Chelsea Fringe in Henley Floral Flotilla

Chelsea Fringe Henley Starts Blooming This Weekend

This year’s Chelsea Fringe, Henley has grown from a seedling event in 2015 with just a couple of events to a blooming 2017 programme this year with over 11 events taking place in Henley and the surrounding area.  The programme of events starts this weekend (Saturday 21 May) and continues over the next two weeks, finishing with the Floral Flotilla on the river on Sunday 4 June.

Organisers Victoria Newton and Jane Mcfarlane Duckworth said, “We are really excited about this year’s Chelsea Fringe in Henley. We have some old favourites such as the Fabulous Floral Flotilla, an Open Day and concert at Babylon Plants and the Silent Walk but we have some fantastic new events such as Poems and Prosecco in the garden,  the Garden Gong Bath. People can come and learn something new at the Pot to Plate event. We hope everyone feels inspired to try a new garden experience. We are also tremendously pleased to be working with the Berkshire College of Agriculture for the first time this year to support their Heritage Day and Dunsden Community Orchard. And if it all gets too exciting we can all go and find some peace and quiet with the Quakers in their garden or rake our very own pop up Zen garden!”

Details of the Henley events can be found below:

Sunday 21 May and Sunday 3 June – Peaceful Garden
Meeting House, 45 Northfield End, Henley


Henley Quakers invite you to wander and reflect in our peaceful secret garden in the heart of the town. Walk around our quiet space and take time to refresh yourself. Reflect a while – perhaps the space will inspire you to draw or write something, or you may wish to just sit quietly, being still among the scents and natural sounds of this special place.

Join us for tea and cake.

Monday 22 to Saturday 28 May – Now and Zen
King’s Arms Barn Courtyard, Henley

A pop up Zen Garden complete with sacred Japanese archway ‘Torii’, gravel, rocks and Maples. Members of the public are invited to journey through the arch and rake their own unique pattern into the gravel with the authentic style rake.

People are invited to share their design by uploading an image to @chelseafringe and Instagram #thechelseafringe

The garden will be launched at the same time as the ‘Blossoming of the Heart’ well-being event and in the same court yard. The aim of the garden is for people to interact with it and reflect on new evidence that Gardens and Gardening are proven to reduce stress and increase well-being. Zen gardens are ancient so users can reflect on the fact that this knowledge has been known for a long time and that our connection with nature is lessening as our lives become busier and technology is more advanced.

Thursday 25 May – Pot to Pan
Phyllis Court Club


Join Ruth, expert nutritional scientist from Ruth Green Nutrition and Niamh, horticultural therapist from the charity Thrive, for a fun and educational afternoon talk on herbs. Come and learn how to propagate herbs from the supermarket that will last and how to take cuttings from your rosemary. Discover the benefits of using fresh and dried herbs to enhance and effectively manage  your  health and longevity.

Ruth and Niamh combine their knowledge of gardening and nutrition to inspire you. This fantastic event will provide you with the tools to understand how to use herbs in your own home, taking them from the plant pot to the kitchen pan.

For more information, questions or to register for the event please contact Ruth or Niamh

Sunday 4 June – Floral Flotilla

Back for the third  year running with a slightly different format, we are calling for anyone who owns a river craft – from elegant slipper launches to aquatic cars to coracles and inflatable canoes – to decorate their boat with a horticultural theme – flowers, vegetables, palm trees – and come and join in this river Thames spectacle!

Boats will gather along the Mill Meadow moorings at 2pm with a chance to decorate and prepare for a short parade along this historic and beautiful stretch of the River Thames at Henley.

This will be a fabulous show of all types of craft displaying all sorts of floral ideas! Even if you don’t have a boat, come down to view the flotilla and bring a picnic to enjoy on the bank accompanied by musicians performing on the bandstand.

There will also be a visit from the Thames Valley Orchid society who will be displaying orchids and offering answers to any orchid-related questions you may have.

Tea and cake will be available on the Meadows if you haven’t packed your own!

The flotilla will moor up on the Henley Town Council public moorings adjacent to Mill Meadows in Henley on Thames. Mill Meadows has a public pay and display car park and also direct pedestrian access from Henley Bridge, town centre and Henley on Thames railway station.

This is a FREE event but boats must be registered. Please email Victoria or phone 07780607738.

To view the full programme of Chelsea Fringe Henley events go to



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