What was on show in the Spring Festival's biggest-ever Floral Marquee
Boasting spectacular displays from the finest specialist nurseries across the country and measuring the equivalent length of almost four Olympic swimming pools, the Floral Marquee welcomed 69 leading growers.
Setting the horticultural standard at the start of the 2017 season, visitors were able to see new features, the RHS Master Grower exhibit featuring Fibrex Nurseries, five brand new nurseries and a host of new plant varieties.
Head of RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Jane Furze said:
“It was a fantastic opportunity to marvel at breathtaking displays that these specialist nurseries produce and it was the first chance to get your hands on brand new varieties launched at the show.”
Plant Finder Parlour
BBC television presenter and garden designer, Joe Swift, designed a unique centrepiece for the RHS Malvern Floral Marquee. This central feature invited visitors to explore and discover the amazing world of plants with daily talks from award-winning nurseries and gardening experts, including an original one-man show by celebrated author, journalist and broadcaster, Matthew Biggs. Matthew took on the personas of two of our most famous plant hunters, Ernest Wilson and George Forrest in an animated performance.
In keeping with the new vision for RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Joe’s Plant Finder Parlour took inspiration from the Victorian era when Malvern enjoyed fame as a fashionable spa resort. At that time, Victorian plant hunters were busy scouring the globe, risking life and limb, to bring new exotic discoveries back to the UK. Many of the decendants from their original finds will be featured in the Parlour.
This new RHS initiative champions the longstanding nurseries of Floral Marquees and was introduced to RHS Malvern Spring Festival this year. The RHS Master Grower award recognises nurseries that grow plants using sound and skilful production methods.
The award at RHS Malvern 2017 went to Fibrex Nurseries, specialists in pelargoniums, ivies, hardy ferns and hellebores. Fibrex have exhibited at the show from the very beginning - more than 30 years – and their display was a focal point of the RHS Malvern Spring Festival Floral Marquee.
Fibrex worked in collaboration with the RHS to narrate their story, taking visitors behind the scenes at the nursery and introducing the dedicated professionals who make the business possible.
As well as exhibiting those must-haves and the difficult to find plants, the Floral Marquee previewed exciting new varieties for 2017 including:
A new Aquilegia ‘Swan’ series in a range of colours grown especially for RHS Malvern Spring Festival by The Botanic Nursery
New varieties of hostas from Brookfield Plants
A new hydrangea by Cooks Garden Centre
New varieties of streptocarpus from Dibleys Nurseries
Clematis ‘Reiko’ by Floyds Climbers and Clematis
New varieties of heuchera, heucherella and tiarella by Plantagogo
Epimedium ‘Rhubarb & Custard’ by Straight Mile Nursery Gardens
Alongside veteran exhibitors, RHS Malvern Spring Festival also welcomed five newcomers to RHS Malvern to exhibit in the prestigious Floral Marquee for the first time – these included: