I think I can safely say that the standard of showgardens at Malvern Spring Garden show is getting better and better. There were two gold medals awarded which is wonderful and to be honest I think a couple of the gardens are very close, if not already at Chelsea standard – but I’m n RHS judge so I could be talking rubbish.
The two gardens that really stood out to me where the Graduate Gardeners Ltd’s A Garden for Life, which won best in show and Hannah Genders ‘My Very Local Veg Garden. Taking Hannah’s garden first (above and below) I was initially attracted to the colour palette of the flowers, particularly the blues of the Anchusa ‘Loddon Royalist’, Iris pallida ‘Argente Variegata’ against the mauve of Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’. I will definitely be using this colour combination in my garden in the future. But what was really interesting about Hannah’s garden is the concept behind it. Everything is sourced within a bike
ride of her home in Worcester. This includes all the hard landscaping: the paving is from a reclamation yard, the wood from a local woodland – everything is labelled so you can see where Hannah got it from and the distance from her home. Another great thing about this garden is that is won’t just be taken to pieces come Sunday but it will be rebuilt at Hillers Farm Shop
in Alchester where it will be able to mature which to my mind makes it a very sustainable showgarden.
The second garden I really admired was Graduate Gardeners A Garden for Life. I suspect my liking is partly due to my eldest son and his passion for wood. As some of you may know he is a trainee cabinet maker, he has a love of good design and particularly interesting architecture. We had seen some similar garden rooms/office last year at the Grand Designs Show and the garden room in this garden reminded me of one he really liked. I think it is a clever design
particularly the way the A frame of the house is carried forward into a pergola. Another aspect of this garden that I found interesting was the wildlife/meadow planting in the photo above. It made me really think about this sort of planting: it was full of clover, ragged robin and other wildlife plants. I can’t decide if I really like it or not. The area was certainly full of wildlife which is more and more important to me but I have to get over the last linger neat and controlled inclinations I have.
Again as is often the case at Malvern the planting was very cottagey with lots of early flowering perennials, very frothy and pastel. It was lovely to look at and interesting to see how the foliage was combined and then lifted with flowers. This was a well deserved winner of Best in Show in my mind.
There were more show gardens as well as smaller gardens which were entered in the Chris Beardshaw scholarship competition but I will post on those later.
If you can get to Malvern this weekend I would really recommend it as it is, in my opinion, the friendliest garden show.