I've always loved going to Garden shows. - BW (before William) it was part of our summer season. - Chelsea Flower show, Wimbledon Tennis, Boat Race, Hampton Court, Cricket at the Oval..... (not in heels and hats you understand, but anyone can get into those events if they Q in the right places!)
When I was an RHS employee, I got complimentary tickets, and I've been know to go to Chelsea twice in a week and Hampton Court 4 times (2ce when I was working on a stand, once when I went on my own and once with family) in a week. So the London area shows were familiar to me as a Surrey girl, and a trek to the NEC was also added occasionally, but it was only a couple of years ago that we discovered the Malvern Show.
As the show ground is only 40 mins drive from the in-laws, it's a perfect place for us to spend a day out without a little one in tow, and it's a lot more relaxed day out than the more formal Chelsea week which follows on a couple of weeks later.
Hubby and I go to Flower shows for completely different reasons. He wants to see the latest gadgets, tools, water features, chicken houses and food and wine stalls. I'm there for the plants, - in the gardens, in the floral marquees and on the nursery stands.
Between us it means that we do tend to do the whole length of the showground (with the exception of the jumpers and the old ladies coats stands!) At Malvern that is quite a distance to cover, as it's on the 3 counties show ground, and it is set over a vast area, but for a show so early in the season, I was amazed to see so much in full flower. Plenty of Iris, Aqueligia, Dicentra and Epimedium taking centre stage in the show gardens and plant tents.
I'm sure we did lots of shopping, as I didn't take many pictures!
Since our first visit in 2008 we've been twice more (to the Autumn shows where there are mountains of bulbs for sale) but this year for the first time i'm going on my own without my husband, - the reason.....
Well for the last 2 years i've been writing about what I do on this blog, and passing on some hints and tips about things i've seen in mine and other gardens I work in. I've also been reading a whole load of information from other gardeners of all types all over the UK and the world, and communicating with a lot of them via twitter, and that means i'm part of a group known as Garden bloggers. This year at the RHS Malvern Flower show, there are going to be a whole load of bloggers meeting for the first time, and this is because of the fine work of Helen and Michelle AKA Vegplotting and the Patient gardener. who have encouraged us all to Meet at Malvern.
It's really exciting, and a little bit like meeting a pen pal, - these are people who i've read their blogs, i've shared what they are doing in their tweets, I've seen pictures of their gardens, and I know their love for all things gardening AND, we get to meet at a flower show as well. - I've got Friday 7th May highlighted in my diary, and a bed booked at the in-laws the night before so that I can get an early start. I promise i'll take more pictures this year, and share them with you, plus i'm hoping for loads of bargains so i'll come home with a full car.