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Category: RHS Malvern Spring Festival

What’s new for 2023? The gardening tips, tastes and experiences you can expect to find at this year’s spectacular RHS Malvern Spring Festival

RHS Malvern Spring Festival, in association with My Pension Expert, will make a triumphant return to Three Counties Showground from 11 14 May 2023 andis set to be bursting with new experiences for visitors to enjoy.

The festival will open the 2023 RHS floral show season with an abundance of flowers and plants, a mouth-watering food and drink offering, a star-studded line up of special guests and expert horticulturalists, plus lots of entertainment for all ages.

In celebration of the 2023 festival theme ‘Gardening for Everyone’, there will be a brand-new Tips & Tricks Area where visitors can learn how to creatively upcycle or reuse items to make stylish features in their own outdoor space, and pick up plenty of handy cost-saving and sustainability tips. The new Tips & Tricks Theatre will be hosted by skilled designer/upcycler and TV presenter Max McMurdo, whose creations have featured on BBC’s Dragon’s Den and currently on the new series of Channel 4’s George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. Max will be joined throughout the weekend by special guests (full festival line-up to be announced in February) sharing their own top tips for upcycling, reusing or cost-saving.

Max McMurdo commented: “I’m delighted to be hosting the new Tips & Tricks Theatre at RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May. This year’s festival is all about making gardening accessible to everyone, regardless of their age and ability, with an emphasis on sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices, which are so important in helping to look after our planet in the future.”

A fresh new Bloom & Grow Area will offer visitors the chance to pick up tips from horticultural experts and TV gardening personalities on growing vegetables, flowers, herbs and other edible plants at home or in an allotment. The new Bloom & Grow Theatre will be hosted by horticultural broadcaster, author and wellbeing advocate, Ellen Mary, who will be joined by a host of expert special guests from the world of floristry and gardening.

In the exciting new Fire & Feast Theatre, hosted by cooking expert and founder of Otter Farm, Mark Diacono, and BBQ and open fire cook, Adam Purnell (a.k.a The Shropshire Lad), visitors can pick up ideas to improve their alfresco cooking with live demonstrations from talented chefs, outstanding local food producers and special guests. There will also be a range of sensational international cuisines on offer, alongside some of the best food and drink from across the three counties of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

This year the unmissable Festival Theatre will behosted by RHS Vice President, Design Ambassador and Gardeners’ World magazine columnist, James Alexander-Sinclair, who will be joined by a stellar line-up of TV gardening personalities and leading horticulturalists, including BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Frances Tophill.

Jon Wheatley, an award-winning landscape designer, based in Avon, will be creating a new Grow, Gather & Sow feature garden at this year’s show. This garden will be used as a space to teach visitors about growing vegetables outdoors and undercover, fruit and trees, flowers, foraging and container growing. It will reflect the current trend in creating edible gardens and making spaces greener.

The Potting Shed Theatre – new to RHS Malvern Spring Festival in 2023 – will be hosted by expert horticulturalist Martin Fish. Located within the impressive Floral Marquee, a range of green fingered professionals will be on hand to share specialist gardening knowledge in a series of interesting and informative sessions.

Tickets for the RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2023 start from just £25 (with under 16s free of charge) and can be purchased here https://www.rhsmalvern.co.uk/

Cheltenham’s flagship John Lewis store kicks off 2023 RHS Malvern Spring Festival Giant Welly Tour

The RHS Malvern Spring Festival, afour-day gardening extravaganza held at the Three Counties Showground from 11 – 14 May, in association with My Pension Expert, has launched an eye catching new regional Giant Welly Tour to promote the prestigious festival.

A team of partners from John Lewis Cheltenham joined representatives from Three Counties to showcase the arrival of the 10ft welly, which weighs in at a whopping 100kg and carries the eye catching new RHS shows design. Everyone came together in their brightest and best wellies to celebrate the official start of the regional tour, that will visit high profile venues across Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire from now up until the beginning of May.

Claire Hester, Brand Experience Manager at John Lewis Cheltenham, commented,  “The whole team at John Lewis Cheltenham are jumping for joy to be kicking off the 2023 RHS Malvern Spring Festival Giant Welly Tour instore in the centre of Cheltenham. The 10ft high welly is situated on the first-floor from 23rd January to 6th February and is a great selfie spot.”

The theme for 2023’s festival is ‘Gardening for Everyone’ and there will be a focus on making gardening and horticulture open and accessible to all, while encouraging sustainable and planet-friendly practices that are kinder to the environment. A series of stunning Show Gardens and experiential Feature Gardens will provide plenty of inspiration and the Plant Village and Pavilions will provide a one-stop gardening emporium to stock up on British grown plants in flower and bulbs from some of the best nurseries from across the UK.

Kate Dufton, RHS Show Lead at Three Counties Showground, commented, “RHS Malvern Spring Festival is a big date in the national horticultural calendar and what better way to celebrate than with a Giant Welly Tour! Taking in lots of exciting host locations across the Three Counties over the coming months, be sure to pay it a visit and grab a selfie.”

For more information about what visitors can enjoy on a fun-filled day out at RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2023 or to book tickets, visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk

Shropshire’s Hillview Hardy Plants confirmed as RHS Malvern Spring Festival’s ‘Master Grower’ 2023

Shropshire-based Hillview Hardy Plants has been awarded the coveted RHS Malvern Spring Festival ‘Master Grower’ accolade for 2023 and will be sharing their expertise at the show from 11 – 14 May 2023 at Three Counties Showground, Malvern. 

The Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Master Grower’ scheme endeavours to shine a spotlight on the UK’s finest specialist nurseries. Nurseries that have proudly collected a number of awards and medals are invited to become ‘Master Growers’. Hillview Hardy Plants has been going to the RHS Malvern Spring Festival since 1988 and the family are thrilled that their plants will be in the spotlight in 2023.

Ingrid Millington from Hillview Hardy Plants said: “We’re really proud to be asked by the RHS to be a Master Grower. We’ll be putting on a bigger display than normal and are delighted to be recognised for our knowledge and expertise.”

The RHS ‘Master Grower’ scheme singles out nurseries that offer excellent customer service and propagate a high percentage of plant material themselves. Hillview Hardy Plants are focused on ethical and sustainable plant production and breed their own varieties too.

Owned by John and Ingrid Millington and their daughter Sarah, Hillview Hardy Plants has no fewer than two National Collections of Auricula, namely the Alpine Group and cultivars bred by Richard Austin in the New Forest.

They also produce border, double, show and striped cultivars, with more than 1,000 varieties of stock plants at their nursery and in excess of 640 different ones for customers to buy.

For many people, Victorian-style auricula theatres and clay pots are a must when it comes to displaying these colourful flowers, but the Millingtons’ display at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May 2023 will also demonstrate more modern ways for showing them off, such as extending shelves. The family will also be on hand with lots of practical advice to help gardeners get the most from their plants.

Ingrid Millington explains: “Auriculas aren’t difficult to keep at all. People think they’re going to be difficult and mollycoddle them, but it’s really not necessary.

“Generally, auriculas don’t like the summer sun or winter wet. They should only be put in an auricula theatre for showing and not for growing because they need lots of air movement.

“Auriculas are completely hardy – leaving them outside doesn’t hurt them at all; they might freeze in their pots but put them on mesh so that water can drain through. When watering, avoid getting water on their flowers as this spoils them.”

Auriculas are usually associated with terracotta pots, but this can lead to water being lost through the clay during the summer.

“Clay pots look lovely but we advise growing auriculas in plastic pots, which can be dropped into a clay pot when they’re being displayed,” Ingrid advises.

John and Ingrid met while studying horticulture at Writtle College and set up their nursery on a former tomato growing site in 1987 when daughter Sarah was five, with John continuing to work for Birmingham Parks until their business was fully established. Sarah joined the nursery after completing a law degree and, like her father, is now a Master of Horticulture.

