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Malvern Spring Festival

KT53KT53 Posts: 4,511

Just wondering what people made of this year's show.  There have been a number of changes to the layout and I would be interested to know what others thought worked and what hasn't.

I have my own thoughts but will hold them until others have commented.

Posts

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 15,004

    I went, really enjoyed it, but I didn't think it was as good as 2years ago, not as many Show gardens, couldn't find the 2 clematis I wanted. Seemed to be more commercial stands, clothes, furniture etc but fewer plants stands.

    will post some photos when I get home but staying with friends so haven't got my laptop.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 4,511

    We were talking to one of the people on the garden which won Best in Show, the one which was featured on GW on Friday evening.  He said at least 3 exhibitors had withdrawn late on, and that although they had won, he didn't really think most of the other gardens were particularly good this year.  That thought actually reflected what my wife had said, just prior to seeing this garden which, in our opinion, blew the others away.

    We enjoyed the show overall, and spend more on plants than for many years.  We were disappointed with the Floral Marquee as the walkways were far too narrow.  They seem to have reverted to the width of several years ago, after them being much wider over the past 3 or 4 years.  It was difficult to get around comfortably even very early on - we head straight there when the gates open.  There were a couple of plants I wanted, and went back in later (about 12:30), it was almost impossible to move.  We actually went out through a gap in the side wall which wasn't actually an exit but was being well used! and went back in further up.  That needs to be sorted out by next year.  There also didn't seem to be the variety of exhibitors in there either.

    There did seem to be more places to get food and drinks than in recent years, and that was good.  In general I think the layout changes worked, although there were some strangely empty areas around the site.

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  • KT53KT53 Posts: 4,511

    I agree with your comments about the range of plant in the Floral Marquee.  I think there were 2 factors; 1.  There were far fewer exhibitors in there than I remember from previous years and 2. there seemed to be a lot of repetition.  Unfortunately I threw the guide from last year away a couple of weeks ago so can't do a direct comparison.

  • JamesOJamesO Posts: 230

    I went first time stayed over in Ross-on-wye over the weekend and went Saturday.  As I have not been before cannot judge it but it was way better than the NEC Gardeners World Live event.  But do agree with the space in the Floral Marquee but liked the added plant arcade area for more plant buying.

     Here are some pictures from my time down there:

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    Last edited: 15 May 2017 17:03:50

  • daffygardenerdaffygardener Posts: 109

    I went on Friday and agree with everything above.  according to web sites there were 39 plants people outside and 69 in the marquee. But there felt like fewer than that. A few years ago there were at least 60 stands outside and the same inside. Getting less of a garden show with retail and more like retail with a bit of garden. The marquee seemed to be the same one in a long line rather than the one in previous years in 3 portions side by side. Better use of the large site though, and good stuff in the sheds. The food, craft and floral decorations were all lovely. Good choice of the pic to post, loved that display. 

    Well done & thank you to the show gardens that were there (apart from the brightly coloured plastic 'garden') were all lovely, thank you to them. Wasn't sure about the planting of the one pictured above with a lot of wood. There looked like a lot of spare soil, but loved the design and form and the planting that was there. The plastic garden had less planting than the amount of moss on my house roof and it got a bronze Just didn't get that one at all. 

    jekka mcvicars garden is lovely. The little theatre spaces are a lovely idea especially in the marquee but I agree the spacing between the stands was at best snug. It's a real shame even when there are lots of people about that you are not able to stand a bit back from the stand and enjoy the very hard work from the nursery staff in the displays they've put on.

    the small independent nurseries are I feel being edged out by the nurseries that import their virtually ready made displays that are put down to win awards, and those that are created on site and get little recognition. It costs a huge amount to put a stand up, let alone the logistics and the costs of the plants and staff on site. The RHS really needs to get income from the retailers and give the nurseries a break. They are not generally in it for the money, more of the love of plants. There were lots of nurseries that I've seen there over the years that weren't there this year. Maybe it's because the  Chelsea flower show is just 21/2 weeks after this one that show is better for them to attend and I don't blame them for that. One at least that have got a gold for their small but exquisite outdoor display 4or 5 years ago say they might not go back as they are so disallusioned due to cost, knockbacks for displays that just don't compared to the imported and crated in displays that are plonked down for a gold medal, they weren't happy at all. 

    I guess any changes need to be tried and feedback read, will look forward to changes that are made for the next one. Gold parking, Umm really expensive now. Was never cheap, and the entrance fee is high enough, but it's a bit too high now RHS/3counties if you read this. 

  • daffygardenerdaffygardener Posts: 109

    Seems even Chelsea hasn't been exempt from less Show gardens, with speculation that it was the sponsors that weren't sure due to Brexit! Everything seems to be being blamed on Brexit! 

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 4,511

    There actually may be some truth in the claims at Chelsea.  Some of the gardens cost 10's of 1000's of pounds to create and require major sponsorship.  As the woman from Chelsea said last night, applications had to be in very shortly after the Brexit vote and major companies were still wondering what the effect would be.  The first thing to happen in that situation is that non-essential spending is suspended.

    The gardens at Malvern aren't on that scale and most don't have much in the way of sponsorship.

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