RHS Malvern Spring Festival May 2014

The Malvern show held at the Three Counties Show ground in Malvern, Worcestershire is a couple of hours drive from home, after the long motorway drive I spilled out onto glorious countryside, the sun shone, although the forecast was ghastly and my hopes were up for a my first ever visit.

Bringing Nature Home

‘Bringing Nature Home’ Gold and Best in Show

Parking was easy, entry good and then where to first. I am not sure if it was a me, but the layout was chaotic and the complete lack of any recognisable or understandable signage meant the first two hours were spent getting my bearings. I heard a man on a loud speaker telling us where to find the show gardens, I still did not find them all and there were only 9. The garden which had won best in show was a lovely concept, one half formal with elegant planting divided by simple wooden screens and the other half wild, the photo above shows the wilder half and the photo below the formal half. I liked it, especially the use of Luzula nivea grass in the formal part, I love this little grass and if pushed to choose this one is my favourite ever grass.

Bringing Nature Home Gold - Best in show

‘Bringing Nature Home’
Gold – Best in show

There wasn’t a route as such more a higgedly layout, so no sense of what to look at next, but a look at me garden was the ‘En su Casa en la Playa’ (At home on the Beach).

En su Casa en la Playa (At Home on the Beach) Gold

‘En su Casa en la Playa’ (At Home on the Beach) Gold

Depicting a setting on a beach in the Balearic islands of a family home, complete with a little Paella shop. I am guessing this would be even more lovely had it been a warm late spring day, instead of the 22 mile an hour winds and the decreasing temperature drop, even so, this is a place I would like to visit. I could imagine a moment sitting on the loungers and a good book for company.

Nearby was a lady on her own, with another garden, which at first I was not sure if it was a show garden, such was the higgledy layout. Not my choice but I appreciated the work that went into its concept and creation. Apparently it symbolised the path led after death entitled “Oooh…it makes me wonder”.

Ooh...I wonder whats comes next - Silver

‘Oooh…it makes me wonder’ – Silver

Shears and Chardonnay another garden, with bits I would like such as the wonderful back habitat wall built of logs and complete with a living roof along the top of the wall.

Shears and Chardonnay - Silver Gilt

Shears and Chardonnay – Silver Gilt

And the last two I found, one not for me, was ‘Blush’ the blurb describes the colour scheme as soothing and the garden somewhere to relax, this garden also came with a long strip of Fuchsia pink gravel.

Blush - Silver Gilt

Blush – Silver Gilt

And lastly although I did not spot any fruit in this garden, despite its title, I would quite like a little sunken seating area and outside oven at home, I may then once in a while sit down.

'A Fruity Story' Silver Gilt

‘A Fruity Story’ Silver Gilt

The show has lots of stalls outside selling plants and sundries, I failed to find anything on my list, mostly Penstemons and Irises, and headed off to the marquees, with no clue as to what was inside any of them.

In one I found the very best stall Avon bulbs, lots of people crowded around, I think business was good!

Avon Bulbs Gold winning stand

Avon Bulbs Gold winning stand

In another I found the The East of Eden Geum Nursery and very nearly made an impulse purchase and thought long and hard, deliberated and dithered about where this Geum could go. And then asked could I buy one, nope the early bird gets the worm and it was sold out.

Geum 'East of Eden' From East of Eden Nursery

Geum ‘East of Eden’ introduced in 2013
From East of Eden Nursery

The Alpine Society were at Malvern and after a couple of hours wandering I finally found them in a massive farm building. Hurrah! Actually not that far from where I had started. Its was so chilly and windy at Malvern that wooly hats were being worn.

Another Alpine society show bench

One of the Alpine society show benches

One of the Alpine society show benches

Alpine society show benches

Pleione vesuvius 'tawny owl'

Pleione vesuvius ‘tawny owl’

Cypripedium gisela

Cypripedium gisela

Isn’t this a wonderful world, and isn’t mother nature brilliant to bring us such amazing plants, I can’t look at the Cypripedium gisela without thinking of the Queen of Hearts from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.

With the decreasing temperatures and blackening skies, I decided to head home after one last purchase a 5 metre long natural slug and snail barrier seed tape from Simple Sowing and a lovely chat with a very nice man from the Rare Breeds group.

I would go again, but with a compass and a long piece of string.

23 thoughts on “RHS Malvern Spring Festival May 2014

    • I quite like visiting shows, they are a great place to get ideas from and do a bit of shopping at the same time. We only really have one thats nearby at Woburn in June, I had to travel for this one but its good to see different parts of the country too.

  1. I enjoyed reading this, thanks. I watched Gardeners World on Friday and they covered the show gardens you mention. I enjoyed your coverage just as much as you gave an insight into the real world of visiting a show ground, trying to find your way around, the weather and of course the personal favourites. Sounds like you had a good day with a bit of retail fun too.
    Can’t wait for Chelsea now. D.

    • Thankyou, I am looking forward to Chelsea too, although this year, I dithered buying my tickets and could only get 3.30 entry so will be have to very organised and have good running shoes on!

  2. I do like the set up and look of Avon bulbs watched gardeners world didn’t think that Monty was that impressed with it give me a cottage garden every time two reasons why I would look at the Chelsea chav show ? 1monty 2 sophie rayworth

  3. Thanks for sharing about this garden show. I very much liked ‘Bringing Nature Home’, and thought the show overall compared well with the International Garden Festival at Chaumont.

    • I think I remember you visiting that festival when you were in France, Malvern is not so big, the biggest comes next at Chelsea, followed by Hampton Court 6 weeks later. If you visit here again, you would really enjoy Chelsea.

    • Thanks, I am sorry to put you off, the bonus was the surrounding countryside, I had not visited that part of the country before and it really is beautiful.

  4. I’m glad you had the chance to go there Julie…. some nice impressions and you will now be wiser for next year! 😉 Shame about that Geum, as it is very very pretty!

  5. Thanks for taking me along! I will be in Chelsea next week and hope to see some really innovative gardens. Lovely loose, wild planting in the Best in Show and I definitely like the Geum – beautiful!

  6. How lovely to have a good look at the show gardens without having to go there. Thank you very much for the tour. As for that Geum, it is going right to the top of my wants list.

  7. I love the round door in the Shears and Chardonnay garden – it reminds me of The Hobbit. I’d also quite like a sunken seating area around an outdoor oven. Very Jamie Oliver. Great post and lovely photos as always.

    • Thank you! I wonder if they got their inspiration from that story. I am not certain what I would cook on it, but it certainly looked very relaxing. 🙂

  8. Thanks for the look at the Malvern Show. I’ve never been but I have seen both Chelsea and Hapmpton Court a number of times. Every time I go to Chelsea I think I finally have my fill and then I still miss going the next year. In general, I think the date of Hampton Court makes a better trip to the UK, especially for those travelers who will only make one trip. Have you ever been to the Tatton Park Show? I would really like to try that one, but can’t make it this year.

    • Hello, We tried to visit Tatton Park earlier in the year, its a National Trust property as well as host to the RHS show in late July and then sat for hours in traffic and eventually ours plans meant we had to abandon and head on somewhere else. I haven’t visited that show before, but we plan to this year. I shall let you know!

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