The largest RHS show outside of London, RHS Malvern Spring Festival opens the door to the summer season.
press release: The festival celebrates the finest in both gardening and food. Visitors can expect stunning show gardens and nursery displays alongside a bounty of food producers, shopping and top tips from garden experts and celebrity chefs.
Set against the picturesque Malvern Hills, show gardens are always a number one destination, with five designers being awarded with RHS Gold Medals in 2016.
The Floral Marquee is bursting with examples of the finest nurseries in the UK and abroad, with many old favourites and new varieties on sale.
The foodie hotspot, Festival Food and Drink Pavilion, is a lively market of food producers offering a variety of artisan produce. At the heart is a Kitchen Theatre where celebrity guests and local producers showcase their skills and produce.
Other festival favourites include the School Gardens, Get Going Get Growing pavilion and Family Day (Sunday).
RHS Malvern Spring Festival is a joint partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society and Three Counties Agricultural Society.
An entirely new vision brings RHS Malvern Spring Festival into full bloom for 2017, taking inspiration from the event’s Spa town heritage. The landmark four-day spectacle, taking place from Thursday 11 – Sunday 14 May at the Three Counties Showground, welcomes all new features and exhibits and a vibrant line up of the finest in gardening, food and lifestyle.
Jane Furze, Head of RHS Malvern Spring Festival, said: “We are so excited to share the glorious plans that are afoot for RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017. It really is going to be a sensational year for our leading event with plenty for everyone. Whether you’re a newcomer to gardening, a veteran horticulturalist or simply looking for a family day out, RHS Malvern Spring Festival has it all. We look forward to welcoming visitors to our stunning showcase of spring in May.”
The new vision for RHS Malvern Spring Festival takes inspiration from Malvern Spa’s Victorian heyday as a fashionable health resort – a place where day-trippers descended to take advantage of the clean air and to enjoy the health giving waters amongst the romantic beauty of the hills and into a town of pleasure gardens, assembly rooms and numerous eating-places.
Promising a bountiful day out for everyone, visitors can expect:
NEW FOR 2017
RHS Malvern Spring Festival boasts the UK’s longest Floral Marquee at over 195 metres – the equivalent length of four Olympic swimming pools. The Floral Marquee welcomes more than 65 leading UK and international nurseries, setting the horticultural standards with impressive displays of prized blooms and new varieties. Exhibitors in the Floral Marquee represent the very best in plants and advice available. Here visitors can browse and buy from the very best.
JOE SWIFT’S PLANT HUNTER PARLOUR
BBC Gardeners’ World presenter and acclaimed garden expert, Joe Swift brings to life a new centerpiece of the Floral Marquee – Joe’s Plant Hunter Parlour. This immersive experience like no other features daily talks from award winning nurseries and welcomes budding gardeners big and small to discover, learn and indulge their inner plant hunter.
Newly introduced for the very first time, this dedicated zone interprets and explores the theme of health and wellbeing in the 21st century.
JEKKA MCVICAR’S HEALTH & WELLBEING GARDEN
The centrepiece of the Live Well zone, British Queen of Herbs, Jekka McVicar designs and builds a specially commissioned permanent garden, bringing to life the role gardens continue to play in our health and sense of wellbeing. Jekka’s garden is a living working space for mind, body and senses.
The garden is both a tranquil seating space where visitors can spend time amongst the aromatic herb beds, and a place to learn and explore what living well meant in yesteryear and what it means today. Visitors are invited to join daily ‘herbal conversations’ with Jekka herself and explore the awe-inspiring world of alternative therapies. The garden is in support of Pathways, a day service for adults with learning disabilities and difficulties.
A horticultural experience by Jon Wheatley, RHS Gold Medal winning gardener and Chairman of RHS South West in Bloom, Grow takes inspiration from interactive Country gardens and wildflower borders, showcasing a variety of edible beds and bountiful Grow To Show competitions.
