It’s official. London has gone bonkers over blossoms, thanks to the arrival of the Chelsea Flower Show. If you haven’t managed to bag a pricy ticket to the big floral fest, or you’re just not interested in trawling around a load of manicured gardens, there are plenty of blossom-filled alternatives across the city. Here are a few of our favourites.
Ornate dining spot Sketch has been filled with beautiful blooms, flower installations and colourful cacti inspired by the recent Royal Wedding. Book a table in one of its fabulous dining rooms to feast your eyes on a giant white-blossom-covered wedding dress, a candlelit wedding aisle and scenes from a fantasy honeymoon trip, including a rainforest in the famous pod loos.
‘A Royal Floral Tour’ at Sketch. Until May 28.
Chelsea’s annual floral art show is back in town. The theme this year is ‘Summer of Love’ and, as always, the streets will be transformed with displays created by retailers in the area. Saunter through the area and get a load of the eye-popping blooms. Then see if you can guess which one will be voted Best Floral Display.
Various locations in Chelsea. Until Sat May 26. Free.
Belgravia in Bloom is also back and this year it’s dedicated to the monobrowed queen that is Frida Kahlo – in anticipation of the V&A’s upcoming exhibition dedicated to influential artist. Take a look at the Mexican-inspired flower displays dotted about town then leg it to pop-up ‘Frida’s Parlour’. It’s an interactive installation where, during the day, you can explore rooms splashed in cobalt blue in homage to La Casa Azul, Kahlo’s famous home in Mexico City, and take selfies in the Wallpaper Room which is inspired by the backdrop in Nickolas Muray’s iconic photograph ‘Frida Kahlo on Bench’.
Various locations in Belgravia. Until Sat May 26. Free.
West London boat the Paddington Pioneer has been transformed into a buoyant floral oasis for the Chelsea Fringe. Step aboard The Floating Meadow covered in wildflowers and grasses, and try your hand at a host of green-fingered pop-ups, workshops and talks.
Paddington Basin. Until Sun May 27. Free.
Get your nature fix by heading to the lush Walthamstow Wetlands, where you can join tote-carrying twitchers for a spot of artisan sculpture-watching.
Walthamstow Wetlands. Botanical trail until May 27. Free.
Find more fabulous things. to do in London this month with our May guide.