The 35th RHS Malvern Spring Festival, sponsored by My Pension Expert, triumphed with a Royal Visit, a new green planet friendly ethos and was also one of the most popular in recent years, with around 100,000 visitors over the hugely popular 4-day festival.
Shows Manager, Jane Edwards, said: “This was our first year back after a two-year break and we couldn’t have hoped for a better reception to our 35th anniversary festival. The team have introduced lots of super new features, alongside a wide selection of special guests and a range of stunning show and feature gardens.
“This year’s festival had a truly celebratory feel and our gardening and food experts kept visitors entertained and inspired with lots of take-home ideas and tips. The jewel in our crown is the new permanent Platinum Jubilee Garden and we were honoured to receive HRH The Princess Royal to plant the final tree in this stunning new space at the showground.”
RHS Malvern Spring Festival is the largest RHS flower show outside London and kickstarts the RHS show season each year. With 6 newly crowned judged show gardens, visitors were given the opportunity to get up close to these award-winning spaces, and new for 2022, the Vitamin G Garden was the first RHS feature garden at Malvern. The Vitamin G Garden was inspired by evidence-based research that was published in April 2021 by RHS scientists Professor Alistair Griffiths and Dr Lauriane Chalman-Pui proving how gardening benefits our mental, physical and social wellbeing.
Acclaimed garden designer Peter Dowle of Leaf Creative, created a show stopping giant houseplant display, housed within two super-sized domes. Welcome to the Jungle asked visitors to take a walk on the wild side, with both jungle and tropical landscapes, using exotic plants that are familiar in our homes and gardens.
Alongside all the inspirational and eye-catching gardens, there was also the Affordable Gardens feature, which presented a typical-sized front garden, back and side garden of a two to three-bedroom house and each built with a budget of £500 – £1,000. Designed by RHS Malvern Show Lead, Jess Russell-Perry and created by Worcestershire based TASK Academy.
The School Gardens were a real highlight with gardeners of tomorrow from across Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire competing to create a garden that took inspiration from The Queen’s 70 years of service to the nation and the Commonwealth.
The new Bloom Theatre brought a colourful and planet friendly vibe to the event, with internationally renowned florist Fiona Haser Bizony, Jonathan Moseley and Arthur Parkinson also taking the stage. Live demonstrations and workshops promoted the use of British cut flowers and the ‘grown not flown’ ethos. The area was supported by Flowers from the Farm, UK based flower growers and floral artists.
The central focus of the festival is always the Floral Marquee abundant in colour and variety. This year it offered visitors over 50 specialist nurseries and growers to peruse. The hand-picked nurseries included several newcomers to Malvern from across the UK. Making their festival debut were G&K Carnations, Harriet’s Plants, Lincolnshire Pond Plants and Ottershaw Nursery. Malvern regular Pheasant Acre Plants was awarded Master Grower status and used the even to launch a new bulb subscription service.
Each year RHS Malvern Spring Festival reaches out to recruit horticultural talent and for 2022 this saw a fresh group of creative designers. The winners of the RHS Malvern Medal Categories were:
- Best Show Garden – ‘The Hide’ by Emily Crowley-Wroe
- People’s Choice Award – The Cancer Research Legacy Garden by Karen Tatlow
RHS Silver-Gilt Medals have been awarded to:
- The Hide Garden by Emily Crowley-Rowe
- The Cancer Research UK Legacy Garden by Karen Tatlow
- The Peaceful Escape by Jamie Langlands
An RHS Silver Medal has been awarded to:
- Abigail’s Footsteps by Rick Ford
RHS Bronze Medals have been awarded to:
The 2022 Floral Marquee at Malvern hosted over 50 specialist nurseries and welcomed four new nurseries. This year’s Master Grower was Pheasant Acre Plants, a family business run by Rob Evans, from nursery premises near Bridgend in South Wales.
Taking home, the top title in the Floral Marquee was:
- The Lyn Downes Award for Best in the Floral Marquee: Southfield Nurseries: Cacti and succulents
- Best National Plant Societies Exhibit: Hardy Plant Society: Hardy Perennial Plants
An impressive haul of medals has been awarded in the Floral Marquee this year, including:
- 27 Golds
- 15 Silver Gilt
- 13 Silver
- 1 Bronze
This year’s varied selection of school gardens attracted lots of interest this year from across the region and focused on a Jubilee celebratory theme. Five schools took part in this unique area of the show, which was supported by TV Presenter Chris Collins.
WCG Pershore School – Highly Commended
Primary Quest School – Highly Commended
RGS Worcester School – Highly Commended
Wye Forest Federation – Highly Commended
Bredon School – Commended
Wonderful works of art were created from flowers and foliage in the Floral Art Exhibition.
Best in Show, Mrs Barbara Collier, Northamptonshire for her free hanging exhibit, in Class 10 ‘Waterfall’
Reserve Best in Show, Mr Richard Twisleton, Rutland, Class 7, ‘Out of Africa’