greentapestry : Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2011

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2011

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!


  1. Great to read someone else's views on Malvern. I hated the steel bread bins, and actually rather disliked the Avon Bulbs sculptures too, I found that they distracted me from the wonderful plants. Thank you for showing such lovely photos of the Very Local Veg Garden, we got caught by a rain shower and didn't linger as long as we should have, the two views you gave are lovely.

  2. Really cool stuff Anna. I love the woodwork.

    [My blog address is NOW I'm just letting everyone know. Thanks!]

  3. Great you've included a picture of the benches - they were being thoroughly used when I finally saw them yesterday. You're right - 1 day isn't enough - I was still finding new things yesterday and it was my third day there!

  4. I didn't see the Avon bulbs sculpture in life, but I am curious where they will go after the show. 'Real' flowers on there, scabious, gerberas, cornflowers, then a bee and butterflies. I love it!

  5. I share your uncertainty about the bread bins, but absolutely love the A-frame!

  6. I watched the beebs coverage of Malvern and really liked the very local garden. Lucky you, great day out.

  7. Very nice blog.Lovely woodwork. join us at Art-Profiles. thanx

  8. It looks like you had a wonderful day. I know Malvern was featured on Gardener's World last week but I haven't watched it yet. The Garden For Life looks like it deserved it's gold medal.

  9. Eldest was curious about the stainless steel things in that garden as well. Its interesting how we were all attracted to the same sorts of things. Personally I didnt like the allium centrepiece on Avons stand, I didnt think it was as good a stand as in the past.
    Saw your comment about what did I buy - will do a post soon but I want to know what you bought too!!


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.