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L I V E 2 4 -SE V EN


THROUGH THE GA RDEN GAT E THE MALVERN AUTUMN SHOW


Camilla Bassett-Smith, our media horticulturalist, shares her tales from an end of season gardeners’ highlight…


The Malvern Hills provide a backdrop like no other to an event which offered the perfect end to a season of sensational shows.


I had never before attended The Malvern Autumn Show, being a regular at only the spring time version. This year, thanks to Gloucestershire’s fabulous Silver Ball PR, I headed off across the county border from Cheltenham for some inspiration for the year ahead.


Over 68,000 people visited the event this year and judging from the smiles as wide as a runner bean, I don’t think they left disappointed!


Giant veg was on everyone’s lips (well not physically of course) from record breaking 42kg celery and outstanding onions to the world’s heaviest red cabbage – someone’s going to be overrun with pickles on a plate this Christmas!


I expected to see plantsmen and women proffering their plants – and some beauties there were too, with over 50 nurseries in the Floral Marquee. As editor of The Daffodil Society I of course took the opportunity to add to my bulb collection, with Narcissi, Colchicum and tulips; the latter I shall be leaving until December to plant as this lessens the chance of tulip fire, a fungal infection you can well do without!


What I wasn’t expecting was quite as much variety as was on offer across the showground. Vintage engines chugged, classic cars gleamed and dance classes were in full swing. A funfair enticed passers-by with all the lure of an ice-cream van chime and a Shire horse, mule and host of other animals awaited attention. The vintage lawn mowers were fabulous to see; my father has a particular love of the grass cutting machines and I am well-versed in the language of Atco or John Deere. The display included examples from Gloucestershire’s own Edwin Beard Budding, who actually invented the lawn mower in 1830.


Christmas was not far away in the minds of sellers, with crafts fit for the perfect gift available from the likes of the Herefordshire Guild of Crafts and Cotswold Craftsmen. Outside I spotted a team of garden reindeer all lined up and ready to be re-homed!


At this time of year, my mind often turns to garden sculpture and there were plenty to peruse here. I adored the towering Agapanthus from Leominster’s Peter King and the Sandstone Water Feature from Tor Stone, like a massive shiny marble which could come to a pleasing standstill in your garden spot of choice. There are a few permanent gardens on site and the Alchemy


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