joined by volunteers from the community at St George’s Primary School in Corunna Road, Battersea on Saturday 21 May for the potting up session.

The Fringe festival ends on 12 June but volunteers will continue the work and it is hoped that the garden will become a community hub and meeting place.

Now in its fifth year, the Chelsea Fringe coincides with the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show and is designed to shine a light on community gardening projects across London and around the globe.

Nine Elms and Vauxhall have a deep-rooted horticultural heritage and will be putting on a plethora of event and attractions. The area is undergoing a major regeneration programme and is home to the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, the Garden Museum, Vauxhall City Farm and New Covent Garden Market.

Festival highlights include:

•A new site-specific art installation by artist Rachel Champion, which is set to be unveiled in a railway arch in Newport Street, commissioned by the Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership with the support of the Vauxhall One Business Investment District. The installation can be viewed between 10am and 5pm on Thursdays to Sundays throughout the festival

•A summer party with acoustic music and Pimms in the Barbara Hepworth-inspired garden by Rosie Irving and Antonia Young, which has been relocated from Tate Britain to the pop-up sculpture park next to the Beaconsfield Gallery in Newport Street. The event takes place between noon and 3pm on Friday 10 June.

•Free tours behind the scenes at the iconic New Covent Garden Flower Market, giving visitors the chance to learn about the history of the UK’s largest wholesale flower market from 7am until 8.30am on Saturday 21 May and Wednesday 1 June. The events are free but booking in advance is essential. Email to book a place on the tour.

•The opportunity to see London’s oldest cultivated garden during the Lambeth Palace Garden Open Day from 12 noon until 3pm on Friday 12 June.

•A workshop with artist Melanie King where visitors will create photographic prints inspired by the flower market during a workshop between 11.30am and 3.30pmon Sunday 5 June. This event must be booked here

Most of the events are free but places for some activities are limited and must be booked in advance.

Find out more at

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