Initially they specialised in Alpines, prompted in part by their shared love of walking and the general popularity of these plants, before moving onto herbaceous species.

Their interest in auricula started after they were approached by an elderly gardener who was giving up his collection.

“To be honest we had no grand desire to grow auricula, but things happen for a reason and now we have rather cornered the market,” says Ingrid with a chuckle.

“As a family we’re always thinking up ideas that will entice people to grow auriculas.

“People don’t need to display them in the Victorian way, although this is still popular and John and Sarah receive a lot of orders for bespoke auricula theatres that they make themselves.

“Over the past few months we’ve potted up some 9,000 auriculas produced by division to sell in 2023.”

Alongside their auriculas, the Millingtons also hold National Collections of Albuca, a South and East  African plant commonly known as ‘Slime Lily’, and Acanthus. They also have a wide range of other plants, including herbaceous perennials, and are well known for giving talks to gardening clubs.

Hillview Hardy Plants will be featured in the Floral Marquee at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival from 11 – 14 May 2023 at Three Counties Showground. Tickets start from just £25 (with under 16s free of charge) and are on sale now. For more information about the festival, or to book tickets, visit: https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/malvern-spring-festival

Three Counties welcomes new CEO to drive forward investment and growth

We are pleased to announce that Three Counties Agricultural Society has appointed David Prescott as its new Chief Executive. David will start in January 2023 to take over the running of the society, following the announcement that Ken Nottage will be retiring from the post, after a hugely successful decade at the helm of one of the UK’s most prosperous showground enterprises.

David joins the society after a 27-year career with the Oxford based Bookseller Blackwell’s, where he held a variety of roles across the company from the shop floor to management and regional roles, before becoming Managing Director for Blackwell’s Bookshops in January 2011, and Chief Executive for Blackwell Limited in May 2013. He has also taken an active role in the UK Booksellers Association serving as Chair of the Academic and Professional Bookselling Group and as Vice President of the Association from 2011-17. He is currently a Trustee of the World Book Day Charity.

Ken Nottage commented, “At the heart of Three Counties is a committed and talented group of employees and volunteers, who I am sure will be supportive of David in his new role as CEO. David is strongly placed to lead the society in its future growth plans. In addition to his wide-ranging skills, he has invaluable business management experience which will contribute to the long-term future and success of the business.”

David will be on board at the beginning of the new 2023 shows season, with a full line-up of unmissable events and festivals, kicking off with CountryTastic in April, followed by the prestigious RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May, the annual celebration of food and farming, the Royal Three Counties Show in June and the finale to the year with the UK’s largest Harvest Festival, Malvern Autumn Show in September.

David said, “I’m hugely excited to be taking on the role of Three Counties Chief Executive. I’ve been really impressed with how well the Society is run and I know there’s lots of opportunity to build on what is a really impressive events calendar. Of course, I have some big shoes to fill with Ken having done such a fantastic job, but I know there is a great team here with a very supportive Board and Council, so I can’t wait to get started!”

Winter Glow lights the iconic Malvern skyline on opening weekend of the regions premier festive event

Winter Glow, the region’s largest multi-attraction event based at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, has officially launched Christmas 2022!

Winter Glow kicked off the festive season this week and invited everyone to embrace all things Christmassy, with an impressive line-up of activities and excitement on offer. The brand-new immersive Light Trail, alongside the Giant Observation Wheel which can be seen from miles away, is a beacon of festive fun with so much more awaiting visitors at this regional winter wonderland.

Along with the Personalised Santa Experiences, visitors can also take part in a newly themed Light Trail ‘A Christmas Odyssey’, ride a 120ft Observation Wheel, skate on the Indoor Ice Rink, and browse Winter Glow’s brand-new Christmas Market, with a selection of local traders, crafters and artisans. The Food Quarter, Ice Cafe and Bavarian-style bar are also cosy places for visitors to refuel after all that festive fun!

