On Thursday I, accompanied by the redoubtable MrB, arrived at the Malvern Spring Show. It was, apparently, Golden Day! I confess that, other than my arrival, I am not sure what was supposed to be golden about it. The special gold parking, available until 11.00 had all gone & it was only 10.10. But no matter, we weren’t parked miles away from the entrance.
Now a friend expressed some surprise that we were attending Malvern as she said I was a bit snotty about it last time I went. She was right: we went about 3 years ago having heard so much about what a wonderful show it was & to miss the experience was to miss an essential part of any gardeners life. Admittedly this was the year after the great garden bloggers meet up which, even for a shy & secretive person like myself sounded a cracking sort of occasion so I went full of high hopes & enthusiasm preparing to be wowed after years of same old Chelsea & Hampton Court. And yes, I confess,I was a little underwhelmed &, dare I say it, disappointed! With hindsight I expected too much. So snotty & snitty I was indeed. However, when MrB surprisingly suggested we go to Malvern this year I thought it seemed like an excellent idea …
The weather forecast for the day was not good, windy & heavy showers so we left home early to try & beat the worst of the weather. The sunshine as we left at 7.00 seemed to augur well for the day & it didn’t seem too bad on arrival so we were all set.
First stop was a bacon roll (we had been on the road since 7) & a coffee. Second stop was to buy a hat each – well who could resist a perfectly suitable & reasonably priced hatty watt. Then, at last, we managed to get into the more flower show type of things.
There were some fabulous plants & exhibits in the floral marquee although whilst walking round the extremely blustery winds & heavy rain showers that were never far away were causing some consternation as the covers flapped & banged loudly & the metal supports creaked alarmingly. One of the metal nuts from the frame came crashing down as we walked round which was a little concerning as were exhibitors looking upwards with worried faces .
I wasn’tt sure about the His & Hers gardens on one stand; surely not. Perhaps I just missed the joke.
As you can see His was full of funky ferns & palms with only splashes of bright colours whereas Hers was much more frothy & full of colour from flowers. Oh come on, stop it!
We thoroughly enjoyed walking round all the nursery stands & there was a fabulous selection of plants to choose from although i did balk a little at a pot with an Honesty seedling in it for £4.00. Some HRT (Horticultural Retail Therapy) was indulged in although we were extremely sensible, mature & restrained. In truth our small garden is crammed to the hilt although that fact does not always stop us.
We even got a couple of cushions for our garden chairs saving us a trip to Ikea!
By the time we had wandered round all these stalls, had a little light lunch, looked at the delightful crafts on sale time was moving on rapidly & we had not yet had the opportunity to see the show gardens……of course by now it was raining good & proper! Damn. Our viewings were rather brief.
I am only sorry we were not able to really do them justice but there were some really nice features.
Of course in any show there are things, either in show gardens & frequently on sale when you think ‘Now who would buy something like that?’
So what were my thoughts second time round. I really did enjoy my day, despite the weather. I had no unreasonable expectations of the show this time & indeed felt very relaxed & unpressurised about the event. I do have some criticisms about the Gold day though…
‘Escape the show crowds and join us on our exclusive Gold Day ‘ is the invitation on show website. The day offers free gold parking (!) & talks & displays exclusive to the gold day. I have already mentioned the parking & some of the talks may well have been exclusive to the day BUT there weren’t really many of them to chose from: 3 events in the Plants & People theatre on Gold Thursday, 7 on the following day! Whilst we were able to see the plants & displays at their freshest & presumably in less crowded circumstances I am not sure that the promise was fulfilled, particularly in view of the differential in ticket prices.
Oh, & I think I may well go again.