The inspirational Show Gardens are created by top designers including RHS Gold Medal Winners.
RHS Malvern encourages creativity of garden designers by giving them an open brief, the gardens can be any size, shape and theme. In the past we've had gardens inspired by the magic of Japan, a homage to Capability Brown all the way through to a rustic Italian cloister, there is something to inspire everyone.
Some of the outstanding gardens feature on BBC 2's Gardeners' World on the Friday evening of the festival. This is a great spot to talk to garden designers and get design tips on how to transform your own garden, keep an eye out for the prestigious RHS medals awarded by the judges.
'At One With ... A Meditation Garden' is a quiet retreat within a larger garden designed for meditation, yoga or simply a place to relax. The meditation area is a sunken circular area wrapped with planting and water by the side of a large pool. The sound is broken by three spring outlets into the pool, representing the Malvern Spring Water and the backdrop is a full profile of the hills.
Tree House Garden by Mark Eveleigh
Visitors to the garden rise up a series of platforms to an octagonal tree house, which allows them to get up close and personal with two gnarly poplar trees. The garden has a Victorian Malvern Hills theme with a contemporary twist. The rising platforms reflect a climb up the Malvern Hills and create a feeling of floating over the garden.
Key features in the garden include the tree house with it's octagonal shape and pointy roof, the rising platforms and a wood fired hot tub. Look out for a stumpery and the occasional steam bent piece of oak or ash.
Mark, the designer, lives on the side of the Malvern Hills just below The British Camp Hill Fort, it would be impossible for him not to take inspiration from the magnificent hills! The tree house and garden are inspired by St. Ann’s Well situated in a wooded valley above Great Malvern, a very popular spot for 'taking the waters' in Victorian times. It was built in 1860 and visitors included Lord Tennyson, Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale.
Buckfast Abbey Millenium Garden by Maia Hall
The garden is a window onto a tranquil scene. A stag drinking from a central pool in a glade of silver birches. This is surrounded by a meandering silvery path reminiscent of a river bed. Naturalistic planting and sculptural stumps reflect the life cycles in our woodlands, deadwood being part of the cycle of feeding the land.
Along the front are three Norman arches which frame the garden in a religious context and are bordered by a rustic log wall. This is capped by sinuous deadwood branches providing a framework for growing plants. The central oak window frames the stag and recreates our Abbey logo.
Log seating for quiet reflection and peace sit in the back corners. Hornbeam hedges define the sides and the back. Ethereal ambience with silvery variegated foliage and a strict blue and white palette lends a sense of tranquillity.
The Refuge (Garden) by Sue Jollans
Contractor Name: D.H Juggins Ltd
This garden is inspired by the lives of those who are refugees today, reflecting the journey being undertaken and the search for refuge. The ripple effect repeated in the garden reminds us that we are all involved. The garden is firmly established in the British Landscape using local dry stone walling and native planting to suggest that the UK can offer solace and safety, a place to rest.
The Refuge (Garden) is accessed across a boardwalk that twists and turns past pools suggesting a precarious journey over water. The boardwalk is raised up above wildflowers suggestive of the ancient Islamic gardens where raised pathways would lead the visitor over a 'carpet' of flowers. The journey leads to a communal area with seating and a bread oven so people are drawn together to cook and relax in a safe welcoming place. Lastly there is space for children to run and play.
A Garden Framed by Tim Lawrence
A Garden Framed is a series of four pictures framed in oak, within these plants rocks and natural wood are arranged to give the visitor a sense of beauty and peace.
The theme of the garden is the garden as art, framed, to see the garden in a whole new way. A large tree sculpture stands among the picture frames, a centrepiece of the whole design, and large rocks will be placed throughout the space.
Inspiration for this garden comes from a love of plants, trees and art. and stems from my fine art training and my love of nature, minimalism and Japanese art and design. This garden is intended to give visitors a moment to pause, contemplate and breathe!
The Retreat by Villaggio Verde
Contractor Name: Villaggio Verde
The Retreat is built for a retired couple with a second home in the South of France. The Retreat forms an inviting and relaxing space and is built within the grounds of their holiday home.
The space is designed to offer a Spa experience promoting health, calm and relaxation. The circular space forms the main area and is home to a hot salt water spa, heated by a wood-burner offering hydrotherapy. The shower-house offers room for changing and a space for a refreshing shower in privacy. There is a lounging area, cooled by mist and an area for preparing refreshing healthy juice drinks and herb flavoured water.
The Spa ‘room’ is encompassed by a timber wall of varying heights, divided with sections of Laurus noblis, from which the oil can be extracted for aromatherapy. The Spa ‘room’ is surrounded by olive and bay trees, offering a degree of privacy and is approached via a boardwalk, which also leads into other areas of the larger garden. The olive and bay trees are under-planted with aromatics, including those commonly used in aromatherapy, such as lavender, sage and rosemary.
The Spa experience is enhanced by jets of mist which not only offer a cooling effect but promote the sense of Spa ambience.