With 4 bookable events to enjoy, the first visitors entered the spell binding grotto adventure for Personalised Santa Experiences, full of fantastical surprises. Families were transported to a festive wonderland as they arrived and were greeted by Santa’s Head Elf, Jingle, who has some cheeky challenges for them to complete before making their special journey through the winding buildings to Santa’s Toy Workshop.

On arrival to the workshop, full to the brim with authentic sights, sounds and smells, visitors were once again by greeted by Elves and invited to explore their magical surroundings. Each family were then shown to their special appointment to meet Santa in his cosy grotto.

The experience didn’t stop there! After their visit with the big man, families enjoyed Mrs Claus’ Bakery, where each child decorated their own Christmas biscuit, before heading back into the Winter Village through the The Old Sweet Shoppe and North Pole Letter Box, to enjoy a selection of festive street performers and the magical atmosphere that follows them.

The ice skating sessions are also now open daily and take place within one of the West Midlands’ largest Indoor Ice Rinks.The rink is open to all, with skate aids for children and seating close by for no skaters to sit and watch.

Heading outside, the Light Trail winds across the showground, taking in Candy Cane Lane, Christmas Island and even a Narwal and Ship, seeing is believing! The twinkly lights, giant installations and photo opportunities along the route, were enjoyed by throngs of early VIP visitors and on selected dates in December, there are even Dog Friendly light trail sessions for pampered pooches. Jingle the Head Elf added:

All of my elves are busy sprinkling our special brand of Winter Glow Christmas magic across the Three Counties Showground and we look forward to welcoming guests throughout the festive period, to our little corner of Christmas magic in Malvern.”

Group Travel is full steam ahead at Three Counties in 2023

Three Counties has announced that its group travel capacity will be back to pre-covid levels in 2023, heralding the return of all group bookings. Group organisers, tours and coach companies will have the option to pre-book groups for three large scale events next year, via the dedicated team at The Ticket Factory – the showground’s ticketing partner.

The prestigious RHS Malvern Spring Festival, 11-14 May 2023, is the first RHS show of the season and is an unmissable horticultural gem, set against the backdrop of the iconic Malvern hills. This annual event overflows with colour and style and there is always something different to see, such as new inspirational zones and theatres. Firm favourites, including the popular RHS Floral Marquee, Show and Feature Gardens, the very best nurseries from across the UK, shopping arcades, plus talks and demonstrations are also at the festival each year.

The theme for 2023’s festival is ‘Gardening for Everyone’ and there will be a focus on making gardening and horticulture open and accessible to all, while encouraging sustainable and planet-friendly practices that are kinder to the environment.

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Each summer the Showground hosts a three-day celebration of food and farming with the Royal Three Counties Show, 16-18 June 2023. Boasting thrilling Main Area entertainment, the ever-popular Countryside Arena, a dedicated Equine Village, thousands of animals to see, an artisan Food & Drink Festival, the very best countryside shopping and a whole host of celebrity guests, talks and live demonstrations.

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The UK’s largest Harvest Festival takes place annually at the Showground and is a real seasonal celebration. Malvern Autumn Show, 22-24 September 2023, is the final Three Counties event of the show season and is a jam-packed day out. Don’t miss the CANNA UK Giant Vegetables Championship, the prestigious RHS Flower Show, BBC Gardeners World presenters making regular appearances across no less than four Talk Theatres, one of the country’s biggest Grow to Show competitions, outdoor and countryside shopping arcades and bags of family fun and entertainment.

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SHOW GARDEN DESIGNERS OF TOMORROW AT SCHOOL GARDENS WORKSHOP

ENERGY AND ENTHUSIASM ON SHOW AS THE DESIGNERS OF TOMORROW PREPARE FOR THE RHS MALVERN SPRING FESTIVAL

The Showground was buzzing with energy on Thursday 17 March when it played host to children from schools in the three counties taking part in the RHS Malvern Spring Festival School Garden Challenge.

