I am so lucky to live where I do and days like today just remind me of this. My eldest and I decided at very short notice that we fancied going to the Malvern Autumn Show. It is literally a 5 minute drive from home so we were able to arrive as the second day of the show was opening and beat the crowds.
I haven’t been to the Autumn Show for some years, there always seems to be something clashing with it. We stopped first in the Harvest Pavilion where the serious showing happens. As you can see we have everything from vegetables through to dahlias. To the other side of this pavilion is the ‘Open Competition’ for a whole range of plants such as succulents, alpines, foliage, roses etc. I have quite a few pics of these as I have been thinking for a few years now of entering. We sussed out the competition so now I have a good idea of the standard I am aiming for.
Whilst I might be thinking of entering an aeonium or two I really take my hat off to those growers who can produce a trug of vegetables like these – sheer perfection. I would be chuffed to get 4 ripe tomatoes let alone 5 matching ones or even a whole trug of matching perfection.
Its not all competitive vegetable and flower growing; the show is very much a local country show that has grown over the years. Elsewhere there are pigs being paraded, as well as sheep, cows, rabbits and goats but our preference was to watch the agility dogs and later the gun dogs who were having a lovely time showing off.
But much as I could watch the dogs for ages the plants inevitably call and we found ourselves in another pavilion which focussed on growing your own (I think). As you entered there was this display by the National Dahlia Society which I thought was pretty special. It really shows how dahlias can be used to create a wonderful exotic look – the colour seems a little blown on this photo possibly due to the lighting in the marquee.
Whilst the dahlias were impressive I was quickly distracted by the Jacques Armand display. My poor son was suffering from my bulb addiction as I had already bought a considerable number of bulbs from Rose Cottage who had been relocated to the Produce Pavilion having lost their marquee in the wind yesterday. There is always something interesting to buy and between the two nurseries I came away with a good haul of tulips for the front garden, some more colchicums – Nancy Lindsay and Dick Trotter, a large Scilla and some punky looking muscari.
At the far side of the show ground to where we parked we came to the nurseries. The number of nurseries both inside and out have grown considerably over the 15 years I have been going to the show. There is now a reasonable number exhibiting inside under cover with large displays. I was really pleased for my friend Helen Picton who was awarded another Gold for her display of asters. I was also rather entranced my the Tale Valley display as it combined all the plants I love; ferns and bulbs and lots of wonderful foliage – food for thought.