Malvern Spring Gardening Show awards record golds and attracts 85,000

Judges awarded a record 47 gold medals at the 26th Malvern Spring Gardening Show last week.

Malvern Spring Gardening Show attracts 85,000 - image: RHS
Malvern Spring Gardening Show attracts 85,000 - image: RHS


Organisers the Three Counties Agricultural Society (TCAS) and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) said more than 85,000 visitors, slightly up on 2010’s attendance, came to the show to see 22  gardens, seven science-themed school gardens, television experts and trade stands.

HRH The Duke of Gloucester is TCAS President for this year, and visited the show on 13 May, seeing the Malvern Floral Marquee, the Eco Home & Garden Area, the Discovery Zone and the Show Gardens Arena.

In the show gardens arena, there were two RHS gold medals, six silver gilts (five in 2010), 12 silvers (11 last year) and three bronzes (four in 2010). There were 33 gold medals in the RHS Malvern floral marquee.

Award winners included:

  • The Lyn Downes Award for the Best Floral Marquee Exhibit was cacti by Southfield Nurseries of Lincolnshire. Stroud-based designer.
  • Stuart Gibbs of Graduate Gardeners won a gold medal and best show garden for ‘A Garden For Life’.
  • Fellow gold medal winner, Hannah Genders of Rous Lench in Worcestershire, designed ‘My Very Local Veg Garden’ and was voted ‘The People’s Choice’.
  • Runner up was Keni Lee’s ‘From Laozi to Heisenberg’, one of the gardens in the Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship (CBMS) competition, sponsored by Bradstone.
  • Best school garden was awarded to ‘The Land of Whacky Science’ by The Larches School (Clifford House Residential) of Leominster.
  • Winner of CBMS 2011 was Caroline Butler from Henley on Thames, Oxon, who designed an atom-themed garden ‘In The Balance’ as part of the competition, and can now look forward to a year-long apprenticeship with Beardshaw and the scholarship team.

BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Monty Don, chose Acton Mill Care Farm’s display as his favourite, while fellow presenter, Joe Swift opted for the work of Longlands Care Farm. Mike Dilger of BBC 1’s The One Show was taken with the Good Soil/Skillspace planter, Chris Beardshaw picked out the Ewe & You display, and Terry Walton went for the Nineveh Ridge Care Farm creation.

RHS shows development head Bob Sweet said:

"This year’s results are very exciting and actually quite amazing if you consider the kind of winter we have had. The display of slipper orchids on the Edrom Nursery stand is wonderful. I have never seen so many plants in perfect condition, or with so many flowers, at this show.

"The gardens are also superb this year, and all the judges agreed that Stuart Gibbs’ Garden for Life’ is something special; professionally designed and planted, and worthy of a place at Chelsea."

Tradestand TCAS gold winners were Countrywide Farmers, Pershore College and Garden Interest. Robin Higgins of Garden Interest, also took best in show.

First prize in the food and wine section went to The Victorian Kitchen and Creative Landscapes of Whitlenge Gardens at Hartlebury was first in the Gardeners’ Shopping Pavilion.

The 2012 Malvern Spring Gardening Show took place between May 10 and May 13.


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