The Malvern Spring Show

OK, well I have committed myself now.  I am off to the Malvern Show at the beginning of May and will be meeting other garden bloggers there too.  I'm one of those people who combines a passionate interest in gardening with not much experience of showgoing.   I'm certainly not a hardened showgoer.  I went to Hampton Court once and to Tatton Park a couple of years ago and that is it.  I enjoyed both but somehow I haven't made the jump to going back for another visit to either place or to putting visiting shows onto my calendar.  I wonder if there are particular shows which appeal to particular people?  If so, maybe Malvern is the one for me.

I have always  liked the idea of Malvern.  I love the Malvern hills which must be part of the attraction and the fact that it is not a huge show like Chelsea makes it seem easier to dip into.  I also like the idea of an early show.  I am a spring person, galvanised out of my winter torpor by the lengthening days and the increasing warmth.  I love spring bulbs and blossom and the whole sense of the garden warming and waking and thrusting into life.  I am slowly learning to love autumn too but my natural inclination for much of my gardening life has been to burst into life in early March, pacing my garden looking for growth and sowing many of my seeds much too early because I just can't wait.  By the middle of August I used to be well and truly over that first flush of excitement.  Year after year the scrappy notebooks which I call my gardening diaries (but are really just notes of what I planted) start off all energy and detail in the spring and tail off tiredly to nothing in August.  I have learnt at long last how to get over that hump and to love the autumn but my heart still really belongs to spring.

Malvern is billed as a spring show and, right at the beginning of May, still firmly has its feet in spring so perhaps it is the show for me.  I am not a great fan of show gardens though.  I will certainly look at them all and will wander about and doubtless I will find ideas and inspiration but what I'm really going for is the chance to visit the displays by nurseries and plant breeders.  All my favourite places to buy plants are small nurseries run by people who really love what they are doing and really know their plants inside out in a way that a dabbler like me will never achieve.  It is just fantastic to have them all together under one roof and to be able, if they seem to want to and its not too frantically busy,  to talk to growers.  I don't have the easiest gardening conditions here.  We are quite high and the soil is thin and stony but we grow vast quantities of flowers, fruit and vegetables through a combination of feeding the soil for veg and growing what likes us for everything else.  I have never found a real grower who was anything other than entirely honest about the kind of conditions his plants like.  I've even been sent away from a nursery empty handed by someone who was quite sure his thalictrums would not like my hillside.  I love that.  Just the way it should be.

I'm also hugely looking forward to meeting other bloggers.  I have been blogging for three years now and have met a few of my fellow bloggers but this will be the first time I will know for sure that I can have a three hour gardening conversation and not bore someone witless.  Actually that might be a bit optimistic.  I would slide under the table if trapped into listening to someone tell me  how to keep the perfect lawn and I am quite sure that I could send someone to sleep myself with my fascination for growing things which I think are both useful and beautiful, which so frequently seems to mean apples.  I'm really looking forward to seeing people who I met through blogging but now regard as friends like Zoe and Karen and also to meeting people who feel like friends already but who I have never seen in the flesh.  I'm hoping that, as well as good gardens, there will be good food, good wine, good conversation and no karaoke.

Can't wait!


  1. No karaoke?! I've been practicing and everything! harrumph *reluctantly returns machine to dusty shelf*.
    Am really hoping to make it myself, and will look forward to meeting you. I have some really interesting information about lawns to share with you...

  2. You lucky thing! Have a fabulous time. I have always liked the idea of Malvern too, but the show didn't start until after I moved Wales. (I grew up with a view of the Malverns from my bedroom window). I must go one year.

  3. Looking forward to meeting you Elizabeth at Malvern. Karoake - I hope not - as somebody who sings in the manner of Hilda Ogden of Coronation Street fame, you will run for a mile if I start warbling :)

  4. You will love the show - I have been going for the last five years and stay for the whole show. The nursery displays are billed as the largest covered display at any show - in a gigantic marquee - so you won't get wet even if it rains and as for the show gardens, well what I like about them is that you often discover plants you never knew existed.

    I'll be going too.

  5. I'm sure you'll have a lovely time and blog about it too. You are inspirational in your writing about gardens. Perhaps because you don't talk about lawns!

  6. I hope you take lots of photos and come back with new ideas to share. The Malvern sounds like a a wonderful show. I also like the name, having once lived in Malvern, Pennsylvania!

  7. I would never have teamed karaoke up with gardening, but wilder things are possible, I guess! It sounds like a lovely time to look forward to, Elizabeth, for a number of different reasons. But the chance to combine something you love with the chance to meet with people you like and share an interest with is fabulous! I hope it's even better than you anticipate.

  8. Have always wanted to go to the Malvern Spring Show. Ah well- one day. Have a great time there Elizabeth. I've been to the Malvern Autumn Show twice and both times I enjoyed them thoroughly.

  9. It sounds heavenly , if appallingly tempting , and the chance to get honest advice is definitely worth the trip alone .
    But , remembering a few old gardeners of my youth , karaoke shouldn't be counted out completely .

  10. Really looking forward to meeting you there - having said that, I'm only going on the Saturday so I hope that fits with your visit. Dx

  11. Lia - would be great to meet you.If it's a choice between lawns and karaoke lets go with the karaoke.
    PM - really looking forward to it. I love Malvern.
    Anna- Hilda Ogden eh? we could duet.
    WSC - sounds a wonderful recommendation. May see you there!
    Fennie - oh I can bore with the best of them.
    Pondside - will promise to take lots of pictures.
    Deborah - it should be great. It can't fail really with all those plants!
    Dawn - aargh. I am going on Friday and have to be home again by lunch on Saturday. Would love to meet you if it works!

  12. Here I am at last - rather breathless and catching up with everyone.

    I'm really looking forward to meeting you at Malvern, especially as it didn't happen last November in your neck of the woods.

    It's all rather exciting :)

  13. Molly - I am sure it will be great,must not spend too much!
    S&S - have reached my fifties without ever doing karaoke so think I should make it an aspiration to remain a karaoke virgin
    VP - getting close now! How exciting.


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