RHS Malvern Spring Festival, the magnificent four-day gardening and outdoor extravaganza held annually at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern, will bring a burst of seasonal colour when it returns from 11 – 14 May 2023.
This year’s festival will be brimming with immersive new experiences, engaging talks and live demonstrations from horticultural experts, a cornucopia of colourful flora and fauna, exciting entertainment for all ages, and, of course, a star-studded line-up of special guests, well-known TV presenters, authors and celebrity chefs.
Here are eight highlights you won’t want to miss at this year’s Festival:
- Enjoy talks from horticultural experts and special guests
This year the Festival Theatre will host another stellar line-up of TV gardening personalities and leading horticulturalists, including BBC Gardeners’ World presenters Arit Anderson, Frances Tophill, Sue Kent and Adam Frost, who between them will share advice on everything from affordable gardening to gardening for a changing climate.
Well-known gardener and TV presenter, Alan Titchmarsh MBE and community gardener and talented designer, Tayshan Hayden-Smith will also join the Festival Theatre line-up, which this year will be hosted by established garden and landscape designer, broadcaster and Gardeners’ World magazine columnist, James Alexander-Sinclair.
- Explore inspirational show and feature gardens
‘Gardening for Everyone’ is the key theme of the 2023 Festival, with this year’s much-anticipated collection of RHS-judged show gardens and experiential feature gardens set to appeal to a wide variety of people.
Show organisers are keen for visitors to feel enriched and inspired to make the most of their outside spaces, regardless of their gardening expertise and size of their plot, and for the event to maintain its reputation for welcoming both established and newer designers, and encouraging creative freedom.
Visitors can look forward to a varied and eye-catching range of stunning RHS-judged show gardens that are classical, contemporary or conceptual in nature, alongside innovative new experiential feature gardens from big names in the world of horticulture.
- Pick up colourful plants or bulbs to transform your outdoor space
The Plant Village and Pavilions will provide a one-stop gardening emporium to stock up on British grown plants, flowers and bulbs from some of the UK’s best nurseries. Conveniently, visitors can leave their purchases in the complimentary Plant Creche while they set off to enjoy the rest of the festival, and porters will carry purchases back to the car free of charge.
The impressive 190m long RHS Floral Marquee, filled with beautiful displays from over 50 of the UK’s best nurseries, is another excellent opportunity to shop for unusual plants and striking flowers. Be sure to pause and admire the exceptional display of Auricula from Hillview Hardy Plants – the new RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2023 Master Grower. Experts will be on hand to provide ideas and guidance if needed, plus offer handy care tips for planting and growing in your own outdoor space.
- Learn how to grow your own at home
Continuing this year’s theme of ‘Gardening for Everyone’, a new Bloom & Grow Area will share tips on growing flowers, vegetables, herbs and other edible plants at home or in an allotment.
The new Bloom & Grow Theatre, hosted by horticultural broadcaster, author and wellbeing advocate, Ellen Mary, will feature interesting and inspiring talks from special guests, leading floral designer Jonathan Moseley, horticulturalist Tom Leonard (a.k.a The Drag Queen Gardener), Ben Newell (content creator and founder of Worcester Terrariums) and Ann-Marie Powell (gold medal winning garden designer).
A new Grow, Gather & Sow feature garden (designed by Jon Wheatley) will demonstrate how food and flowers can be grown at home, regardless of the amount of space available. It will feature a series of fruit trees surrounded by raised beds and containers planted with an array of vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruit.
The Potting Shed Theatre – a new addition to this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival – will be hosted by expert horticulturalist Martin Fish. Located within the Floral Marquee, Martin will be joined throughout the weekend by gardening professionals to share specialist knowledge in a series of interesting and informative sessions, including Rob Hardy from Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, Vicky Fox from Plantago and Steve Hickman from Hoyland Agapanthus.
- Pick up some handy cost-saving and sustainability tips
A brand-new Tips & Tricks Area will present ways to creatively upcycle or reuse everyday items to make stylish, clever features to use at home or in an outdoor space, plus plenty of handy cost-saving and sustainability tips.
A new Tips & Tricks Theatre will be hosted by skilled designer and TV presenter Max McMurdo, who will demonstrate how to create your own hydroponic herb planter. Max will be joined by content creator Adam Kirtland (View from the Potting Bench) who will share clever ways to use a wooden pallet to create features for your own garden, while Rupert Keys (from TASK Academy) will provide advice on landscaping for beginners. For those who enjoy a bouquet of cut flowers, Jonathan Moseley will share his top ten tips for making your flowers last longer.
- Admire the giant floral Coronation Crown
In celebration of the Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday 6th May there will be a magnificent giant floral crown set on a podium within the Floral Marquee. The impressive structure will be decorated by Jonathan Moseley, one of the UK’s leading floral designers, and will feature British grown flowers donated by nurseries located in Floral Marquee.
- Enjoy some outstanding local food and drink
A new Fire & Feast Theatre will celebrate the joy of alfresco cooking, co-hosted by content creator and BBQ cook, Adam Purnell (a.k.a The Shropshire Lad) and cooking expert and founder of Otter Farm, Mark Diacono. Broadcaster and TV presenter, Gregg Wallace MBE, will join them to share his methods for cooking delicious spatchcock chicken and tasty tikka paneer kebabs. Skilled chefs from Harts Barn Cookery School (located in the Forest of Dean) will share tips for cooking up a feast at home, while local legend Anthony ‘Murf’ Murphy, one of the founders of the The Beefy Boys, will show audiences how to create a show-stopping burger at home.
After working up an appetite at the Fire & Feast Theatre, visitors can soak up the festival atmosphere and live music over at the Festival Green, where an exceptional range of regional food and drink producers will be on hand to sate your appetite. Tuck in to authentic Spanish dishes from Su Casa Cuisine, fresh wood-fired pizza from Bare Bones Pizza, American style burgers from The Beefy Boys or a scoop (or two) of Bennetts ice cream. Delicious plant-based options include Mookies Indian Street Food, the Middle Eastern-inspired Handmade Natural Food and Goodness Gracious Healthy Foods.
Over in the Food and Drink Pavilion, you’ll find numerous producers from across the three counties of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, including Croome Cuisine, Bow Brook Farm, Pimp Your Mayo and Malvern Gin selling tasty treats to take home.
- Explore the new Book Tent and browse the latest horticultural ‘must read’ titles
Another new feature at this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival is the Book Tent, hosted by local independent book shop Rossiter’s Books, selling a carefully curated selection of titles, including publications by some of the Festival’s very own special guests.
Authors will be doing book signings throughout the weekend, including Frances Tophill (Thursday at the Festival Theatre), Adam Frost (Friday – Sunday at the Festival Theatre), Ellen Mary (Thursday and Friday at the Bloom & Grow Theatre), and Mark Diacono (Thursday, Friday and Sunday at the Bloom & Grow Theatre).
RHS Malvern Spring Festival will be at Three Counties Showground from 11 – 14 May 2023. Tickets start from just £25 (with under 16s free of charge) and can be booked at https://www.rhsmalvern.co.uk/