There are just 136 days to the autumn flower show at Malvern, but today I am looking back at the spring show, which has just ended. I've done just about all the garden shows, some every year for years, but to be honest I was getting just a little bored with crowds, wheelie trolleys and seeing the same old displays. So this spring, I thought I'd go to the Malvern Spring Show because I have never done it before and I was in need of something that would satisfy my plant lust.
I had a fantastic day, despite the weather, which really was not with me. That's what the floral marquee is for, and I always head there first anyway, hungry for plants. So I made my beeline for the floral marquee and thoroughly enjoyed myself - the outstanding displays for me were the lilies, tulips (Bloms bulbs), alliums (Warmenhoven) and hostas (Bowden hostas). There were lots of gold medals. It is so cheering to see so much colour everywhere. The colours, fragrances and sheer beauty of dazzling displays was stupendous. I wasn't disappointed, it was worth every minute of the 5 hour round travelling trip.
Next, and for this you must visit on Saturday, I headed to the Alpine Garden Society Show held in one of the Halls. Wow, I used to go to this at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show, and they have not shown there for a few years, so it was sheer delight to be able to admire some of the plant world's most exquisite plants grown to perfection. Fabulous display with lots of plants, much appreciated.
The only downside, apart from the weather, was the catering - poor choice, long queues and over-priced food that just didn't make the grade. The same can be said of most of the flower shows, unfortunately.
There's a free shuttle from Great Malvern train station and guys were great - especially the driver in the minibus with the hat, who was truly entertaining in the nicest possible way. The plants were knockout and I loved the space in the floral marquee. Lots of stands outside for everything a gardener could need from little garden rooms the price of a small modest car to fleeces, which were needed on the day. The Country Living exhibit housed fantastic makes as did some of the other halls plus foods, botanical art and lots more. So hats off to the organisers and to the tremendous nurseries who make this show a winner. I know the hard work that goes on 'behind scenes' as I have exhibited before. It's much easier being a visitor. These non-London shows have reasonable ticket prices and you avoid the huge crowds associated with Chelsea, so they are well worth a visit to stock up your garden and get great ideas.
The Malvern Garden Show is held twice a year at the Three Counties Showground. The next show is the autumn show from 28-29th September 2013. Tickets are 15.00 GBP and there is a 2.00 GBP booking fee on transactions online or you can call 01684 584924. For more information visit
Words and images copyright Karen Platt 2013