Once again the magic of The Malvern Spring Gardening show worked its spell on me ~ my feet may still be aching, my purse is somewhat diminished but my soul is greatly refreshed. As usual on arrival I made a beeline for the grand floral marquee which was jam packed with colour and fragrance. The psychedelic giant allium you can see above was the stunning centrepiece of the Avon Bulbs stand. Apparently the standard of exhibits in the marquee was so high that a record number of gold medals was awarded by The Royal Horticultural Society. I spent most of the morning mooching in the marquee, pausing only to make an attempt to find the plant creche, when my hands became full with purchases but decided not to join the queue as I was leaving the showground briefly at lunchtime. Time then catch up with some fellow garden bloggers albeit too briefly, before meeting up with himself in the camper van for a most welcome picnic lunch and a breather.
Back for the afternoon session we initially went in separate directions. I stopped off to see the various societies which were providing information and advice on a variety of plants and gardening matters. Then it was off to see the show gardens. Like other bloggers I was most taken with the exhibits of the two gold medal winning entries Hannah Genders's 'My Very Local Veg Garden' and the Graduate Gardeners Ltd 'A Garden For Life'. I spent more time lingering over the former ~
The garden was created as its title suggests from locally sourced materials and plants and to my mind despite its modern appearance was most reminiscent of cottage gardening, when before the age of mass travel people grew their gardens from what they could lay their hands on near to home. Hence this garden featured a wigwam of French beans, the wigwam made from locally coppiced wood and the beans grown from seed that had been harvested and saved from year to year, over a period of a quarter of a century.
'A Garden For Life' was most striking and original. I would have liked to have spent longer looking at it but the skies were beginning to threaten so my my progress had to gather space accordingly to fit all the other show gardens in ~
The garden featured an A framed building designed for family use. There was an entertainment area for adults and a secret den for children in the upper area. The garden incoporated several 'green' concepts including a solar powered water feature. There was a beehive and a wormery, a fruit and vegetable garden and a mini greenhouse. Ornamental planting included alliums, aquilegias, irises, alchemilla mollis and thalictrum. You can find some excellent photos and detailed descriptions of the garden here, here and here as well as a most comprehensive set of the Graduate Gardeners's own photos posted on flickr.
I managed to get back under cover in time before the first rainfall of the day which was fortunately short and sweet in duration. Time to rendezvous with himself for a final wonder round the marquee and then into the food hall to find some goodies for our evening meal. What did I take away with me with apart from plant purchases, seeds and beanpoles? Well I am determined to track down one of these ladybird bird feeders ~
I have been inspired to try out this colour combination which positively zinged out under rapidly darkening skies ~
Not quite so sure though about the inclusion of the stainless steel bread bins.
A peek into the education and schools activities area left me with a smile on my face and a feeling that the future of gardening is in good hands ~
and finally I have concluded that a day at the show is simply not long enough!