RHS Malvern Autumn Show, Worcestershire 2019

orange pumpkin squash in wooden box


RHS Malvern Autumn Show 2019

Sadly it’s the last RHS show of the year but what a brilliant show to visit – there really is something for everyone!

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Malvern Hills means the weather can be a mixture all in one day. The showground covers the size of 23 football pitches, so comfy shoes are a must!

This particular show incorporates the Canna UK Giant Vegetable championships and includes 600 giant vegetables with a cumulative weight of 7.45 tonnes, which is the size of an African elephant. You really need to go and see the display for yourself to appreciate the size of the veg and the amount of work that goes into putting on the incredible display.

giant pumpkin

Although as you know my passions are the flowers and gardens – there are no show gardens at this event, but the displays are just as inspiring. I love to see different flower combinations to include colour and texture.

The Floral Art section is an absolute must to visit – the talent on display is impressive and the theme is ‘Autumn Jewels’.  There were various classes to display in, including a festive section such as best dressed door, Christmas table centrepiece and a doormat.  I’m overwhelmed with people’s imagination. This particular floral design uses Amaryllis’, Gerbera and Anthurium – a combination that wouldn’t have crossed my mind, but its so eye catching.

Floral art gerbera amyryllis


Floral Christmas Pudding

The Harvest Pavilion showed off benches of vegetables, soft fruit and flowers. The Bramley Apples reminded me of home as Dad grew them in his garden and Mum used them for baking the best apple crumble. Bramleys are a tart and tangy variety best suited for baking due to keeping their flavour after cooking. In 2017 the UK harvested 70,000 tonnes of Bramley apples, which equates to approximately 333,333 apples. Wow!

Bramley Apple


I met the volunteers from Plant Heritage who told me that some plants are quietly vanishing, and it’s their plan to find them and cultivate them before they get lost for good. They explained that plants fall out of fashion, but its vital to keep the plants going whether that’s for food, medicine, ornament or heritage which will enable future generations to enjoy them too.

If you would like to join the Worcestershire Group, it meets monthly in friendly, informal sessions at Pershore College – for further information www.nccpg.com.

Unfortunately I ran out of time (too busy looking at plants!) to visit the World of Animals, but I visited last year and its fabulous and great for the kids too. There’s a load of things to see – from pets such as Guinea pigs, rabbits and giant tortoises, to the Top Dog arena which shows off the best agility dogs in the country as well as an appearance by former blue Peter presenter Peter Purves.

It really is one of the best shows on the calendar, so check it out for yourself – more information is available from https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/malvern-autumn-show.


Aster Picton Gardens

Frank Mathews trees

And finally…. The lovely Carol Klein hosting a Q&A on the Pottager Stage

Carol Klein on stage




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Tree Ferns at Pershore Horticulture College

Beautiful Tree Ferns at Pershore Horticultural College

Tree Ferns at Pershore Horticulture CollegeFollowing an investment of £5.8m in the college facilities, a group of 100-year-old New Zealand tree ferns are now taking pride of place within the Collections House at Pershore College. After meeting the Director of Horticulture, Diane Whitehouse, and Commercial Manager John Farmer; it’s easy to understand their enthusiasm for the project.

The new Collections House is an imposing glass-fronted building on the north side of the college, which creates a semi-Mediterranean climate for growing a number of carefully selected plants. Its sophisticated censor-controlled system maintains a constant 19-20 degrees centigrade, single-glazed windows maximise the natural light, and there are also automatic ‘grow lights’, as used in the tomato farming industry.

Living Wall

Within its new reception area there’s an impressive living wall, but the main eye-catcher is the collection of Dicksonia squarrosa, commonly known as the tree fern, some of which are already 5.5m (18ft) tall.

To stop the ferns drying out, vertical hydroponics have been installed to drip water down the fibrous trunks, in efforts to mimic the growing conditions of their native New Zealand rainforest.

If you’re thinking of growing your own tree fern, remember they only grow about 2.5cm (1in) per year, but can eventually reach up to 6m (20ft) with a spread of around 5m (16½ft).

They can be situated in containers, outdoors, or in a large greenhouse or conservatory, but will need a sheltered spot and winter protection if grown outside. Water the trunks but avoid watering the crowns. They are generally pest free, but remove any damaged or dead fronds.  They prefer a part shade or full shade garden. They like a sandy or loam soil with a pH of acid or neutral soil.

To see the tree ferns for yourself, and to find out more about the courses on offer, contact the college directly for more details, visit https://www.warwickshire.ac.uk/events/open_events/pershore_open_events.aspx

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