Chelsea Fringe: The Bloggers' Cut

What goes with gardens and gardening? Why, cake of course!

On the way to Chelsea Flower Show, I was pondering the Chelsea Fringe* and how we garden bloggers could participate. Most of us live a fair way from the events, but why should that stop us from joining the fun?

I then thought about Naomi's Cake Sunday event on June 2nd and voila! The idea of us supporting a real event in a virtual way was born.

I bumped into Tim Richardson (Fringe organiser) at Chelsea and quickly got his go-ahead. We now have our very own entry on the official Fringe website :)

So what are we going to do?

Pretty much whatever takes your fancy, as long as it involves a garden (or allotment) and cake on June 2nd. You could have some cake in your garden (with or without friends and family); visit a garden for your cake fix (such as any open for the NGS on the 2nd, or even attend Naomi's event in Finsbury Park - it would be great to have the real and virtual Fringe events coinciding!), or maybe you'd like to investigate the merits of jam or cream first on scones.

Then what?

You write a blog post about your chosen activity. Veg Plotting forms the hub of the event, so you'll also need to add the link to your blog post into the Mr Linky I'll publish here on the 2nd. We (and other Fringe goers) can then sit down with a nice cuppa and another slice of cake for a fantastic virtual garden and cake tour around the world wide web.

But I won't have time to publish my post if I'm eating my cake in a fab garden somewhere

That's OK. You have until June 9th - the last day of the Chelsea Fringe - to publish and link into the post I'll publish on June 2nd. I'll also put a badge linking to this post up in my right sidebar, so you can find it easily. Ideally, I'd like as many posts linked into as possible on the 2nd, so there's plenty of time for everyone to visit your blogs.

NB Your post needn't be that long if you're pushed for time. Just a picture plus enough to explain where you were and what you were doing garden(ing) and cake-wise would be great :)

What if it rains, or if I'm doing something else on June 2nd?

Rainy garden visits are perfect for cake! Or, you could think about your favourite, funniest or grumpiest garden cake moment from the past and write about that. Perhaps you have a favourite way of using your garden or allotment's produce in cake form - people love recipes! Or how about telling us about some of your favourite cakes and the gardens where you've eaten them? Perhaps you've opened your garden for charity in the past - I'm sure there's a cake-related story you could tell us from that, or maybe you could put together a top 5 or 10 cake 'pop chart', depending on what sold well. You can write about anything, as long as it involves cake, plus your garden, or a garden visit, or a gardening activity.

How many are taking part?

I don't know yet! I'm doing a massive email and twitter campaign this week and anything you can do to help spread the word would be great. We had 30 people attend the bloggers' meet up at Malvern in 2010 and 100 take part in The 52 Week Salad Challenge last year. Anything like those figures would be marvellous :)

I don't have a blog, can I still participate?

Yes. If you're on Twitter, I'm using the hashtag #bloggerscut to collect together all the news and pictures everyone tweets on the day. You could also join in that way, or you could write and post a pic on my Veg Plotting Facebook page (you'll need to Like the page first, though).

Alternatively, you're welcome to email me (vegplotting at gmail dot com) with your picture, plus brief details of your garden cake moment (make sure I have your name and location) and I'll add them to my post in some way.

What are you going to do?

I haven't made my mind up yet as I have a few ideas! Also, when you tell us about your garden cake moment (in whatever way), please make sure I know its location. I'd like to put a map together, so everyone can see how far across the world our virtual tour has reached.

I'm still not clear on what I need to do

Email me (vegplotting at gmail dot com) and I'll reply to you directly as well as amending this post to make sure things are clear to everyone.

So, let's grab some cake and a garden, then have lots of fun on the 2nd!

Thanks to Jane Perrone for naming this event :)

* = for those of you who don't know what the Chelsea Fringe is, here's the introduction from the website's home page:

"The first Chelsea Fringe took place in 2012 and is a new festival for everyone who’s interested in gardens and gardening. With its emphasis on participation (most events are free), the Fringe is also about pushing the boundaries – its inguaural programme included a peripatetic bicycling beer garden, a floating forest installation in Portobello dock, an aromatic ‘garden of disorientation’ as well as pop-up community gardens and horticultural happenings of all hues. Anyone can enter a project – as long as it’s interesting, legal and about gardens, flowers, veg-growing or landscape.

The Chelsea Fringe coincides and overlaps with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show but is completely independent of it. The Fringe is entirely powered by volunteers."

If you like what you see, why not become a Friend of the Fringe? It costs a mere tenner to join and will help keep all those volunteers going at full power.


  1. Virtual cake - love it! This is such a fabulous idea and way to join in on Fringe events. (I will, of course, be taking my real cake to Naomi's Cake Sunday.) Hmmm, I wonder if I could persuade my local café to part with the recipe for their Courgette and Carrot cake ... :D x

    1. I thought you might be going to Naomi's - it would be great to have your report from the real event to join us here at the virtual one!

  2. What a fabulous idea! My niece is having her graduation open house that day so I am sure she will have plenty of cake there. IF I can manage to remember to take pictures AND blog them. It's asking an awful lot of my feeble mind. lol

    1. Hi Cinj - lovely to see you again :)

      Congratulations to your niece - some celebratory cake would really make our event here in blogland!

  3. What a good idea! We often have cake at the trading shed on Sunday mornings so I'm sure that I can do a suitable post next week. I'll also give this mention in the post that I'll be doing during the week. Flighty xx

    1. Hi Flighty - I think several bloggers have or take cake to their allotments on Sunday. It would be great to see that happening - it'd help give a real community feel to this event.

      Thanks for helping to spread the news too :)

  4. What a brilliant idea VP and a way for us northerners who sometimes feel on the fringe of it all to get involved :) Also a day that certainly merits cake in our household as June 2nd is both a niece's and a friend's birthday. Not sure yet what I will be up to on the day but certainly hope to come up with a post.

    1. Hi Anna - I think the Fringe will wend its way northwards with time to become a celebration for everyone. I hope this virtual event will help to make that happen.

      It'd be great to see your celebrations on the day, thanks Anna!

  5. Fab idea ! Tea + cake + garden it is, on 2nd June, then I will post about it ! Now just have to grapple with my conscience about whether I make afore mentioned cake or buy it ...

    1. Hi Jane - fabulous, thank you. I'm not placing any limitations on how the cake is acquired; the key thing is to join in, in whatever way you can :)

  6. Brilliant VP I have put it in the diary - I will have to see if I can get Dobby and Beangenie round - perhaps I could set them to weeding my garden and then I give them cake :)

    1. Hi Karen, Dobby and Kate - this is fab news :) I was hoping Karen would spread the word and I love the idea of a bloggers' get together... with cake!

  7. I'll go over to Karen with my weeding tools on the condition that she bakes the cake herself. Biscuits don't count!

    1. Looking forward to seeing Karen's cake ;)

  8. I will participate, of course (not much choice with Dobby and Karen on my case)... Expect - as a food writer in the real world - I'll be the baker!

    (Bakers don't weed other people's gardens, BTW)

    1. Kate - sounds like a fair exchange of labour!

  9. Great idea - and fun too. But I'm not a cake person so will be cheering you on from the side-lines rather than joining in.

  10. Great idea! Count me in - either relaxing in an NGS garden if I finished my veg garden chores or else stuffing cake in my mouth as I pot on tomatoes 2 weeks later than planned...

  11. Esther - you're still very welcome to join the tour :)

    SVG - looking forward to seeing where you end up!


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