RHS Malvern Spring Festival, in association with My Pension Expert, will kick off the new 2023 RHS Show Season at Three Counties Showground from 11 – 14 May 2023, welcoming over 100,000 visitorswith a host of exciting new features, unique experiences and quirky highlights to enjoy.
RHS Malvern Spring Festival has a stellar reputation as the trailblazer of the RHS floral show season each year, and the 2023 programme will not disappoint. The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Gardening for Everyone’ and, in celebration of this, many new areas, stages and features have been added to make gardening and horticulture open and accessible to all, while encouraging sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices. A brand-new Planet Friendly Gardening ‘3P Free’ Zone (Plastic, Pesticide and Peat free), created by Edibleculture, will give visitors the opportunity to trade in plastic pots from plants bought at the Festival for a compostable and plantable version, for free! All plastic pots collected at the Festival will be recycled.
A new Bloom & Grow Area will provide handy tips on growing vegetables, flowers, herbs and other edible plants at home or in an allotment, plus the chance to create your own lip balm or hand cream under the expert guidance of Cotswold Remedies. The accompanying Bloom & Grow Theatre will be hosted by horticultural broadcaster, author and wellbeing advocate, Ellen Mary. Joining Ellen over the long weekend will be Jonathan Moseley, one of the UK’s leading floral designers (sharing top tips on how to make your flowers last longer at home), horticulturalist Tom Leonard (a.k.a The Drag Queen Gardener), Ben Newell (content creator and founder of Worcester Terrariums) and Ann-Marie Powell (gold medal winning garden designer). Mark Diacono, author, cooking expert and founder of Otter Farm, will give a fascinating talk on foraging and fermenting (Friday & Sunday), while BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Arit Anderson will share her expert insight on why a diverse garden is a happy place (Saturday & Sunday). Community gardener and designer, Tayshan Hayden-Smith will explain why empowering, introducing and embracing young people and communities into horticulture is so vital (Saturday).
The brand-new Tips & Tricks Area will be the place to go to learn how to creatively upcycle or reuse items to make stylish features for your own outdoor space, plus lots of handy cost-saving and sustainability tips. The new Tips & Tricks Theatre will be hosted by skilled designer/upcycler and TV presenter Max McMurdo, who will demonstrate how to make a hydroponic herb planter at home. Max will be joined throughout the weekend by horticultural content creator Adam Kirtland (View from the Potting Bench) who will be demonstrating some handy garden DIY using just a wooden pallet, while Rupert Keys from TASK Academy (leading landscaping industry trainers) will share clever tips on how to use rainwater in your outdoor space.
This year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival charity partner is St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester. In celebration of this year’s focus on sustainability, St Richard’s has been running a campaign to collect unwanted garden tools to be upcycled and their finished creations will be on sale at the Festival, alongside a selection of outdoor furniture, garden and cookery books, garden wear, plants and pots. Any revenue raised from RHS Malvern Spring Festival-owned items in Sunday’s 4pm sell-off will also be donated to the charity.
A highlight for many visitors, and an integral feature of the RHS shows, will be admiring this year’s five new stunning RHS-judged show gardens alongside three unique, experiential feature gardens. Be transported to a tropical paradise of waterfalls, bridges and immersive exotic planting, not to mention a tropical bar, in the stunning Leaf Tropicana feature garden (by Peter Dowle from Leaf Creative) and feel the sand beneath your feet. Take a moment to chill out in a deckchair beside the colourful beach huts of the Coast to Country feature garden (by Villaggio Verde), RHS Malvern Spring Festival’s first ever beach-themed garden.The popular School Challenge Gardens will also return for 2023 with a new theme ‘Bring your favourite book to life’, inspiring the next generation to explore their creativity through horticulture.
The Potting Shed Theatre – new to RHS Malvern Spring Festival in 2023 – will be hosted by expert horticulturalist Martin Fish. Located within the Floral Marquee, a range of green fingered professionals, including Vicky Fox from Plantagoggo, BBC Gardener’s World Arit Anderson, Rob Hardy from Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants and Stella Exley from Hare Spring Cottage Plants, will be on hand to share specialist gardening knowledge in a series of interesting and informative sessions.
For food-lovers, the new Fire & Feast Theatre will be a highlight of the weekend. Hosted by Mark Diacono and BBQ and open fire cook, Adam Purnell (a.k.a The Shropshire Lad), visitors can pick up ideas to improve their alfresco cooking with live demonstrations from talented chefs, outstanding local food producers and special guests. Broadcaster and TV presenter, Gregg Wallace MBE, will share his methods for cooking delicious spatchcock chicken and tasty tikka paneer kebabs, while local legend Anthony ‘Murf’ Murphy, one of the founders of the region’s popular and award-winning group of restaurants, The Beefy Boys, will share top tips on how to whip up your own ultimate burger at home. There will also be a variety of sensational food stalls located across the showground serving up delicious meals and snacks to suit every taste and a range of dietary requirements, alongside some of the best local, artisan food and drink from across the three counties of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.
Visitors to this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival will be in for a treat with a host of exciting new dining options. Pre-book an exclusive dining experience in the idyllic new Taste Pods, offering an hour-and-a-half of relaxation, sophisticated nibbles and 360-degree views for groups of up to 6 people. Set against a glorious backdrop of rolling Malvern hills, these transparent, heated domes will serve delicious pastries, cakes and charcuterie alongside a range of soft and alcoholic drinks. The new Bluebell Bistro will combine impeccable service and top-class fare, with a tantalising two-course lunch menu available to pre-book from Hereford’s finest, A to Zest. Tables for the new Taste Pods and Bluebell Bistro can be booked in advance at www.rhsmalvern.co.uk .Visitors can also enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean at the new Greek Taverna, serving up a range of snacks and lunches, including halloumi wraps, salads, pastries and mezze boxes, alongside a relaxed and uplifting atmosphere.
For those visiting with little ones, the Discovery Dome will host plenty of free family fun for all ages across the weekend, with arts and crafts sessions, science-based activities, workshops and entertainment. Weave some magic with Oakey Bear and create beautiful willow sculptures of well-loved literary characters, including Paddington Bear. Jonathan Moseley will be on hand to help families of all ages create their own magical floral wands (11am Saturday and 1.30pm Sunday). The University of Worcester will run insightful activities about unseen garden inhabitants and how rivers are created. There will also be workshops to make your own bird feeder with Wyldwood Willow, create and paint pottery tiles with Eastnor Pottery and pick up some impressive circus skills with Thomas Trilby.
Another exciting new feature at this year’s festival will be book signings by some of the festival’s special guests after talks given in the different theatres across the showground, including BBC Gardeners’ World presenters, authors and Festival Theatre guests, Frances Tophill (Thursday) and Adam Frost (Friday – Sunday), Bloom & Grow Theatre host Ellen Mary (Thursday and Friday), and Fire & Feat Theatre host Mark Diacono (Thursday, Friday and Sunday). There will also be a book tent run by local independent business, Rossiter Books.
Tickets for the RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2023 start from just £25 (with under 16s free of charge) and can be purchased online now at https://www.rhsmalvern.co.uk/