In 2010 over 30 garden bloggers from all over the world met for the first ever UK get together at RHS Malvern Spring Show. This blog documents the lead up to that event plus the subsequent informal get togethers we've had in Malvern. There are also insights into the events of 2009, insider views from various exhibitors and personal views of Malvern and surrounding places of interest.

Thus this blog also forms a valuable resource for anyone wanting to visit either the spring or autumn versions of the show, or contemplating a visit to the area.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

What's New and Let's Meet!

It's Showtime at Malvern- will you be there?

It's a year since the Meet @ Malvern blog was launched, so I've tweaked the layout in celebration to launch our 2011 get together. I'm looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible this year :D

Helen and I have various work, family and exam commitments over the next few months and so we won't be able to do very much in the way of organising this year. This also reflects what a number of you said in last year's feedback too, and our informal get together at the Autumn Show last September proved an organisation-lite gathering can still work successfully.

However, I'm also aware there are a number of people who are interested in coming who didn't join us last year at either show, so I'd welcome your views on how we can best ensure we all can find each other easily for a natter with the minimum of organisation.

I've used the Blogger Page function to bring together most of the useful information you'll need to make your own arrangements to attend this year. Let me know if there's anything you'd like to add to the information, particularly the Accommodation, Getting There and Hints and Tips pages.

You'll also see there's an Attendee page: this is very much in the early stages of development, do let me know if and when you're attending so I can keep this page up to date. If last year is anything to go by, this won't really reflect what's happening until late April! And do pass the word round to your fellow bloggers and tweeters who may be interested in coming. This post is the invitation for everyone, so it's up to us all to ensure no-one's left out.

The exception to the useful stuff at the top of the page (isn't there always one!) is the all important contact details for obtaining your tickets. This is in the sidebar under Tickets Please! heading. If you click on the picture, it'll take you to the official Malvern Show booking page. NB The countdown clock has been reinstated too - though you'll have to look a bit harder to find it this time!

I won't be posting as much on here this year as I believe what's already here is enough to give anyone a flavour of what the show is like either by going through the blog in sequence or using the Labels in the sidebar (towards the bottom) to home in on what looks interesting. There'll be the occasional update of news as and when I get it. If anyone would like to write a guest post to help lighten the load, then do get in touch :)

As the posts will be less frequent, you may wish to sign up for Updates or Follow this blog to make sure you don't miss out on anything. You'll find the appropriate buttons in the sidebar. I'll also be updating via Twitter, but experience showed last year that this is a bit hit and miss in keeping you updated.

NB as for last year accommodation is already filling fast, so this is something for you to consider NOW if you're wanting to stay over during the show.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Green Shoots for the Spring Show

You don't need to worry about getting there just yet, but already bloggers are making their plans to attend this year's show...

Malvern Spring Show may seem like it's far away, but already the PR team are hard at work to tell us about the 'green shoots' they have planned for this year. I'll be back shortly with a revamped Meet @ Malvern site to tell you more about what's happening here on the blogging front. In the meantime, sit back and have a look at Sharon Gilbert's recent press release...

For the first time ever, the Malvern Spring Gardening Show (12-15 May 2011) is dedicating its entire theatre programme to the subject of conserving the natural environment, and will be showing green-fingered visitors how small changes in the way they garden, can make a significant impact on local, and ultimately global, diversity.

The new ‘Garden in Harmony Theatre’ boasts two walk-through gardens designed by 2010 Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship winner, Paul Hervey-Brookes. The ‘In Flight Garden’ is a pocket space of valuable wildlife habitats and native species, and the ‘Companion Garden’ is an area of pest-repellent, companion planting.

Television gardener and designer, James Alexander-Sinclair is the host for an exciting four-day programme of talks and demonstrations from a star-studded line-up of respected gardeners, wildlife enthusiasts and industry experts, speaking about subjects ranging from log hotels, compost cafes, natural predators, habitat creation and rain gardens.

Matthew Wilson (Landscape Man, Channel 4) and herb expert Jekka McVicar are heading up the discussion panel on Thursday May 12, and talking about rain gardens and integrated pest management respectively.

On Friday May 13, ‘Biodiversity – What, Why and How?’ is the subject of a talk by award-winning garden designer and television presenter, Chris Beardshaw, and on the same day, Kim Hurst of The Cottage Herbery, will demonstrate organic and natural planting.

Joe Swift (BBC Gardeners’ World) takes to the stage on Saturday 14 to explain how even the smallest urban garden can work in harmony with the natural environment, without compromising on beauty and style, and Brigit Strawbridge and Tony Grey will be talking about wild bees, beekeeping and the importance of pollination and planting.

The RSPB will also be at the Show on Saturday with its Garden Bird Roadshow.

Mike Dilger (‘Wild Gardens’, ‘Springwatch’ and ‘The ONE Show’) makes his Malvern debut on Saturday and Sunday 14 and 15, with a look at garden wildlife and natural predators. He will also lead a new Showground nature trail for children and adults, which will take in foraging, pond dipping and habitats.

Said Sharon Gilbert, Press & PR Manager for the Showground: “The programme of global conservation agreed at the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya last year was a great breakthrough in the fight to protect our natural environment.

Gardening is one area where the general public can do its bit to preserve and create habitats, plant native species, compost waste, garden organically and dig ponds. It might be small scale, but it all contributes to the global effort, and events like ours must get behind the initiative, keep up the momentum and promote the message to as many people as possible.

We are very excited by the prospect of dedicating this year’s theatre programme to such an important subject, and hope that Britain’s gardeners will use some of the ideas they glean from the speakers to make a few small changes at home.”