TEN leading designers are set to create spectacular show gardens as one of the highlights of RHS Malvern Spring Festival.
Head of Show, Diana Walton, said: “The Show Gardens are one of the most popular destinations at the festival and this year we have a wonderful range of designs to showcase. Appealing to the senses, The Perfumer’s Garden is sure to delight and we’re looking forward to welcoming the lively goats for Billy’s Cave, which we just know visitors are going to love. Looking through the designs fill me with excitement – we can’t wait to see them brought to life. Visitors can certainly expect to be wowed this year.”
The RHS Malvern Spring Festival Show Gardens’ outstanding reputation continues to grow with show favourites Peter Dowle and Villaggio Verde returning as well as Christian Dowle, Mark Draper and Ruth Gwynn, alongside new faces in Olivia Kirk and Dan Ryan. Jonas Egger will be travelling all the way from Russia, as part of the RHS Malvern exchange programme, to bring his dramatic garden inside a huge mechanical egg.
This contemporary garden is designed for a young, trendy professional looking for a space to switch off at the end of the day. It offers a funky, modern-looking space with movement and pings of colour throughout the design. Elements include a space to sit and relax beneath a pergola. Boardwalks create movement, as a journey within the garden, linking the house to the sitting area. Reflective dark pools contrast with the soft, modern meadow planting scheme, with bright yellow design details and plants, such as Euphorbia epithymoides and Geum ‘Lady Stratheden’, selected to lift the spirit.
Show garden designer Ruth Gwynn has been inspired by this year’s RHS Malvern theme of The Great Exhibition of 1851 and the way exhibitors showed off their products from raw material through to finished product. Here, in this whimsical shop, the designer imagines a process where the perfumer collects his scents from plants behind his shop through funnels and tubes and turns them into bottles of beautiful fragrances. A wide range of flowers and herbs will include lilies, jasmine, geranium, citron, lavender, sage, rosemary, eucalyptus and mint.
The lore and romanticism around dew ponds captured Christian’s imagination and his desire to create a restful and still atmosphere. A timber clad garden room with a green solar panel roof is designed to encourage more wildlife and offers a space for reading, writing and craftwork. Fruit trees including Herefordshire Russet reflect the importance of gardens as a productive space. The inspiration comes from the UK’s rich landscape heritage to remind us of past times where nature and food production came together and produced landscapes full of memories.
Envisaged as part of a small-holding in rural Portugal, the garden features a cave, complete with natural spring, goat paddock and is lined with old olive trees.
Visitors will be transported into the perfect place for a herder to manage and spend time with his goats. A cave will offer a cool shelter and place to store essential equipment. Protected from the hungry goats is the herder’s wife’s garden – full of shrubs, herbs, aromatics and fruit trees.
Designed to celebrate the 1751 opening of the Royal Porcelain Works in Worcester, the garden celebrates both the Victorian heritage and the new future for the Royal Porcelain Works as a performing arts space and Museum of Royal Worcester by mixing modern plants and materials with planting introduced into the UK during the1800s. Set in a series of ‘exhibition spaces’ plinths are used throughout the garden showing examples of Royal Worcester under glass bell jars and modern planting styles are displayed in bespoke terrariums inspired by The Wardian Case.
Three Simon Gudgeon sculptures feature in this garden that explores our spiritual connection with nature. A serene face in a stone grotto looks over a small pool surrounded with moss and ferns against a backdrop of oak woodland with the Malvern Hills behind. A ballerina made from more than 1,000 copper leaves dances in the breeze and The Whispering Spirit invites visitors to listen to her lips and hear an echo of water. It creates a contemplative place to relax in before it moves to Kew Gardens after the show.
This garden, marking the centenary of the RAF, will feature four elliptical pathways to represent the blades of Spitfires and Hurricanes. Topiary balls will evoke the radar of RAF Fylingdales and the former RAF Defford at Pershore. A sculpture made from turbine blades will form the centrepiece, surrounded by hedges evoking linear vapor trails. Perennial plants will reflect the colours of RAF dress and tie. Memories of Service will be bordered by six Corten steel panels, laser cut with representations of the RAF’s 100 year history and a nod to the future, with steel panel gates on each entrance laser cut with the words RAF100.
Wooden sculptures of a stag and two deer by James Doran-Webb take centre stage in this garden backing onto woodland. They’re part of a scene that shows wildlife wandering into a garden via a broken fence.
After the show the animals, made from driftwood, will be trotting along to RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Flowers have been chosen to attract bees and there is a beehive within the garden.
A symbol of life, this is the world’s first garden inside a 3.5m metal egg. Inspired by Faberge eggs, it opens to music, light, fog and water effects and then closes again. Every time the egg opens, the visitor will be able to feel the inspiration of the moment a new life is born. Showing the contrast of a closed rustic egg and a bright and colorful garden – this is a spectacle all the way from Russia, as part of RHS Malvern’s pioneering exchange program, with performance at its heart.
This modern garden is based around a new home in a Cotswolds housing development. It has a modern feel with sandstone paving, Cotswold stone walling, built-in seating and is surrounded by Pleached Hornbeams for a feeling of privacy.
A kinetic Corten steel magnolia leaf sculpture will add movement to the garden along with a selection of specially chosen grasses. There’ll also be a Corten steel water feature to add focus to the lawn area.
RHS Malvern Spring Festival takes place from Thursday 10 May until Sunday 13 May. Tickets are now on sale. Free entry for children under the age of 16 is available throughout the festival. For more information on ticket prices, please call 0844 811 0050 (calls cost 7p per minute plus network extras) or visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk.