Monday, 10 May 2010

Trip to MALVERN ~ #1 The Show itself

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed myself but it would seem it's just me, I didn't get it, I didn't think the show was terribly wonderful and full of inspiration. I'm telling it here as it was for me, as with everything you are free and indeed encouraged to find out for yourself.....

Pros -
** The parking was free and super easy, really the whole event was organised to a T and really couldn't be faulted at all. Although there were a heck of a lot of people there, it never felt too crowded and that's saying something coming from me (one who hates crowds).

One of the greenhouses Andrew needs in his life.

** The main show tent was fabulous. We were there on Friday, arriving at 11.30 and leaving at 5.30. We watched a good few shows and bits of others. The lady compère was fun and could talk for Britain - she was lovely. The Three Men Went to Mow painting skit for charity was brilliant! I kept realising I was grinning inanely AND the best man won (James, with is masterpiece of fingerpainting - bold, colourful and innovative; I voted twice for his piece). I also witnessed Cleve holding a chicken that much to everyone's surprise laid an egg straight into his hand. The 3 of them (James Alexander-Sinclair, Cleve West and Joe Swift) really are utterly lovely and instantly likeable.

** The Recovery and Wellbeing Garden  (by the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust) won a Gold Medal and was People's Choice on Friday. Here's some pics; there's chickens in the black shed and the tiles were handmade by the clients of the programme but nowhere did it mention how incredibly beneficial to mental health such an activity as their allotment programme is - it was just infered by the title, which most people hadn't bothered to read, they just knew it as the 'tile one'....

 ECOTHERAPY ROCKS!  I was so desperate for Ecotherapy to be shown off at the show (a lot of exhibitors and sellers had no idea what it is!! = I must work harder!)

** Oh, the craft and food halls - yummmy. It was very lucky that we didn't bring much money with us and that the ATM machines were empty. Plus there was the issue of us flying home and all those silly restrictions; so many things were too fragile, too big, too expensive or indeed smelly  (cheeses and meat products etc) to put in our suitcase. But the talent of those in the 3 counties is amazing and boy can they make great sloe gin and damson gin (I was given lots to try - for medicinal reasons of course).

** Everyone was super duper friendly, even before the tipsy fruit drinks.

** Exquisite flowers and plants were everywhere in the main floral tent. Oh you couldn't move without falling in love with something else. Of course the tulips and acers were stunning the socks off me. We really couldn't bring any plants home so looking at seeds was the next best option. What we desparately wanted had sold out but we got contact details :) Plus I now have a love for alpines.

** Food prices were a little steep but was of excellent quality and that kind of makes up for it. Everything organic and locally made, so even that big chocolate brownie Andrew and I shared must have been healthy - right??

** The Meet@Malvern bloggers - were polite and friendly. I got big hugs from the lovely VP, Helen and Karen. It was funny to see fellow bloggers as it is hard to put a face to names such as Happy Mouffetard or VP for example. Though many (and I was told this myself) looked just like the photos of themselves, hahaha. Plus James was wonderful - hugs galore and we shared a biscuit moment; that man could charm a snake!

The setting - oh my goodness the Malvern hills are hypnotic, the trees and the constant play of light across them - just heaven......

Now the Cons-

** Something I will not dwell upon of course, but as with everything, where there are ups, there will also be downs. And the biggest one, the most glaringly obvious one was....a severe lack of show gardens! I know, it sounds daft but there really was a shortage and more than that I found many of the ones there to be uninspiring, terribly cluttered with too many uncomplimentary hard lanscaping materials and sorry Mr Beardshaw but, stupid and clumsy in a few cases.

** Andrew and I were pretty much the youngest people there, bar those being dragged around by their parents, crying! Plus the overall demographic didn't seem to fit us - we are not super rich, large acreage owning people with a desire to dress like the Royal family on a day out at Balmoral and to grow our seedlings or house our chickens in buildings more expensive than the average new posh car (no matter how well made and designed they were). Though on  the other side to that were the many cheap and nasty market stalls at the entrance, these were equally as depressing.

Don't want to end on a sour note though. I'm glad we went, glad to see one of the 'big RHS shows' and very glad to have (albeit, briefly) met some fellow blogger friends. Special thanks to VP and Helen, James and Wiggly Wigglers.

More on our travels tomorrow, with better photos xx


  1. It is good to view things in its totality. The left and right, the good and bad, the pros and cons. It's like smelling heavenly fragrance of a beautiful rose and at the same time be wary of sharp thorns.
    Cheers, have a great day!

  2. Hiya, Love your Blog and I look forward to stopping by again soon for some tips!

  3. I'm sorry not to have met you but I am rather with you on the show gardens. Loved the ecotherapy one unreservedly but thought many of the others were a bit dull. Loved the floral tent and the chance to talk to some of the nursery owners though. I think I needed more time and more layers of warm clothes too!

  4. Well, Carrie, I am so glad you got to go and enjoyed meeting fellow garden bloggers at least. It is weird about the paucity of show gardens; maybe it's more of a get-together to buy plants and seeds than to see what designers can do? Still, seeing all those tulips and Japanese maples must have been lovely, and I am glad to see a big grin on your face. :D

    Bangchik's comment sums it up brilliantly; doesn't it?

  5. Bangchik - as always you are right xxx

    Mamma syder - welcome and do come back and visit! Glad you feel surrounded by love these days ;)

    Elizabethm - hugs and I wrote on your blog x

    Meredith - Bangchik is always right! hehe.
    I did have a good time, that smile was geninue and very geeky! xxx

  6. Looks like you had a good time and met loads of people, haven't made up my mind if I'm a show sort of person, suppose I'll have to go to one and find out!

  7. I confess I don't go for the show gardens, although I did love the main garden this year with all its curves. I tend to go mad with my cheque book, get horrifically overdrawn and end up with lots of plants and nowhere to put them. This year was much better - perhaps the rain helped as I didn't succumb to my impulsive desire for every plant on offer.
    I should also confess to enjoying feeling much younger than average in the RHS tent as that is a rare feeling these days (when your GP looks like a 12 year old).
    God I'm shallow!


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