Home Horticultural shows RHS Malvern 2017 preview

RHS Malvern 2017 preview

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Malvern
Alice in Wonderland show garden by Lorna Davis at RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2015. Picture; RHS/Neil Hepworth

Largest RHS show outside London, May 11-14

RHS Malvern Spring Festival celebrates the finest in gardening and food, with show gardens and nursery displays alongside food producers, shopping and top tips from gardening experts and celebrity chefs.

This year’s event, at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, is inspired by the Malvern’s Victorian spa town heritage.

Set against the lovely Malvern Hills, the show gardens are a big draw, with five designers being awarded RHS Gold Medals last year.

Jane Furze, Head of RHS Malvern Spring Festival, said: “We are so excited to share the glorious plans that are afoot for RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017.

“Whether you’re a newcomer to gardening, a veteran horticulturalist or simply looking for a family day out, RHS Malvern Spring Festival has it all. We look forward to welcoming visitors to our stunning showcase of spring in May.”

New for 2017 are:

  • Floral Marquee: At more than 195 metres, the Floral Marquee is the UK’s biggest, with over 65 leading UK and international nurseries to browse and buy from.
  • Joe Swift’s Plant Hunter Parlour: A centerpiece of the Floral Marquee, featuring daily talks from award-winning nurseries.
  • Live Well: Interprets and explores the theme of health and wellbeing in the 21st century.
  • Jekka McVicar’s Health and Wellbeing Garden: The centrepiece of the Live Well zone, Jekka designs and builds a permanent garden, bringing to life the role gardens play in our health and wellbeing. Visitors are invited to join daily ‘herbal conversations’ with Jekka and explore the world of alternative therapies. The garden is in support of Pathways, a day service for adults with learning disabilities and difficulties.
  • Grow: By Jon Wheatley, RHS Gold Medal winning gardener and Chairman of RHS South West in Bloom, taking inspiration from interactive country gardens and wildflower borders, showcasing a variety of edible beds and bountiful Grow To Show competitions.
  • Spa Gardens: Gardens from up and coming designers, mentored by Gold Medal winning Chelsea garden designer Jo Thompson. There is also a garden exchange scheme, supported by the Moscow Flower Show – one selected British Spa Garden designer will exhibit at Moscow Flower Show in July.
  • Indoor Shopping Arcades: Buy unique pieces in fashion, furniture, homewares, horticulture and gifts from independent designers, craftsmen, artisans, and artists.
  • Plant Arcades: Open-air shopping with more than 35 nurseries, plus the sell-off on Sunday.

Old favourites featured at Malvern are:

  • Festival Green: Pleasure gardens, a bandstand with live music, classic cars, and the International Street Food Market.
  • Festival Theatre: Hosted by James Alexander-Sinclair, the theatre plays host to experts and familiar faces, with Carol Klein, Joe Swift, Jekka McVicar and Jon Wheatley.
  • Food and Drink Pavilion: A celebration of British tastes from artisan producers. Expect the field produce, cheeses, bread, specialty gins, bakes and more.
  • Kitchen Garden Theatre: This animated live kitchen, hosted by Mark Diacono, showcases a line-up of cookery demonstrations from culinary experts and the country’s top chefs.
  • Young Gardener: Hands-on activities to help children explore the world of plants and gardens.
  • Family Day: On the Sunday there will be kids cookery demonstrations, make and take crafts, kids plant and grow workshops with BBC Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins and more.
  • School Gardens: More than 12 schools and educational groups from across the three counties are taking part.

RHS Malvern Spring Festival is a joint partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society and Three Counties Agricultural Society. For more information, call 01684 584900 or visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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