Friday, 7 March 2014

Welcoming Spring ...

At the heart of the Showground
“Hello again!” It’s so good to be saying that, after the gap between last year’s ‘Malvern Autumn Show’ and this, the first of my ‘RHS Malvern Spring Festival’ posts. And welcome to anyone who is visiting this blog for the first time; we hope you will visit regularly. Committed follower, or first-timer, you will find much to delight and inform you in the posts I have scheduled for the coming weeks between now and the actual show (8th-11th May, 2014).

It may still be grey and damp outside but ‘those hills’ are as beautiful as ever, and before long will overlook the most remarkable transformation. For the former Spring Flower Show at the Three Counties Showground is no more; the show is undergoing a sea-change – the first of which is a name change to the ‘RHS Malvern Spring Festival’. 

Such a wonderful location for a Showground, and
beautiful even on a grey winter's day

A selection of 2013 plant exhibitors
Under this new guise there will be a much wider focus on gardening, growing, show gardens, workshops, celebrity garden ‘know-how’, Plant Pavilions and seed suppliers and of course the RHS Malvern Floral Marquee (5,500 square metres: home for four days to over one hundred top nurseries). Plants and flowers galore – in fact, a plant-a-holic’s paradise. 

Garden-themed eating places will be popping up all over the 
Showground (this was actually part of a 2013 show-garden, 
and very appealing)
An almost equal focus will be placed on FOOD with guest chef James Martin cooking up a feast in a specially designed kitchen garden, and Irish TV chef Rachel Allen also on stage creating dishes using delicious local ingredients. There’s to be a new Food and Drink Pavilion in a huge marquee where you will be able to savour a fine array of regional, national and international delicatessen, and a Food Court in which to enjoy everything from French crepes and spicy fajitas to chutneys, ciders and beer. Plus an Artisan Market offering food from the region’s smaller producers; not to be missed, and very special. The Severn Hall is to become a conservatory-style eating area with a garden café. You can also enjoy a sensual Tea Experience, sampling exotic teas and tisanes from around the world in an authentic oriental garden lounge. Under wraps for now is an area that may well become the focal point of the Show for many.

You will be amazed at how this showground 'field' will be transformed
Plans are still unfolding. As they wing their way to me through cyberspace; it feels as if I am already turning the pages of a new scrapbook – one as yet to be created from which I can cut-and-paste onto this blog. It’s a new era for the Showground. I have been visiting and writing about the Spring shows for almost ten years and have never been so excited. With thousands of photographic images already on file, and various personal hand-made notebooks documenting these past years, I can see that in 2014 it will take me all of the four available days and a very special sketch-book to record the ‘RHS Malvern Spring Festival’.

Now that the Show Previews have begun again, do bookmark this Blog so you can enjoy future posts bringing you even more details.

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