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Chelsea Fringe at the Horniman

Chelsea Fringe at the Horniman Museum and Gardens: a Giant Cycad, carrot panpipes, origami foxes and more...

The eclecticism of the Horniman comes to life outdoors during this year’s Chelsea Fringe Festival, as we offer visitors an Extremes Garden, silent films of flowers, musical instruments made of vegetables, pothole gardening and an installation of origami robot foxes.

The specially-created Extremes Garden showcases the amazing adaptations plants have made to survive in extreme environments.

The Extremes Garden includes more than 50 plants to recreate a desert setting in the leafy surroundings of SE23, linking with our popular Extremes exhibition. Its centrepiece is a 10-foot Giant Cycad – a slow-growing South African species resembling a palm tree – on loan from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The Extremes Garden is free and opens on 26 May.

Nature films from the early days of cinema are re-invigorated for the modern age, with new music from Metamono. Highlights of the Secrets of Nature films include stop-motion footage of flowers blooming which amazed Edwardian audiences. Secrets of Nature – Sounds unseen with Metamono is on Friday 6 June and tickets (available online) are £8.

Acrobatics, pipe-cleaner butterflies and comedic songs about growing your own will all feature in the Horniman's Gardens Festival.

The day of family events and quirky performances also includes workshops with pothole gardener Steve Wheen, crafting panpipes and trumpets from carrots and cucumbers, music by Ronnie Scott’s resident singer Kai Hoffman and her Honey Bees, and a temporary installation of origami robot foxes, courtesy of Japanese artist Coco Sato. The Gardens Festival is free, and runs from 12 noon to 5pm on Sunday 8 June.

The Horniman is also part of this year's Forest Hill Edible High Road, supplying 200 edible seedlings for the launch, and displaying 'Growing for Gold' pots planted with sunflowers, poppies and strawberries, to mark the centenary of World War One and the 50th anniversary of The Royal Horticultural Society’s 'Britain in Bloom'. The Edible High Road runs from 17 May to 8 June.