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Biodiversity at the Malvern Show


by Kate Bradbury

As someone who is potty about wildlife gardening, I was more than a little happy to learn that biodiversity was the central theme at this year's Malvern Spring Gardening Show.


Allium flower going to seedAs someone who is potty about wildlife gardening, I was more than a little happy to learn that biodiversity was the central theme at this year's Malvern Spring Gardening Show. Between now and Sunday there's plenty to keep gardeners and wildlife enthusiasts entertained, from talks and demonstrations in the new Garden in Harmony Theatre, to 'biodiverse' show gardens and dedicated nature-friendly plant nurseries.

It was my first trip to Malvern. First stop was the Garden in Harmony Theatre, which featured raised beds planted with nectar plants and companion planting schemes. 'An audience with Mathew Wilson' warmed up the crowd before Jekka McVicar presented a lecture on growing and eating native plants. I wish I could have stayed for the rest of the weekend, as there are talks and demonstrations on all of my favorite subjects, including organic herbs and planting, garden wildlife, bees, butterflies and nature-friendly garden designs, all hosted by Katie Johnson and James Alexander-Sinclair, who has a sexy new haircut.

There was an interesting mix of show gardens, including the rather strange Garden Before Time, which consisted of a giant pterodactyl towering above prehistoric plants mulched with coal. Favourites included 'My Very Local Veg Garden', which was made using plants and materials sourced from within cycling distance of designer Hannah Genders's home. I also liked the Garden For Life, designed by Stuart Gibbs. It was lovely to see a wildlife-friendly family garden, as the two themes aren't often seen together. The Gardeners' World TV crew was camped outside it for a large portion of the day, so look out for it on tonight's programme (13 May, 2011).

Talking of diversity, the warm spring has ensured that the plant marquee has a much greater range of plants than you would normally find at Malvern. Lots of summer-flowering plants were on show, and there was a rather spectacular display of flowering cacti. What will be in flower for Chelsea I wonder?



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Gardeners' World Web User 13/05/2011 at 16:35

Just spent two fab days at the Malvern Show - there is so much to see it takes that long and we still didn't see all the show gardens. Matthew Wilson didn't just warm the crowd - he was HOT!! Was that a new haircut James Alexander Sinclair had? I thought it was a syrup! I may wish we had noted Matthew Wilson's warning about not buying damp shade loving plants for our hot dry garden but sometimes you just can't resist...

Gardeners' World Web User 13/05/2011 at 17:38

I am really fed up that I can't get to the show, still I am busy tring to get things done in my own garden and shall watch the show tonight, dissapointed that it's only on for half an hour, would have liked it to be more in depth. would be better than all that football that they keep churning out.

Gardeners' World Web User 14/05/2011 at 07:43

Couldn't agree with you more kaycurtis, there is far too much football on. I love watching all the specials from the different gardening shows that Gardeners World do as I am unable to go to go to any of them, and yes half an hour isn't long enough an hour would be a lot better but love it anyway.

Gardeners' World Web User 14/05/2011 at 07:52

Being a very keen advocate of biodiversity I would love to have been at the Malvern Show with the opportunity to meet the team but we have our Alpine Garden Society Group summer outing on Sunday, and one cannot afford everything when one is saving up for a potager to be built. I would not have been able to resist buying some of those lovely alpines Carol pointed out. No doubt I will return from Dewstow Gardens with some more ferns for the fernery and from the Welsh National Botanic Gardens with new plans for the future. When I visited last year I embarked on a slate garden as their's was so beautiful in the rain! You could see from the TV coverage how open and easy to get round the Malvern Show is, and it always offers a great day out.

Gardeners' World Web User 14/05/2011 at 09:19

I have made a promise to myself to visit our local gardens, close by we have Crook Hall and Alnick garden. Went to Alnick before it was finished, will go again. Can some one explain what is biodiversity.

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