RHS Malvern Spring Festival
Saturday, 19th May, 2018
May is my favourite time of the year as the road verges are full of cow parsley and wild flowers, the fruit trees are heavy with wonderful blossom and it means that Malvern Spring Festival is taking place. As I head through the Herefordshire country lanes on the way to the Malvern Hills, I have to keep stopping the car and getting out to take pictures of the orchards which are so beautiful, heaving with fruit blossom and also full of fluffy lambs and their mothers.
I am always full of excitement when I come to the Three Counties Showground as the setting is simply stunning and this permanent site nestles in a valley surrounded by the majestic Malvern Hills.
The RHS Malvern Spring Festival theme this year is inspired by the Great Exhibition of 1851 celebrating the way innovation and horticulture has enriched our lives. With this in mind I have selected a few highlights from the show below.
Apart from the 10 lovely show gardens this year, there is a new category called Green Living Space with four designs created for the millennial generation. The wonderful Floral Marquee is a must for plant lovers and there is also a Plant Arcade as well as lots of smaller independent nursery stands. There is a Country Living Tent, a Grow and Cook Theatre,the Great Pavilion of Art and Flowers, the School Gardens which are always popular, an Eco Green Living and Festival Theatre, as well as the many trade stands, local crafts guilds and the world’s first knitted garden!
I always head straight away for the Floral marquee which is like a sweet shop full of wonderful nurseries, many of whom have introduced new varieties of plants that are being shown at Malvern for the very first time.
Each nursery creates small displays which are so cleverly thought through, some with water features, others with gates, tables and chairs, small path ways and even little buildings.
Some of the show gardens are lucky to borrow the view and Peter Dowle captures the hills beautifully behind his creations at Malvern. This year the wonderful sculpture by Simon Gudgeon took centre stage as you can see below.
Apart from wonderful views and sculpture in gardens sometimes you come across goats! In the Village Verde garden below, you could be forgiven that you have just walked in on a rural scene in Portugal, a goat herder’s cave to be exact.
Going to shows and open gardens we often pick up ideas which we can take back and use in our own gardens and Malvern this year didn’t disappoint especially in the small creative urban Green Living Spaces gardens in association with London Stone and Hortus Loci.
There are so many interesting trade stands at Malvern and if you are looking for a greenhouse then look no further than the contemporary beautifully crafted aluminium and engineered timber glasshouses from Cultivar.
Lastly there are some things you really don’t expect to come across at a Flower Show like characters from the amazing television hit Allo Allo.
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