A brand new category introduced for the very first time to RHS Malvern Spring Festival, offering a unique platform for emerging gardening talent. Glorious gardens from up and coming designers bring to life the new vision and reflect the thirst for knowledge, new horizons and innovative technology at the heart of Malvern’s Victorian heritage. Gold Medal winning Chelsea garden designer, Jo Thompson is mentoring the new talent as they embark on this exciting new challenge. The Spa Gardens category also features one garden from an international designer supported by the esteemed Moscow Flower Show. This is part of a newly introduced exchange programme, which in return offers one selected British Spa Garden designer the once in a lifetime chance to showcase at Moscow Flower Show in July.
INDOOR SHOPPING ARCADES
A premium quality shopping experience, it is here that visitors can pick up unique pieces in fashion, furniture, homewares, horticulture, gifts and more from independent designers, craftsmen, artisans and artists.
An exciting open-air shopping experience with over 35 nurseries, each showcasing a wonderful array of plants. Plant steals aplenty can be found here, especially during the famous sell-off on Sunday.
MAKING A WELCOME RETURN
The heart of RHS Malvern Spring Festival featuring a colourful array of pleasure gardens, a bandstand of live music, an impressive collection of classic cars, an array of global flavours from the International Street Food Market, and plenty of places to picnic. It is here visitors rediscover the Victorian love of amusement, surprise and delight, alongside enjoying unique show gardens unlike any other.
Hosted by RHS Malvern Spring Festival favourite and award winning writer and broadcaster, James Alexander-Sinclair, the Festival Theatre plays host to a lively line up of leading experts and familiar faces. Visitors may take a seat and enjoy demonstrations, talks and exciting features as personalities share their knowledge and passion for all things gardening and food. Confirmed experts include Carol Klein, Joe Swift, Jekka McVicar and Jon Wheatley with plenty more to be announced soon.
The highest standard of garden design is showcased in the Show Gardens of RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017. Leading designers create awe-inspiring gardens as they compete for prestigious RHS accolades including Gold medals and the coveted Best In Show. RHS Malvern Spring Festival is famed as the show that raises the bar for design and horticultural talent with numerous RHS Gold medals awarded in 2016. This year is tipped to be no exception.
FOOD & DRINK PAVILION
A foodie hotspot, the Food & Drink Pavilion is a magnificent celebration of British tastes with bountiful offerings from the country’s best-loved artisan producers. Expect the freshest field produce, big cheeses, bread of heaven, specialty gins, decadent bakes and more.
KITCHEN GARDEN THEATRE
This animated live kitchen, hosted by Mark Diacono, showcases a line up of delicious cookery demonstrations from culinary experts and the country’s top chefs. Mark shares advice from his home farm cookery school, Otter Farm and experience as head gardener at River Cottage.
A hive of activity tailored to inspire the next generation of gardeners and horticulturalists with fun hands-on activities to help children learn and explore the wonderful world of plants and gardens.
Budding gardeners great and small are invited to get green fingered with a dedicated Family Day on the Sunday of RHS Malvern Spring Festival. This exciting and educational day with plenty of hands on activities is the ideal opportunity to engage children in the fun of gardening and the great outdoors. Expect Kids Cookery demonstrations, make and take crafts, Kids Plant and Grow workshops with BBC Blue Peter Gardener, Chris Collins and more.
RHS Malvern Spring Festival is one of the only RHS Shows in the UK to have a collection of Show Gardens designed and built entirely by young people. This year sees over 12 schools and educational groups from across the three counties taking part, led by BBC Blue Peter Gardener, Chris Collins.
RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017 will take place from Thursday 11 May until Sunday 14 May. For more information, please call 01684 584900 or visit
British Queen of Herbs, Jekka McVicar will unveil the first ever specially commissioned permanent garden at RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017. A magnificent centrepiece of the celebrated event’s all-new Live Well zone, Jekka’s garden will bring to life the contribution horticulture continues to make to our health and wellbeing in today’s bustling modern world. The Health & Wellbeing Garden will be launched when the show opens its gates on Thursday 11 May at the Three Counties Showground.#
RHS Ambassador for Health through Horticulture, Jekka McVicar said: “I am delighted to have been asked to create a lasting garden for RHS Malvern Spring Festival. I want the Health & Wellbeing Garden to be a usable and beautiful space that is embraced by people of all ages – a space for growth, education and reflection. With the Malvern Hills as a dramatic backdrop, RHS Malvern Spring Festival is such a beautiful place and because it’s at the start of the summer, it’s always a time of such optimism. It is a real privilege to bring this garden to life as part of such a dynamic and exciting show.”
Jekka’s Health & Wellbeing garden, as the focus for the new Live Well Zone, is inspired by the increasing need for reflection and escape from the stresses of modern life. It also seeks to preserve and share the vital knowledge of how horticulture and its associated therapies can help the mind, body and soul. The garden will be a living, working space with a tranquil seating area, where visitors can immerse themselves amongst the aromatic herb beds, and also educate themselves on the place that herbs and horticulture play in today’s society.
Head of RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Jane Furze said: “It is a real pleasure to be working with Jekka to build a garden not only for this year’s event, but also for the future. Jekka’s designs look spectacular and we cannot wait to see these brought to life and shared with our many visitors. The Health & Wellbeing Garden will no doubt be a real highlight of RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017 and for many years to come.”
Throughout the 4-days of RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Jekka will host daily ‘herb conversations’ in the garden, unearthing hidden gems from the world of alternative therapies, food and gardening. Jekka will also provide insights into herbs as the foundation of modern medicine, seeking to preserve the knowledge that over time is danger of being lost.
The Health & Wellbeing Garden is in support of Pathways, a work-focused day service for adults with learning disabilities and difficulties. Pathways use gardening and the environment as an educational tool to introduce young adults to the working world. Clients of Pathways benefit from gaining vital skills for entering the working world, these include trust, communication, interaction with peers, taking direction and responsibility for themselves and others.
Leaving a legacy, Jekka’s garden will provide Pathways with a nurturing space to continue their works in encouraging clients to grow. Throughout the show times, Pathways will sell plants and refreshments from the garden. Funds raised from these sales go towards covering the costs of the residential trip taken twice each year for clients of Pathways, a vital retreat for clients that contributes to their sense of wellbeing. Outside of show days, Pathways and local schools will host sessions in the garden. The garden aims to inspire visitors of all ages and abilities with engaging elements tailored for all.
Jekka’s design will incorporate the unique and flexible WoodBlocX system, specially selected to provide permanent raised bed structures to house the garden’s vast selection of herbs and edibles. The centrepiece of the garden contains four large planted sections featuring smooth curves constructed from the unique WoodBlocX system. WoodBlocX use sustainable, long-lasting, organic and FSC accredited wooden bricks, which can be used to create any shape such as the naturally fluid curves seen in Jekka’s elegant design.
Considered an unmatched expert by the UK’s top chefs and horticulturalists, Jekka McVicar is an enterprising British herb grower, organic gardening expert, author and broadcaster. Jekka’s Herb Farm, in nearby South Gloucestershire, boasts the largest collection of culinary herbs in the UK with more than 500 different varieties.
Alongside her RHS Ambassadorship for Health through Horticulture, Jekka’s accolades include 62 RHS Gold Medals, Garden Media Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and the RHS Lawrence Medal for the best exhibit shown at any RHS show in 2009. Jekka is also a Vice President of the RHS, Vice President of the Herb Society, is a founder member of the RHS Herb advisory group, and a member of the RHS Three Counties Agricultural Society Joint Committee. Jekka has herself exhibited at RHS Malvern Spring Festival since 1993 and has been a vital contributor to the team at Three Counties for over a decade.
RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2017 will take place from Thursday 11 May until Sunday 14 May. Tickets are now on sale. For more information and to book tickets, please call