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.

Friday, 26 March 2010

The Floral Marquee

The giant Floral Marquee is one of Malvern's tipitty-top highlights. As it's the show's Silver Jubilee this year, the organisers are ensuring that it'll be the best ever. 104 nurseries will be exhibiting, including Bob Brown's fabulous Cotswold Garden Flowers nursery - Gardens Illustrated readers may recognise him from his monthly plant selection column this year - NB he will not be exhibiting at Chelsea, so his appearance is always a major coup for Malvern.

Of these 104, 25 nurseries have been invited to form the Marquee's centrepiece on the theme of Celebration. David Matthewman, famed for his sweet peas is coming back specially (having retired 2 years ago) to provide the anniversary cake. All nurseries have the chance to contribute their favourite plant for a Best of the Best display: they will also be judged for RHS medals as usual and there will be a new People's Choice award, so we will have the opportunity to vote for our favourite exhibit.

If all that plus my couple of photos from last year doesn't whet your appetite enough, here's Happy Mouffetard's in-depth tour around last year's Floral Marquee (text and photos are her copyright as usual). NB do take her tip about visiting early in the day - it can get rather crowded.

SomeBeans has banned me from buying any more seeds this year. He didn't, however, mention anything about not buying plants. So, it was with itchy fingers that I entered the floral marquee on Saturday.

It's always the first place we go, to try and avoid the huge crowds later in the day. And what a wonderful sight to the plant lover. Such variety, such care taken over the displays. So many great plants that I wanted.

I'm not a huge fan of bonsai, but this hawthorn was eye-catching.

I'm also not a fan of auriculas, but another great display. I can see why people get obsessed with the different flower colours, the doubles, the farina, even if I can't understand it myself.

This peony, on the other hand, is so delicious I could have eaten it.

From peonies to pleiones - I wish I was brave enough to try and grow them.

This angelica looked stunning against the canvas of the marquee.

And finally, to continue my obsession this year with tulips, I loved the light coming through these petals.

I didn't actually buy any of the plants above, though. I bought...

Astrantia 'Hapsden Blood', Geum 'Borissii', and Centaurea montana 'Alba', each of which I've been able to split. Very restrained of me, I think you'll agree.


easygardener said...

It all looks very tempting. I have never been to a large garden show in a car. I usually travel by train which acts as a plant buying deterrent.
104 nurseries! I can't help thinking that our car is too small. Perhaps it's better to concentrate on alpines - tiny little plants - more plants to the square foot.
I think I'm feeling dizzy...

VP said...

EG - I know how easily you can be tempted, so perhaps you need to bring something a little larger to Malvern ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh the tragedy of not being able to buy plants or seeds even! I can vouch for Geum boris though, a good tough plant. :-)

M@M aka VP ;) said...

FG - no plants, but hopefully a bucket load of ideas which you can do something about when you get home :)