The RHS Malvern Spring Festival this year celebrates its 30th birthday, making it the oldest major RHS Show after RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
With a horticultural banquet of Show Gardens and more RHS medals expected than ever before, visitors will be treated to an abundance of beautifully designed spaces and perfect planting schemes.
RHS Malvern Spring Festival is renowned for its top medal-winning gardens and this year is guaranteed to be no exception. Festival favourites like Villaggio Verde, Outer Spaces Design and Keyscape Landscapes are all returning to vie for that all important RHS Gold Medal and highly coveted Best In Show.
Doreen Smillie-Gray, RHS Malvern Spring Festival Manager, said: “We are so excited about all our Show Garden categories this year. Considering we have been doing this for 30 years, we never cease to be amazed by the exceptional standards and creativity shown by our designers. The festival will be awash with exquisite plants and inspirational gardens and having had a sneak peek at the proposed designs we are expecting great things.”
There are three Show Garden categories this year. There are eight main Show Gardens, the Festival Gardens competition has seven and the School Gardens Challenge has 14 educational establishments taking part.
Guaranteed to be a veritable feast of inspiration and creativity, the Show Gardens are always a number one destination for RHS Malvern Spring Festival visitors. This year’s gardens include:
- Cotswold Estates & Gardens celebrate their 50th anniversary with a trip down memory lane with their garden ‘The Cotswold Way’.
- Villaggio Verde return with ‘An Andalusian Moment’, a re-creation of an Andalusian village complete with shops, taverna, square and hidden courtyards.
- Hannah Genders acknowledges the therapeutic affects of gardens with ‘The Sanctuary Garden’ for St Michael’s Hospice. The garden will be re-located after the show to the hospice for use by the staff, patients and friends.
- Keyscape Landscapes highlights the desperate shortage of people registering locally for organ donation in the Worcestershire area. Their ‘Gift of Life’ garden for the Worcester Acute Hospitals Organ Donation trust aims to raise awareness locally, encourage registration and celebrate new life and new beginnings.
- Robin Ideson & Lisa Burchill champion dark shady spaces with their ‘Out of Darkness’ garden, proving that those shady spots can be beautiful too.
- Beholder’s Eye demonstrates ‘The Perfect Commute’ to the bottom of the garden.
- Outer Spaces returns with another signature design that utilizes every last space wonderfully.
- Wilson Associates graduates from last year’s Festival Gardens category and creates ‘The Bees Knees’ garden on behalf of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust highlighting the plight of Britain’s bees.
The Festival Gardens Competition returns this year after launching as a new category in 2014. RHS Malvern Spring Festival, in conjunction with The Cotswold Gardening School, Readyhedge and Keyscape Landscapes offer amateur garden designers and enthusiasts the chance to build a show garden. Similar to the ‘Fresh Gardens’ category at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the Festival Gardens seek to bring cutting edge design and innovation to the show. Seven designs have been selected from an astounding 15 applications and the winning designers will receive a £3,000 bursary and expert tuition from horticultural and design professionals.
The School Gardens Challenge, supported by BAM Construct UK, is always a popular feature at RHS Malvern Spring Festival. Championed by BBC Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins, this category seeks to encourage and inspire children to explore the world of horticulture in all its forms. The entrants range from playgroups to home schooled groups and in age from pre- schoolers through to school leavers. This year’s theme ‘Route to the Hills’ is inspired by a local government initiative managed by Malvern Hills District Council.
This year’s Festival Gardens include:
Emily Sharpe is ‘Beating the Blues’ with her garden inspired by contemporary abstract artist Swarez providing a retreat from the hectic pace of urban life.
Caitlin & Tessa McLaughlin are creating ‘The Genetic Conservation Garden’, an educational, science inspired show garden that uses UK native planting highlighting the importance that these ‘weeds’ hold in creating a sustainable future food source.
Gary Bristow uses Lewis Carroll’s influence in his ‘As Mad As A Hatter’ garden to demonstrate South Gloucestershire’s historical status as one of the world leader’s in hat production.
Lorna Davis also looks to Lewis Carroll for inspiration and takes a trip down the rabbit hole with her garden ‘The Adventures Of Alice In Wonderland’ that aims to capture the essence of one of the nations best loved books.
Anthea Birden, Dena Wray & Denise Longman tackle the delicate subject of mental health with their ‘Mindfulness’ garden. Inspired by the words spoken by a young male suffering from depression, their garden aims to create a moment to pause, reflect and look to the future.
Stacy Gibson is inspired by the work of Marie Curie with her ‘Let’s Get You Home’ garden. A safe place of tranquility is created for the terminally ill patient and their Marie Curie nurse to sit in calm contemplation before planning a way home.
Kate Durr is ‘Constraining Nature’ with her elegant outdoor space in association with UCare. The new UCare tulip is launched in her show garden and at RHS Malvern Spring Festival.
The RHS Malvern Spring Festival will take place from Thursday May 7 until Sunday May 10. Tickets are now on sale. Advanced tickets are priced from £15 for RHS and Three Counties members and from £16 for non-members. Tickets available on the gate from £19. For information on ticket prices and celebrity appearances please visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk or call 01684 230128