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Primary pupils create Matisse-inspired Bottle Garden at the Horniman

Every child at Horniman Primary School has helped to create a pop-up garden which opens Saturday 18 May at the Horniman.

Their Matisse-inspired Bottle Garden – reusing plastic drink bottles as containers for bee-friendly plants – is part of the Chelsea Fringe, the alternative garden festival.

  • Horniman Primary School pupil with finished Matisse-inspired bottle at the Horniman, 
Horniman Primary School pupil with finished Matisse-inspired bottle at the Horniman, Yolanda Chiaramello
    Horniman Primary School pupil with finished Matisse-inspired bottle at the Horniman, Yolanda Chiaramello

The display features 120 bottles decorated by the children with designs inspired by French artist Matisse’s botanical cut-outs. Each bottle contains plants grown from seed by the children with the help of the Horniman’s gardeners, including poppies, marigolds, cornflowers and nasturtiums. The bottles are suspended in groups from the Horniman’s library building, to form a colourful display, visible from the South Circular road.

Local floral designer Yolanda Chiaramello has led the project, working with the children and the team at the Horniman to create their second joint Chelsea Fringe display, following on from last year’s field of paper poppies.

  • Planting in Progress, Planting in Progress, Yolanda Chiaramello
    Planting in Progress, Yolanda Chiaramello

Yolanda Chiaramello says:

It’s been a total inspiration working alongside the gardening team at the Horniman. Chelsea Fringe is always my favourite event of the year. The pupils at The Horniman Primary school have loved this collaboration, planting their seeds, watching them grow and designing their bottles.  We are really looking forward to sharing the installation with everyone.

The Horniman Museum and Gardens will also host two workshops on Saturday 18 May when visitors can upcycle their own used plastic drinks bottle into a colourful planter to take home. Workshops (at 11am and 1pm) are free but space is limited.

The Matisse-inspired Bottle Garden is free to visit. The Horniman Gardens are currently open from 7.15am (8am on Sundays) to 8.50pm.