Quintessentially English is the wild foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), which this year symbolises the Malvern Spring Gardening Show – and the Malvern Hills themselves. Come the actual Show (from 9th to 12th May) they will be flowering on the steep slopes, and down sequestered lanes of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Displayed on Show posters and leaflets, their presence speaks of late-Spring, and Summer-to-come; and on the Showground, too, their pink spires will remind us of lazy days cycling in rural places, as I did as a child.
Their flowers beguiled me (and still do) – as a little girl, I would collect the fallen tubular blossoms, each speckled in their throat, and place them upside down on my fingertips. A handful of the countryside, and many childhood memories; and, without realising it, a life-long love of plants. So often, what you learn as a child stays with you forever.
|Foxgloves in a |
|The new Three Counties Agricultural Society chief uses pedal power|
|It's easy to find your way around|
|Bikes are 'in' this year!|
|The Plants & People Theatre always draws a large audience|
|One of many excellent School Gardens: the children are so knowledgeable, and keen to talk to visitors|