A week or so ago on the ninth of May, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Royal Horticultural Societies annual spring flower show hosted at the Three Counties showground in Malvern.
The setting of the show is stunning and is my favourite flower show because of the gorgeous rural location with the show ground set at the foot of the magnificent rolling Malvern hills. You can really feel the local enthusiasm for horticulture and agriculture – the three counties actually refer to the three agrarian counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.
Scheduling the show in the spring is always a little risky with the unreliable nature of British weather especially at this time of year. Last year we were particularly lucky and the weather was gorgeous with wall to wall on sunshine on almost all of the show days. This year we weren’t so lucky although the worst of the weather was the persistent drizzle on Thursday morning and a few sharp showers on the Friday, in fact on the Sunday it was a sunny day 🙂
My most enjoyable part of the flower show is wandering through the Floral Marquee. Your senses are literally over whelmed by the site and smells of so many exquisite floral displays of award winning flowers arrayed for your viewing pleasure by carefully selected specialist growers and nurseries. I have included a picture below of some chrysanthemums on display; although as a very amateur photographer they don’t really do justice to the subjects!
The Show Gardens
Of course the highlight of the RHS’s gardening shows is the actual show gardens – every year there seem to be some wackier and weirder designs which really don’t appeal to me personally – obviously they must appeal to someone because they do win awards. This year there was much talk about Julie Bellingham’s Redshift Garden which is supposed to represent how the telescope has helped understand the universe, she used yellow, orange and red plants to represent the observation as galaxies move away from the earth they appear redder. This garden only scored a bronze award from the judges – but Ms Bellingham who published a MPhys dissertation on redshift and has a PhD in secondary ion mass spectrometry shouldn’t be too disappointed – us gardeners may just have failed to grasp the complex physics portrayed by her design – if it had been exhibited in the Institute of Physics I’m sure it would have won gold!
My personal favourite was “The Orange Express” (pictured below) by Villaggio Verde a woodland garden in which the visitor is transported to a remote area of fruit production in Spain. The producers are part of a cooperative that once built a small railway station to transport their produce to the wholesale market. The families work together to make the station a vibrant place, maintaining planted containers around the building and surrounding areas.In this garden, orange, olive, lemon, pistachio and pomegranate trees flourish.
For more pictures see https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/malvern-spring-festival/Gardens/2019/the-orange-express