Pop-up gardens planned across Southbank, Bankside, and London Bridge

Cityscapes, a not-for-profit alliance of artists and designers, is planning the temporary gardens as part of the inaugural Chelsea Fringe festival timed to coincide with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The group has teamed up with seven members of the South Bank and Bankside Cultural Quarter: the Design Museum, the Architecture Foundation, Tate Modern, the National Theatre, the London Eye, The Old Vic Tunnels and the Imperial War Museum.

According to Cityscapes, famous names from art, fashion, theatre, architecture, music and dance will work with accomplished garden designers to create new garden installations offering unexpected and unusual solutions to design and social challenges.

“With the the world’s eyes on us for the Olympics, what better time to show a blooming London by greening up some of London’s best landmarks?” asks Cityscapes director Darryl Moore.

“Cityscapes is a series of cross-disciplinary. collaborations aimed at producing six innovative green spaces in the cultural heartland of London’s South Bank and Bankside.

“It’s about taking show gardens to the streets – producing floral drift downriver from Chelsea to the South Bank.”

While the Chelsea Flower Show runs for just a few days in late May, Cityscapes wants its temporary gardens to remain in place for nearly four months from 19 May till The Mayor’s Thames Festival in early September.

“Following the project they will be found new homes where they will become an integral part of the social fabric of their new communities,” says Darryl Moore.

Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey has lent his backing to Cityscapes’ ideas.

“The creative challenges and imaginative possibilities Cityscapes offer excite us and we can see how it will be a unique experience for both Londoners and visitors, in what is going to be a stimulating and busy year,” says Kevin Spacey.

“We see the garden as something that will complement and interact with the diverse range of events we host at The Old Vic Tunnels, as well as those in the Cultural Quarter as a whole.”

Andy Sturgeon created this temporary garden inside a capsule of the London Eye to promote the cityscapes project. The capsule was also marketing champagne, and so there was lots of champagne in the pod alongside the petunias.


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