Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Gardens, Garden Design, and more ...

A Show Garden from a previous year, peaceful and naturalistic
As the Malvern Spring Gardening Show approaches ever nearer (only four weeks away now), advance information flows thick and fast. Spring really does seem to be unfolding, though last week when I was at the Showground for the fantastic ‘CountryTastic’ it was so cold (with snow on the hills), it was hard to believe that all would be transformed come Thursday 9th May. But it will be.

Bicycles are 'in' (read on)
Knowing how much readers enjoy looking at Show Gardens, and pulling them apart, or disagreeing with the judges’ opinions(!) - I trawled through the Show image archives for gardens from the past that really inspired me for one reason and another. You will not see any of these designs at this year’s show, of course, but news of what is on offer arrives almost daily in my inbox.

A nostalgic planting - this reminds me of childhood
First – and a first for Malvern - the Malvern Spring Gardening Show has teamed up with the Cotswold Gardening School to offer gardening enthusiasts the chance to win a fantastic 'Introduction to Garden Design' or ‘Planting Day’ course at the school. This superb opportunity is only open to visitors who pre-book their tickets (saves £s on ticket prices anyway). You will have the chance of winning one of five day courses and there will also be another set of five Planting Day courses up for grabs for anyone signing up to the Three Counties Showground e-newsletters. What are you waiting for?

You could happily sit all day in this garden
As for an update on the Show Gardens: The 2012 Olympics has had a considerable impact on gardening. Of the 14 show gardens this year, 50% have a sporting theme whilst all of them mirror the naturalistic planting in the London Olympic Park; a must for those gardeners keen to keep ahead of horticultural trends.

Equally inviting
THEMES are varied, though Sport – particularly cycling – is predominant taking inspiration both from Team GB’s cycling success as well as this year’s Tour de France, which celebrates its 100th anniversary. Sustainability, up-cycling and the environment continue to be popular themes with a natural burial site and solar paving the subject of a further two gardens. One of the show gardens pays tribute to the beloved Timelord complete with Dalek, for this year is the 50th anniversary of the cult TV programme, Dr Who.

A touch of quirkiness, and wild flowers, too.
Naturalistic planting is common to all of the gardens; herbs, vegetables and fruit trees are no longer segregated but feature within flowerbeds and throughout the gardens themselves. Formal trees and topiary provide strong, architectural lines in many of the gardens. Grasses are popular, too, whether they have an English woodland or Mediterranean theme to them. Herbs, especially lavender and those that provide scent, are much in evidence. Edible flowers, such as calendula and courgette blossoms – anything which looks and tastes good will be a challenge, and salad plants happily grow in flowerbeds alongside more formal planting.

Such fun!
You will find inspiration all around you in all the Show Gardens. And to further whet your appetite, the newly designed (for 2013) Malvern Spring Gardening Show website goes from strength to strength, so keep checking it every day, or you might miss something truly intriguing.

WHY NOT ALSO TAKE A LOOK AT THESE PAGES, TOO?  (Just click on the links):
Love our Shows, Like our Facebook Page -
Malvern Autumn Show

AND PLEASE KEEP VISITING Ann's Malvern Jotter: I’ll be blogging again next week; and as the Show builds, I recommend regular clicks onto the Spring Gardening Show website for regular updates and more breaking news.


  1. It is so lovely to look back at previous gardens and look forward to seeing new designs and planting combinations.I love Malvern,with that back drop who wouldn't. It is just up the road from me so my local show

  2. Thankyou so much 'Flower Lady' for your kind comment. I hope you are enjoying this new blog which I was engaged to write. I plan to visit the build up to this year's gardens and maybe add a sneak preview if TCAS are happy that I do.