2017 has been a groundbreaking year for the RHS Malvern Spring Festival. The landmark gardening and food event took place from Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th May and welcomed over 100,000 people onto the Three Counties Showground to explore the fresh new look, layout and theme for the four day festival.
Head of RHS Malvern, Jane Furze said: “What a phenomenal year for RHS Malvern Spring Festival, we couldn’t be happier with how it’s gone. We had so many exciting new features, alongside our usual vibrant lineup, which meant there was something for everyone to enjoy. Gardening and food royalty shared their bountiful knowledge and endless enthusiasm and hopefully festival goers will have left brimming with inspiration and ideas. We are also extremely pleased to announce that the festival now has a plant named after it, the gorgeous Dahlia ‘Malvern Spring’ has been unveiled and will be available to buy next year. We’re now very much looking forward to Malvern Autumn Show in September when we can do it all again.”
Kicking off the Royal Horticultural Society’s summer season of shows, RHS Malvern Spring Festival welcomed the top names of the gardening and food world to share their knowledge, including Alan Titchmarsh, Raymond Blanc, Monty Don and BBC Gardeners’ World presenters, Carol Klein, Joe Swift and Adam Frost. Visitors immersed themselves in stunning show gardens, were spoilt for choice with over 100 specialist nurseries on site, marvelled at Malvern’s longest ever Floral Marquee, indulged in the vibrant food and drink pavilion and were entertained by the many spectacular workshops and demonstrations held by industry experts. Top children’s authors and BBC Blue Peter Gardener Chris Collins welcomed budding gardeners to a dedicated family weekend, whilst 14 schools, including one from Russia, took part in the much-loved School Garden Challenge.
SHOW & SPA GARDENS
Each year RHS Malvern Spring Festival raises the bar for design and horticultural talent and 2017 was no exception. The winner’s of the RHS Malvern Spring Festival Medal categories were:
- Best Show Garden – ‘At One With…A Meditation Garden’ by Howle Hill Nursery – GOLD
- Best Construction Award – ‘At One With…A Meditation Garden’ by Howle Hill Nursery – GOLD
- Best Spa Garden – ‘Molecular Garden’ by Denis Kalashnikov & Ekaterina Bolotova – GOLD
RHS Gold Medals have been awarded to:
- ‘At One With…A Meditation Garden’ by Howle Hill Nursery
- The Refuge (Garden) in aid of Help Refugees UK by Sue Jollans
- Molecular Garden by Denis Kalashnikov & Ekaterina Bolotova
RHS Silver-Gilt Medals have been awarded to:
- The Retreat by Villaggio Verde
RHS Silver Medals have been awarded to:
- Buckfast Abbey Millennium Garden by Buckfast Abbey
- Treehouse Garden by Mark Eveleigh
- I Follow the Waters and the Wind by Baines-Stiller Garden Design
RHS Bronze Medals have been awarded to:
- A Garden Framed by Tim Lawrence
- The Ocean Garden by Damien Michel
- Bubble Drops by Keith Browning
People’s Choice was awarded to the following:
- Show Garden – Buckfast Abbey Millennium Garden by Buckfast Abbey
- Spa Garden – I Follow the Waters and the Wind by Baines-Stiller Garden Design
The 2017 Floral Marquee was the biggest that has ever appeared at RHS Malvern Spring Festival. It played host to 69 specialist nurseries, welcomed 6 new nurseries, 3 anniversaries and a record-breaking number of new plant varieties.
Taking home the top title in the Floral Marquee was:
- Best Floral Marquee Exhibit and GOLD Medal Winner, Hampshire Carnivorous Plants, boasting a fantastic range of carnivorous plants from around the world. Celebrating their 20th year at RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Hampshire Carnivorous Plants brought with them a new variety of Sarracenia, ‘Scarlet Bell’, a compact and trumpet shaped fly-catcher with bright red flowers, ideal for growing indoors in greenhouses or conservatories.
- Hampshire Carnivorous Plants owner Matt Soper was also presented with an RHS Cultural Commendation for Nepanthes x mixta
An impressive 30 gold medals have been awarded in the Floral Marquee this year, including:
- Dibleys Nurseries Gareth and Lynne Dibley, brother and sister team have launched a rare scented Streptocarpus at this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival. Streptocarpus ‘Sweet Rosy’ is a large plant (approx. 30cm x 30cm) with a rounded head of scented flowers (approx. 6cm) that are a beautiful rose pink and white that change colour as they age to a soft purple and white.
- Cooks Garden Centre Specialising in hardy and tender plants. The stand was inspired by a ‘Wedding Breakfast’ and was created with the help of Abberley Primary School. Owner Paul Cook has inspired the pupils with an ‘introduction to horticulture’ project. The pupils helped set up the stand and continued to help over the four-day event.
- Lockyer Fuchsias (Stand MFM715) Fuschia collection showcasing two new varieties, Fuschia ‘Jamam’, a bright pink and lilac coloured fuchsia and Fuschia ‘Soila’, a fuchsia with a deep pink hue.
Award winning designer and grower Jon Wheatley introduced Dahlia ‘Malvern Spring’ to the festival for the first time. Bred by Greenyard Flowers on behalf of the National Dahlia Collection, Jon Wheatley launched Dahlia ‘Malvern Spring’ as part of the new Grow Zone display. Dahlia ‘Malvern Spring’ will be available to buy next year. It is a single flowered variety which produces bright cerise flowers in abundance on dark foliage. It reaches approx. 2ft in height and so is perfect for the front of a border or on a pation in a container.
FOOD & DRINK PAVILION in partnership with Copella
The Food & Drink Pavilion in partnership with Copella, welcomed back a foodie feast with 56 delicious exhibitors on offer. At the heart of the bustling Food & Drink Pavilion, Mark Diacono hosted a vibrant Kitchen Garden Theatre with lineups from The Raymond Blanc Cookery School, nutrition expert Naomi Devlin, Instagram star Eleonora Galasso and Incredible Edible’s Sara Venn.
Aspiring young gardeners from across the country brought to life their show garden designs, which explored the theme of ‘space’. Fourteen schools took part in this unique area of the show, including a design from two pupils from Russia, as part of the international exchange programme with RHS Malvern Spring Festival.
- Best School Garden was awarded to Cradley Church of England Primary School from Herefordshire for their ‘Exploration of an Astronaut’s Garden on Mars’.
Each year RHS Malvern Spring Festival plays host to some of the best Botanical Artists from around the world and this year didn’t disappoint. Seven artists created spectacular works with 2 achieving Gold, 2 Silver Gilt medals and 3 awarded with Silver.
- Best Botanical Art Exhibit was awarded to Bernard F Carter: Seed Heads
Wonderful works of art were created from flowers and foliage in the Floral Art Exhibition.
- Best In Show – Mrs Ann Sinclair
- Reserve Best in Show – Mrs Jenny Clarke
- Best Use of Fresh Foliage – Mrs Jenny Clarke
- Best Use of Colour – Mrs Valerie Phillips
- Best Junior – Miss Poppy Cottrell
For more information and full winners details from 2017, please call 01684 584900 or visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk