New vision for RHS Malvern Spring Festival
There is a new vision for the 2017 RHS Malvern Spring Festival which comes into full bloom from Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th May. Taking inspiration from the event’s Spa town heritage, the Show which is held at the Three Counties Showground, will welcome new features and exhibits as well as a vibrant line up of the finest in gardening, food and lifestyle.
Malvern’s heyday as a Victorian fashionable health resort was a place where day-trippers descended to take advantage of the clean air and to enjoy the health giving waters among the beauty of the hills. The Three Counties Showground is the perfect place for a Spring Festival, set in the fold of the Malvern Hills, making it one of the most delightful places to visit.
The Malvern Spring Festival boasts the UK’s longest Floral Marquee at over 195 metres, equivalent length to four Olympic swimming pools. Here more than 65 leading UK and international nurseries, set horticultural standards with impressive displays of prized blooms and new varieties.
BBC Gardeners’ World presenter, Joe Swift, brings to life a new centrepiece in the Floral Marquee – Joe’s Plant Hunter Parlour. This immersive experience will enable visitors to enjoy daily talks from award winning nurseries and welcome budding gardeners to discover, learn and indulge their inner plant hunter.
For the first time, the Live Well Zone, will interpret and explore the theme of health and wellbeing in the 21st century with the centrepiece of this area being a specially commissioned permanent garden from the British Queen of Herbs, Jekka McVicar. The garden brings to life the role gardens continue to play in our health and sense of wellbeing. Jekka’s garden will be a living working space for mind, body and senses.
The ‘Grow’ area brings a horticultural experience by Jon Wheatley, RHS Gold Medal winning gardener and Chairman of RHS South West in Bloom. Grow takes inspiration from interactive Country gardens and wildflower borders, showcasing a variety of edible beds and bountiful Grow to Show competitions.
Show Garden, RHS Malvern
A brand new exciting category will be Spa Gardens, introduced for the first time to RHS Malvern Spring Festival and offering a unique platform for emerging gardening talent. Glorious gardens from up and coming designers bring to life the new vision and reflect the thirst for knowledge, new horizons and innovative technology at the heart of Malvern’s Victorian heritage. Gold Medal winning Chelsea designer, Jo Thompson, is mentoring the new talent as they embark on this exciting new challenge.
The Spar Gardens category will also feature one garden from an international designer supported by the esteemed Moscow Flower Show. This is part of a newly introduced exchange programme which in return offers one selected British Spa Garden designer the once in a lifetime chance to showcase at Moscow Flower Show in July.
The Indoor Shopping Arcades at RHS Malvern offer a premier quality shopping experience where visitors can pick up unique pieces in fashion, furniture, homewares and horticulture. In the open-air Plant Arcades over 35 nurseries will showcase a wonderful array of plants.
At the heart of the Show a colourful array of pleasure gardens, a bandstand of live music and an impressive collection of classic cars will bring extra enjoyment to visitors as well as an array of global flavours from the International Street Food Market. Here visitors will be able to rediscover the Victorian love of amusement, surprise and delight alongside enjoying unique show gardens unlike any other.
The popular Festival Theatre, hosted by writer and broadcaster James Alexander-Sinclair, plays host to a lively line up of experts and familiar faces. Confirmed experts include Carol Klein, Joe Swift, Jekka McVicar and Jon Wheatley.
The Kitchen Garden Theatre, hosted by Mark Diacono, will showcase a line up of delicious cookery demonstrations from culinary experts and the country’s top chefs.
The RHS Malvern Spring Show is also a great day out for the family and budding gardeners great and small are invited to get green fingered with a dedicated Family Day on the Sunday. At the Show there will be a hive of activity to inspire the next generation of gardeners and horticulturalists with fun hands-on activities to help children learn and explore the wonderful world of plants.
A collection of Show Gardens designed and built entirely by young people will this year see over 12 schools and educational groups from across the three counties taking part, led by BBC Blue Peter Gardener, Chris Collins.
Tickets and information for RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017 are available from www.rhsmalvern.co.uk
Photo credits: Banner and middle photograph ©RHS, credit Neil Hepworth.