PAUL HERRINGTON has been nurturing and growing the Cambridge Chelsea Fringe since 2015. This year he’s taking on a vital job at virtual HQ too – helping people register their projects online. When someone fills in the form with those mouth-watering details, and presses ‘send’, it’s Paul on the other end.
Introduce yourself, Paul…
I’m a psychiatric nurse turned garden designer [ed: and musician, as you’ll see below!], who combined both in the creation of Grow Places. Grow Places harnesses the positive therapeutic effects of nature, landscapes and gardening on our health to improve individuals’ physical and mental health.
What has been your favourite Chelsea Fringe moment? Sitting in the Rowan charity’s sunny, arty, tiny garden with a bunch of the Cambridge Fringe 2015 participants, sharing ideas and wondering how to make our first entry into the Chelsea Fringe reality!
Why did you want to get involved in the Fringe? In 2004 I created a Courtyard Garden at Chelsea Flower Show. Compared to the extravagance and glamour there, the Fringe struck me for its down-to-earth honesty, its connection with community and its quirkiness. It took me a quite a few years to notice that Cambridge hadn’t participated in the Fringe before. When I did, I wanted to rectify this!
What three words sum up the Chelsea Fringe for you? Community, connection and cooperation.
Do you have any advice for someone taking part in the Fringe for the first time? Just jump in and do it… There’s lots of support available and you’ll have a blast, meet great people and make a difference.
Who is your gardening hero? Oh, man, this is hard! Just one? I’ll have to pick the recently deceased Beth Chatto for her incredible hands-on plant knowledge.
Tell us your guilty pleasure, Paul? Liquorice Allsorts, I just can’t get enough!
What do you listen to in your shed? Currently, and selfishly, I’m listening to mixes of my own music making with guitar and songwriting supremo Toby Peters.
Image: Paul Herrington, at a yarn-bombing project at Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge.