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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

See a pop-up park at Battersea Power Station

24th May 2013

Most tourists staying in central London hotels will be familiar with the iconic facade of Battersea Power Station, one of the capital's most famous buildings. For the next couple of weeks, however, those paying a visit to the site will find it utterly transformed by a host of experimental gardening projects courtesy of the 2013 Chelsea Fringe.

Inaugurated last year as an alternative to the pomp and exclusivity of the Chelsea Flower Show, the Fringe is a three-week event that fosters the weirdest, most wonderful expressions of the art of horticulture. "As long as it’s legal, inspired by gardening, gardens, plants or landscape and - above all else - interesting to look at or interact with, then we want it," say organisers.

Accordingly, the pop-up park at the front of Battersea Power Station will incorporate some truly innovative exhibits. These include the interactive sculpture Anchorage, which promises to engage all the senses - inviting members of the public to climb into a hammock and be caressed with the scent of flowers and the sounds of nature.

Garden Optics, meanwhile, should be of interest to budding scientists. Artist Sam Haynes has installed two huge convex lenses in a bed of foliage, allowing visitors to scrutinise familiar plantlife at incredible levels of magnification.

One of the highlights of last year's Chelsea Fringe was the Bicycling Beer Garden, a mystifying hybrid that enthralled audiences around London. The mobile garden makes a triumphant return this year and will travel around the Battersea Power Station site, so keep your eyes peeled.

Those hoping to further their own horticultural endeavours can participate in a conveyor belt plant swap on Saturday and Sunday (May 25th and May 26th), and the park will also host free Zumba workshops next month.

The Chelsea Fringe runs until June 9th and incorporates dozens of individual events at venues and public spaces around London, so those interested in participating should check the festival website. Almost everything is free to attend.


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