The Challenge? To build a show garden to reflect this year’s theme of ‘Celebrate the Queen’.

The aspiring garden designers were treated to a workshop by Chris Collins, former Blue Peter gardener and Schools Garden Champion. Chris discussed designing, building and selecting plants for their gardens, passed on tips and techniques for a great show garden and answered all their questions.

In the hands-on part of the day, the children learned more about outdoor planting and paper pot planting. All were engaged and excited and their laughter and chatter was a joy to hear.

The theme of ‘Celebrate the Queen’ may be the same but the designs range from Balmoral to Buckingham Palace and corgis to crowns…  With no formal training, the children have produced incredible designs and, coupled with their energy and enthusiasm, there’s literally no stopping this new generation of gardeners and designers!

Chris Collins, School Garden Champion said:

“It was a fabulous day. The children were full of ideas and imagination and it is a privilege to help them to achieve their designs. Today was a great example of the power, positivity, education and health benefits of gardening on show for all to see. And we could all do with harnessing some of their energy and vitality!”

The schools involved are Bredon School, Primary Quest Multi-Academy Trust, Royal Grammar School Worcester, WCG Pershore, Woodfield Academy and Wye Forest Federation.

The School Gardens will be on show at RHS Malvern Spring Festival, 5-8 May 2022, on the Festival Green.

Please contact Jayne Unwin on jayne.unwin@threecounties.co.uk for more information.

RHS MALVERN SPRING FESTIVAL LAUNCHES 2022 GARDENS WITH A TWIST

Pots of inspiration, from wellbeing to rest and relaxation, will be dispensed by the show gardens and new feature gardens at this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival, taking place at the Three Counties Showground between May 5 and 8.

TV and radio presenter and keen gardener Jo Whiley has been working with Alan Williams from Landform Consultants, whose Parsley Box Garden won the People’s Choice Award at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2021. Together they have created the event’s first RHS feature garden, the Vitamin G Garden, which will demonstrate the mental, physical and social benefits to be had from growing plants in and around the home.

The pair have liaised with Professor Alistair Griffiths and Dr Lauriane Chalmin-Pui of the RHS Science team to bring their evidence-based research to life in the Vitamin G Garden, which will be a walk-through garden set against the borrowed landscape of the glorious Malvern Hills.

Built by Gloucestershire-based Graduate Gardeners, the design will reflect the idea of gardens serving as calming and relaxing oases but also exciting spaces that inspire social interaction, as evidenced by RHS health and horticulture research.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to take part in ongoing RHS science research in which they’ll be asked to indicate their preferences for flower colour and petal shape, helping to inform a planting blueprint for wellbeing gardens.

There will also be codes that can be scanned for information on the plant combinations used with links to nurseries selling them within the showground.

Carrying the principles of the Vitamin G Garden through to everybody visiting the show, ‘Affordable Gardens’, designed by Show Lead Jess Russell-Perry, will demonstrate what can be achieved on a transparent budget of between £500 and £1,000. Jess is hoping to inspire visitors with three feature gardens the same size as typical front, back and side plots.

Houseplants have enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, particularly among millennials, and they will have a show garden dedicated to their leafy loveliness at this year’s festival.

RHS Malvern favourite Peter Dowle of LEAF Creative in Newent, will be making use of two giant clear domes to demonstrate different habitats and provide inspirational ideas for visitors to take home in his ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ garden. This immersive, walk-through experience will bring a real wow factor to the festival, transporting visitors to a place far away and providing a taste of the exotic.

Three Counties is celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen with a new permanent garden filled with both the Sovereign’s favourite plants and several that have been named in her honour, including a new bloom bred by David Austin Roses as a tribute to Britain’s longest-ruling monarch.

This feature, designed by Show Lead Jess Russell-Perry, will support the learning of two apprentices at the Three Counties who are preparing and planting it as part of their coursework for their studies at Pershore College.

Six show gardens showcasing the talents of designers will complement the festival’s feature gardens.

