RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2016 Family Day
The Three Counties Showground is set in the picturesque backdrop of the Malvern Hills with Competitions, floral displays from the UK’s best nurseries, information and advice on growing and cookery demonstrations, awards, celebrity talks, children’s entertainment and everything you could possibly need for spring on sale! I went to see what the show has on offer for families – and how they inspire children. I have highlighted any input that Gloucestershire had in the show too!
RHS Malvern Spring Festival Children’s Highlights 2016
RHS Malvern Spring Festival School Gardens
11 local schools (from Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire) created their masterpieces based on the work of William Shakespeare, to mark 400 years since his death. The children (some as young as aged 4) helped with the design, build and spoke to the public about the process. They were then presented with awards.
I think this was great for them not just to developing them as young gardeners but a great way to introduce them to Shakespeare in a fun, hands-on way at such a young age. Garden designs were based on Midnight Summers Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, The Tempest and Twelfth Night.
Gloucestershire based Bredon School’s garden (Commended and Third for the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England Awards) was Hubble, Bubble (ages 7-11). Focusing on the tragedy of Macbeth their sensory garden featured a bug hotel; a feast; a goblet-shaped water feature holding red water to represent the poisoning of King Duncan; a dagger; and flowers to represent the emotions of the play. Sponsored by Tewkesbury Garden Centre, Foliation Ltd, Newent.
Cradley C of E Primary School, Herefordshire (Highly Commended) (ages 4-11) The Tempest. They aimed to provide a colourful representation whilst educating others about the story and its meaning. Well it certainly did that, and the young man who talked Julie around it was very good. The garden was shaped like a quadrant; the walls painted with the sun setting over the sea; a cave; the waves and blue flowers; a wrecked ship; The Tempest magical characters; and quotes from the play. I loved the upcycling and the moving waves. Sponsored by Paul Boniface, Tewkesbury; John Richards Nursery, Malvern.
RHS Malvern Spring Festival Mr Bloom
RHS Malvern Spring Festival has many celebrities and so for family day they had Mr Bloom to help appeal to the younger audience. This was my absolutely favourite part of the day, not because I got to see Mr Bloom, but because I witnessed the impact he has on children! As he handed a small boy a carrot and said that he could have it for his tea it was like all the boy’s Christmases had come at once – over a CARROT! How magical is that!
Mr Bloom from CBeebies performed in the School Gardens Theatre together with Chris Collins the former Blue Peter Gardener. There were then cookery sessions for children ages 5-12 – in one hour time slots (bookable in advance) to learn to cook from scratch using local and seasonal ingredients.
Mr Alexander’s Travelling Show
Mr Alexander’s Travelling Show was a performance of magic, juggling, unicycling, balance and illusion – performances at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Sat on the grass outdoors and it was such beautiful weather for it.
Get Going, Get Growing
RHS Malvern Spring Festival offered a lot of information about lots of topics including how to produce food. The British Beekeepers Association, The Bee Experience, drew attention to the importance of honey bees as pollinators; how we can protect them by planting bee-friendly plants; taught about the honey process; plus there was a chance to have a go at candle rolling and skep making. You can find them in Gloucestershire at: http://www.gbka-cg.org.uk/
The Floral Marquee is the home to the specialist nurseries who were selling everyday, rare and unusual plants. I have never seen so many beautiful plants/flowers with such a variety of colours. This area of the Spring Festival really made me want to go home and properly sort my garden out and make a space to plant them. I definitely have this in mind and will be coming back next year. It is also worth noting that sell-off begins at 4pm until close (on the last day of the show) – but be careful that what you are after isn’t sold before you can get to it!
The Spring Festival 2016 Floral Marquee had H.W. Hyde & Son whose Lillium Beatrix (soft lemon with a chocolate centre lillies) are named in honour of Beatrix Potter’s 250th Anniversary this year. Richard said that he chose ‘Beatrix’ as he’d grown up with Beatrix Potter stories and this particular variety reminded him of Mrs Tiggywinkle’s face peeking out from beneath her bonnet. The Beatrix Potter Mueseum and Shop: The Tailor of Gloucester – is located near Gloucester Cathedral.
Gloucestershire Graduate Gardeners Limited win 6th Gold Medal & Best in Show
And finally one last shout out for Gloucestershire, Stroud Based, Graduate Gardeners said:
“Their ‘Bringing Nature Home’ garden designed by Mark Draper was judged as almost faultless by the panel of RHS judges. This was a personal Hat Trick for Mark who has now won Three Gold Medals and Three ‘Best in Show’s’ at the RHS Malvern Spring Show.
The design was inspired by the profusion of Wild Flowers in the hedgerows of the country lanes, and linking these with a more contemporary formal garden, all in a 7m x 12m space.
Sawn York paving leads out from the house, through a series of Corten Steel frames, filled with slatted timber, into the Wildflower Meadow. A simple reflective pool also acts as a boundary between the formal and wild sections, with drips of water falling from the steel joist above, creating rings on the water’s surface.
The planting is wild-life friendly and natural looking at the far end of the garden but more traditional in style nearer the house.”
Important Points to Note for RHS Malvern Spring Festival Family Day
- Free Parking.
- Open 9am – 6pm Thursday to Sunday
- 15 minutes from the M5 and M50 Motorways, follow the brown signs to Three Counties Showground. Nearest train station is Great Malvern.
- All areas of the showground are fully accessible and wheelchairs are available for hire. One companion is admitted free of charge per visitor whose disability necessitates assistance.
- Parents area – with baby change and food warming facilities.
- Plenty of food, drinks, snacks, treats, ice-creams available.
- Toilets provided.
For more flower pictures visit my Instagram feed
RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017 is 11th-14th May
I received free entry to the show.