RHS MALVERN SPRING FESTIVAL 2018 is set to take visitors on a journey of discovery.
Following on from this year’s hugely successful celebration of Malvern’s heritage as a Victorian spa resort, inspiration for next year’s show is being drawn from The Great Exhibition of 1851.
Hosted at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern, from May 10-13, and set against the backdrop of the picturesque Malvern Hills, the theme for 2018 will bring the influences of The Great Exhibition into 21st century living.
Head of Show, Diana Walton, said: “We’re channelling the spirit of the Great Exhibition with plenty of innovation, education and a spectacular day out. There’ll be so much for visitors to explore. We’re also linking into the ambition of the Great Exhibition and hoping that just as its influence lived on long after the event, our visitors will have such a memorable day it will leave a lasting impression for many years to come.”
The town of Malvern was put into the global spotlight in 1851 when its prized waters formed the Great Exhibition centrepiece. At the opening ceremony, led by Queen Victoria, its waters cascaded through a magnificent 26ft crystal Schweppes fountain.
Diana added: “We’ll certainly have our own striking features to admire. We’ve introduced lots of fresh aspects to surprise and delight such as Giant Terrariums and The Great Pavilion of Art & Flowers, as well as our brand new garden feature, Green Living Spaces. We believe that we showcase the very best in gardening, food and lifestyle, from our inspiring show gardens and award-winning nurseries to fabulous food from inspirational chefs and lots of family fun, we know our 2018 festival is going to be magnificent.”
NEW FOR 2018
GREAT PAVILION OF ART AND FLOWERS
Visitors will be treated to an experience in a space bursting with 2,600sqm of exquisite flowers and beautiful works of art. The Pavilion will showcase the way the natural world has inspired artists throughout the centuries.
Three stunning giant six-metre terrariums, created by internationally acclaimed landscape designer Paul Hervey-Brookes, will showcase a Palm tree, Olive tree and Pomegranate as striking focal points.
Paul said: “I was inspired by the Wardian packing cases, an early version of the terrarium, used
to bring specimens from South America back to Europe. Considering the aspect of origin, I thought they’d be a good way to reference the landscape of elsewhere and transport it to Malvern. These focal points will echo a sense of journey and carry imaginations to exotic sunny climes.”
GROW AND KNOW
This section will centre around an Eco Marquee with talks on sustainable gardening, demonstrations and interactive art all around the theme of community and growing food. Due to the popularity of 2017’s Grow Zone, eco landscape designer, Hannah Genders returns to curate even more inspiring projects as part of this newly enhanced area.
She said: “I’ve had the privilege of creating a number of show gardens over the years and this was the best thing I’ve ever done at a show. I’m back in 2018 with a bigger and better space and more stories to inspire. I can’t wait!”
GROW TO SHOW
A new-look pavilion will let gardeners show-off their best flowers, bulbs, alpines, vegetables, pot plants, ever-popular succulents and photography. First time gardeners will have access to National Plant Societies in a marquee brimming with knowledge and advice.
MAKING A WELCOME RETURN
This year’s Show Gardens, shortly to be announced, will draw inspiration from the Great Exhibition theme with both traditional and contemporary interpretations. A unique Perfumer’s Garden will fill the air with heavenly scents, a very personal tribute to the WWI Centenary and a garden celebrating an iconic local ceramicist are amongst just a few of the submitted gardens.
LIVE WELL ZONE
Introduced in 2017, this dedicated zone interprets and explores the theme of health and wellbeing in the 21st century. For next year’s show there will be a strong focus on the role the natural world can play in the wellbeing of people in our ever-busy digital age. The Live Well community section will be built around the permanent, Health and Wellbeing garden created by Jekka McVicar. It will feature the world’s first ever knitted full size garden, the ‘Work of Heart Garden’ that highlights the life-changing support of Sue Ryder, a Mandala feature for St Michael’s Hospice and a showcase from Well Bean Gardening Club that shares the benefits of gardening.
ALREADY SOLD OUT and with a waiting list of nurseries wanting to get involved, the enormously popular Floral Marquee will be filled with more specialist nurseries than ever before and packed with larger award-winning displays to wow visitors. Here visitors can browse and buy from the very best.
THE SCHOOL GARDENS CHALLENGE
RHS Malvern Spring Festival is one of the only RHS Shows in the UK to have a collection of show gardens designed and built entirely by young people. Led by BBC Blue Peter Gardener, Chris Collins and sponsored by BAM, The School Garden Challenge inspires youngsters across the country to design and build their own special ‘Great Britain’ themed gardens.
ALREADY SOLD OUT, this exciting open-air shopping experience plays host to more than 35 specialist nurseries, each showcasing a wonderful array of top quality plants. One of the main destinations at the show, this is a plant lovers paradise, especially during the famous sell-off on Sunday.
INDOOR SHOPPING ARCADES
A premium quality shopping experience introduced in 2017, it is here that visitors can pick up unique pieces in fashion, furniture, antiques, homewares, horticulture, gifts and more from independent designers, craftsmen, artisans and artists.
Festival favourite, Chelsea garden designer and BBC presenter, James Alexander-Sinclair, returns to host a lively line up of leading experts and familiar faces. Visitors may take a seat and enjoy demonstrations, talks and exciting features as personalities share their knowledge and passion for all things gardening and food. Confirmed experts to be announced soon.
FOOD & DRINK PAVILION
A foodie hotspot, the Food & Drink Pavilion is a magnificent celebration of British tastes with bountiful offerings from the country’s best-loved artisan producers. Expect the freshest field produce, big cheeses, bread of heaven, specialty gins, decadent bakes and more.
GROW & COOK
Hosted by award-winning food writer Mark Diacono, this animated live kitchen presents a line up of delicious cookery demonstrations from culinary experts and the country’s top chefs.
Budding gardeners great and small are invited to get green fingered by visiting over the weekend of the festival. Entrance is free for children under 16 and a whole host of exciting and educational activities are promised. It will be the ideal opportunity to engage children in the fun of gardening and the great outdoors. Expect kids cookery demonstrations, make and take crafts and plant and grow workshops with Head of Organic Horticulture at Garden Organic and former Blue Peter Gardener, Chris Collins and more.
RHS Malvern Spring Festival takes place from Thursday 10 May until Sunday 13 May 2018. 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