Jamie Langlands’ ‘A Peaceful Escape’ is created with a young couple in mind, providing a space away from the ‘home office’ in which to relax and unwind. The garden provides seclusion and privacy, intrigue and relaxation and peace and quiet.

The design incorporates a secluded, relaxed seating area and structured views. A spine of evergreen plants provides year-round interest with texture and forms, which prolongs the use of the space into winter. Oxfordshire-based Jamie also makes use of water to boost the sense of tranquillity, and a focal sculpture that draws the eye into the space.

A paradise garden for a young couple returning from travels is the theme for Rhodri Wilson’s ‘Home and Dry’. It contains all the things they could wish for: warmth, shelter and dryness underfoot and is easy to maintain. It provides space for working, relaxing, entertaining whatever the weather and is in marked contrast to the surrounding monocultural wilderness of the farmland surrounding it, represented by a strip of flax. The design incorporates a canvas-covered shelter made from steam-bent coppiced ash that mimics the frames used in Mongolian yurts. Planting resembling a mixed wildflower meadow contrasts with the uniformity of the flax.

The Cancer Research UK Legacy Garden by Karen Tatlow is a contemplative space that draws inspiration from many generations and includes some plants used in research into the treatment and cure of the disease. The design incorporates a moongate screen, which draws on a story that’s personal to Karen, from Lichfield, who has lost a family member to the disease. After the festival this garden will be relocated to St Catherine’s Hospice in Preston.

Emily Crowley-Wroe’s The Hide Garden is designed for a woman who works long hours, has a small outside space on a new build estate and misses the countryside she knew when she was growing up. Naturalistic planting along with a shallow pebble pond evoking a river, feature tree, living wall and decked area all contribute to a rural ambience. Gloucestershire-based Emily worked in publishing and marketing before attending the Cotswold Gardening School and changing careers to became a garden designer.

The Longcroft Press Garden was inspired by designer Laura Ashton-Philips’ family and is a space to harvest and celebrate both the produce of the orchard and garden and the joy of being together and doing simple tasks, such as apple pressing. Laura, who is based in the Forest of Dean, will be using recycled and reclaimed materials when constructing her garden.

Rick Ford’s calming, contemplative space in the Abigail’s Footsteps Garden seeks to offer support and comfort to parents after the loss of their baby. Designed as a series of interconnected spaces that reflect the transitions the parents experience, the garden features soft textured and scented plants, raised beds and reflection pools to further enhance the feeling of security and calm.

Alongside the show gardens, on the Festival Green, are six gardens designed and built by local school children. The RHS Malvern Spring Festival School Garden Challenge is a wonderful opportunity for local schools to get outdoors and enjoy gardening. Pupils will be assisted by ex-Blue Peter Gardener Chris Collins in a series of workshops to help them create a garden to reflect this year’s ‘Celebrate the Queen’ theme.

For Alan Williams from Landform Consultants, this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival will provide a dose of Vitamin G for everybody. Alan commented: “Everybody knows about the mental and physical benefits of gardening, but there’s a big social side to it too.”

“I feel very honoured to have been asked to create The Vitamin G Garden at what is for me, my home show. It’s a beautiful show with a beautiful setting. My heart will always be in Malvern.”

JOIN THE CELEBRATIONS AT THIS YEAR’S RHS MALVERN SPRING FESTIVAL

The RHS Malvern Spring Festival in association with My Pension Expert will have plenty to celebrate when it makes a triumphant return on the 5-8 May 2022 after a two-year break.

This four-day extravaganza is the trailblazer for the RHS flower show season, a seed bed for emerging talent and an opportunity to learn from some of the country’s best-known gardening personalities.

Held at the Three Counties Showground in Worcestershire, with the beautiful Malvern Hills as a backdrop, the 35th festival promises to be greener, healthier and more joyful than ever.

Throughout its four-day run it will celebrate the positive physical and mental benefits that gardening has given us during the lockdown period. A series of show gardens, feature gardens and container gardens will provide plenty of inspiration alongside a new ‘Nurture Area’ looking at the many ways that horticulture can positively affect our wellbeing.

The Vitamin G Garden created by BBC presenter Jo Whiley, designer Alan Williams from Landform Consultants, will be the first Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) feature garden to appear at Malvern. It will demonstrate the benefits to be enjoyed from a dose of Vitamin G – gardening – and is based on research conducted by the RHS’ Director of Science, Professor Alastair Griffiths.

The celebration theme will mark the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen with the 70th anniversary of her Coronation taking place a month after the festival. The event will feature giant eye-catching installations at each of the main entrances, school gardens to honour her reign and a new permanent feature garden – The Jubilee Garden – planted with the Sovereign’s favourite flowers and shrubs and the many cultivars named after her. Three Counties Showground’s gardening team, including young apprentices currently studying landscape and design at Pershore College, will plant and maintain the feature.

The re-imagined Floral Green will showcase an array of beautiful blooms from British cut flower growers and florists. Here visitors can immerse themselves in all things floristry, with regular demonstrations and unique photo opportunities with supersized suspended floral headpieces.

Some of the UK’s finest nurseries will make sure that The Floral Marquee and open-air Plant Arcades will be filled with tempting things to buy, and the shopping experience continues throughout the large retail area, offering a one-stop gardening emporium.

In addition, visitors can sample some of the best food and drink the region has to offer, complemented with world food cuisines and be inspired by demonstrations from TV chefs in the new Nourish Area, hosted by Mark Diacono, with Raymond Blanc, Valentine Warner, Jeremy Pang and Sabrina Ghayour due to take part.

The Festival Theatre promises a timetable jam-packed with special guests and inspirational speakers and will host the much-loved Gardeners’ Question Time. Monty Don, Frances Tophill, Jo Whiley, Arit Anderson and Jonathan Moseley will all be joining James Alexander Sinclair to present lively talks and fun and informative demonstrations.

Shows Manager, Jane Edwards commented; “We look forward to welcoming visitors back to our 35th festival for a celebration of the spring season and our shared joy of gardening. This year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival will be the greenest yet, with a new sustainability policy seeing water bottle refill stations laid on around the showground and visitors are being invited to bring their own shopping bags for the floral marquee. These measures will join existing initiatives such as a free shuttle bus to and from Great Malvern Station.”

RHS MALVERN SPRING FESTIVAL 5 – 9 MAY 2021 CANCELLED

RHS Malvern Spring Festival 5 – 9 May 2021 Cancelled

It is with much regret that we can confirm that this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival will not take place due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

With fantastic support from our garden designers, nurseries and traders we had hoped to go ahead with reduced numbers and the addition of an extra day but it has become clear with the current level of uncertainty around outdoor events that we are not going to be able to create RHS Malvern Spring Festival this year.

We would like to offer ticket holders the opportunity to roll over to next year or receive a refund. We will be contacting all ticket purchasers within the next 14 days so please refrain from contacting us as this will only slow our processes down.

Public health and safety remains our number one priority, for the sake of our staff, visitors and for our wider community.

Our shows team is working hard to deliver a very special Malvern Autumn Show later in the year on the weekend of 25-26 September. By then we hope to see the vaccination programme fully rolled out and infection rates under control and we will of course continue to follow Government advice.

We would like to thank our visitors, exhibitors, sponsors and all who support our shows and we remain hopeful of better times ahead.

 

Media Contacts

For interviews, contact:

Diana Walton, Head of Shows / M: 07901 791617 / E: diana.walton@threecounties.co.uk

MALVERN PLANT AND GARDEN FAIR IS A SUNNY, SELL-OUT SUCCESS

In the first of a new series of exciting open-air gardening events, passionate plant and garden lovers got a socially distanced gardening fix this weekend, at the sell-out, Malvern Plant and Garden Fair.

The hugely anticipated open-air event sold out of the limited number of pre bookable tickets, which were restricted by 25% of the normal capacity, to ensure visitors had plenty of space to roam within the 90 acre, Three Counties Show Ground in Malvern. The event was blessed with glorious autumn sunshine and visitors were able to buy and be inspired by over 200 plant and bulb nurseries, gardenalia stalls, delicious food offerings, spacious picnic areas and entertaining gardening speakers.

Visitors were treated to the pick of the season’s plants from Asters to Acers, Peonies to Palm Trees and Camassia bulbs to garlic sets, with many leaving the showground with bags laden and happy faces.

Vibrant with plants-people and gardening royalty, the alfresco Picnic Theatre, dressed by Form Plants, Torc Pots and Kate Rees, was hosted to autumnal floral demonstrations created by flower arranging virtuoso Jonathan Moseley, and talks and lots of floral fun and frolics from gardening greats including Carol Klein, James Alexander Sinclair, Mark Diacono and award winning garden designer, Mark Gregory.

Villagio Verde created a postcard view of their Greek Taverna Cove garden, a design that they will bring to full life when they return for the RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May 2021.

With Autumn on the horizon and the gardening year drawing to a close, plant nurseries were delighted to have the opportunity to meet customers, share growing tips and sell their carefully grown stock.

Rob Hardy, from multi-award-winning nursery Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants said, “This was a superb event, brilliantly organised with safety in mind. Nice to have some normality with visitors very so happy to be here and really keen to buy plants. Thank you to all visitors for supporting us.”

Designer Florist Jonathan Moseley who wowed visitors with his demonstrations throughout the weekend said “As the first and last flower show of 2020, Malvern magic permeated the show from start to finish. There was a good balance of wonderful plants with a generous dose of inspiration to make it a show that appealed to each and every visitor.”

Diana Walton, Head of Shows, Three Counties said, “We have been overwhelmed by the support shown to us by exhibitors, contractors and visitors, it has been a heart-warming experience to put together a two day extravaganza on our beautiful spacious outdoor site, which has given a haven of opportunity and excitement to all.”

The Three Counties Showground has been awarded the VisitEngland ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry charter mark. This verifies that the showground meets the Government and public health guidance on COVID-19 and that they have all the required health and safety processes in
place to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit.

VILLAGGIO VERDE TO LAUNCH VIRTUAL SHOW GARDEN AT RHS MALVERN SPRING SHOW 2020

Villaggio Verde would have celebrated their 10th consecutive RHS Malvern Spring Festival appearance in 2020, held at Three Counties Showground and attracting over 100,000 people annually.

When the cancellation of the show was announced, Villaggio Verde made the decision to build a spectacular virtual garden instead and have teamed up with Concepts Conveyed who produce immersive 3D renders and animations.

Named The Taverna Cove, Villaggio Verde show garden features pine and olive trees which surround a Mediterranean-inspired cove, with the structure of a family-owned secluded Greek Taverna, only accessible by sea or coastal path. The garden features Cork oak and bottlebrush trees and bright coloured Geraniums giving an authentic Greek feeling.

Villaggio Verde are releasing a series of visuals starting with breaking ground through to the official launch of the show garden on 7th May when you will be able to complete a virtual tour of the finished garden.

What is really special about this garden is the fact it incorporates waste and litter which has been cleansed from the sea by British fishermen.

Jason Hales Director of Villaggio Verde said “This year would have been very special for us and despite the challenges we are all having to deal day to day we really wanted to be able to bring our show garden to life and share it with the world.”

Head of Shows, Diana Walton, said: “The show gardens are our most popular destination at the festival. Villaggio Verde are true trailbazers pulling out all the stops to create a virtual experience that can be shared for the very first time with RHS Malvern visitors, followers and supporters.”

The virtual garden will be an active cove where water ebbs and flows. Small beaches around the cove leave evidence of fishing activities both from the past and present with small moored fishing boats in the waters and washed up lobster pots.

To add in some extra family fun Percseus the seagull will be making appearances during the build – so keep a look out for him!

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