May newsletter – last week of the Chelsea Fringe

Chiswick’s Herbal High Road, part of Chelsea Fringe’s festival, got off to a great start with a whole day of herb-themed workshops and activities on Saturday 18 May.

Now 60 mini-herb gardens are out and around Chiswick High Road, Turnham Green Terrace and Devonshire Road. The boxes contain plants decorated and grown by local schools, including lavender and rosemary, with borlotti and French beans, peas, nasturtiums and sweet peas. If the sun comes out – if! – they will be beautifully fragrant and colourful.

Abundance London would like to thank everyone who got involved, from volunteers, schools, churches, nursing homes and of course the local businesses who are each hosting a box. Please support the local businesses who sponsored a box – they are the guys that care about their local area! Some of them are even offering special herbal drinks (like the Pineapple and Basil Daiquiri at the Crown & Anchor or Hack & Veldt’s special mint tisanes).

The Edible Herbal High Road was considered one of the highlights of the Chelsea Fringe, and our baby sister Edible High Roads in Forest Hill SE23, Kensal Rise NW3 and – most neighbourly of all to us – Edible Askew W12 were also fantastic and produced lovely events. Congrats to all of them, and check them out on our

Treasure Trail – one more week…

There is a fantastic Treasure Trail running until 9th June, with loads and loads of prizes sponsored by Neals Nursery in Wandsworth. Maps available in some of the shops, or download from our website on

The new herbal knot garden on Turnham Green was also launched. Organised in collaboration with the Friends of Turnham Green, with help from Hounslow Council and John Laing, the knot garden features a live willow structure by Marten Penrose from the Special Branch, using local willow from just up the Thames at Shepperton. Hounslow Adult Education pottery rustled up the terracotta butterflies that put the finishing touch to the whole thing. Check it out between the Town Hall and Christ Church.

Prize winners

The winners of the Fancy Dress prizes are Ayelet Nachmway (is that really how you spell your name??) as a flowery butterfly, an amazing Barney “the Bee” Griffiths, a buggy Betsy Griffiths with cool antennae, and a pink butterfly princess surnamed Porath. We will be contacting them directly about your prizes, supplied by Neals Nursery in Wandsworth. Congratulations.

The winner of the herbal taste test was someone called Karen (not me!) who got 10 out of 10 on the test, identifying all of our tricky herbs, and then ran away before we got her details. Please contact us for your prize, a lovely starter pack of grow your own herbs, generously supplied by SeedPantry. Runner up was Ed Richardson, manager of Union Jacks.

Box trimmer required

Now the Friends of Turnham Green are seeking a Derby Day trimmer to give the box diamond its first haircut. Get in touch if you have a steady hand and fancy a little bit of topiary,

Living Medicine: People & Plants for Health

A Foundation in Selfcare with Food and Herbs. Alex Laird, who gave an outstanding workshop at our Herbal High Road launch day, will be running this course over six mornings between 8th June and 13th July in the beautiful medicinal herb garden at the University of East London. The course includes information and practical demonstrations; participants return home with a starter kit of jars, bottles, pots and seeds. For more information, please email

Gardeners’ Question Time & other press

From the Chelsea Fringe. Still time to catch it on i-player. The Herbal High Road got loads of coverage in the press, including the nationals, our lovely local press and even some TV. Check out the links on our website at

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