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SW London
A semi-mature, hardy individual who tries to get away with doing as little as possible in gardening as in life, still expects the best results & wonders why she is frequently disappointed! She likes to keep a photographic record of everything, good & frequently bad!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

We avoided the nut that crashed to the ground, but was it a golden day?


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?’

021 I mean you just wouldn’t, would you?






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.


  1. Mrs.S. & I often walk away from shows with a sense of disappointment (too crowded, too expensive,shopping trolleys,same old stuff etc),whilst swearing that we will never return. This resolve generally lasts two or three years by which time we have a) forgotten what we didn't enjoy b) been overwhelmed by others saying how we would be fools to miss out. By this reckoning we will visit Malvern next year & give Chelsea a miss this year, returning in 2015.
    I'm glad you & Mr.B enjoyed Malvern & although "gold" day may not have been all you expected the lack of crowds would have more than made up for anything missing if you ask me.

  2. You may well be right about the lack of crowds; always a plus. Currently preparing my Chelsea shuffle!