INSPIRATION AT RHS MALVERN SPRING SHOW
Photos by Rob Tysall, Tysall’s Photography
Ann Evans visited the RHS Malvern Spring Show, and found a world of inspiration
Never mind the weather, gardeners from all around the UK and abroad turned out for the RHS Malvern Spring Festival held at the Three Counties Showground in Shropshire. Held over four days, the first two days were dull, damp and drizzly, followed by a weekend of sunshine.
All of the exhibitors were striving to create the very best display to showcase their show gardens, green living spaces, school gardens, floral displays and stands. In the Show Gardens and Green Living Spaces, the judges, this year awarded 6 Gold Medals, 3 Silver-Gilt Medals, and 4 Silver Medals with talented designers all working from the theme of Through the Lens.
In a world first, one of the gold medals was awarded to a Ukrainian garden designer – Anna Galagan, with her garden, The Mindset. The designer had created a garden divided into two contrasting parts to represent the different experiences we can have as humans – either grey and lifeless or flourishing and joyful, depending on the priorities we set. It included a sculpture of a child to remind visitors how our decisions can have a direct impact on our children.
From the eight stunning Show Gardens, Gold also went to: The Leaf Creative Garden designed by Peter Dowle; The Orange Express designed by Jason Hales and Villaggio Verde; and What If, by Sebastian Conrad in collaboration with Kate Rees.
Judges declared the Best Show Garden to be The Leaf Creative Athena Garden by Peter Dowle. This garden was centred around a reflective long pool with a graceful ballerina sculpture dancing on a circular infinity pool rising from the main pool. The garden was designed to explore form, light and reflections, and to draw in the surrounding views of Malvern. Calm whites and soft colours contrasted with darker greens and a lawned area, with the garden’s centre point a place to sit, rest, contemplate and nourish the soul.
Gold Medals also went to Defiance by Sara Edwards and An Artist’s Studio at Home, Jessica Makins, both in the Green Living Spaces category.
Head of Shows, Diana Walton, said: “We’re delighted to be announcing such a great set of results this year, especially with six highly-coveted gold medals and the world’s first ever RHS gold for a Ukrainian designer. It’s always very tense for our garden designers when the RHS judges are here making their decisions, as they put so much heart and soul into their designs – not to mention time and effort!”
The School Garden Challenge was another enjoyable area to explore, with 12 schools taking part. Their theme being ‘A Moment in Time’ where they created gardens capturing a moment in time as if it were a photograph. The young gardeners had made some amazingly imaginative gardens ranging from The Big Bang theory to pollution and the moment in time when Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity – and much more.
The Malvern Show was also a shoppers’ paradise with everything you could possibly need for your home and garden, such as garden furniture, outside art and ornaments, planting and even a large antiques area. Perusing the indoor arenas were some beautiful floral displays in a wide range of categories.
The show also brings together a wonderful range of talented craftspeople from woodcarvers to those working it metal. Two who caught our eye being Claudia Petley and Paul Shepherd, skilled metalsmiths create life sized birds and animals from galvanised steel. Claudia explained the painstaking work as each piece begins with the design of the creature, going for an iconic look and then beating, forging and welding the steel into shape before galvanising and etching to perfectly capture the essence of the creature. See more of their work at: www.metalsmiths.co.uk
Altogether, another fabulous RHS Malvern Spring Show. For full details of the event, and to discover forthcoming RHS shows, go to: www.rhs.org.uk