Gardeners can refurbish their frazzled borders and stock up on bulbs for some spring colour when the Malvern Autumn Show, in association with Westons Cider Mill, returns from 23 – 25 September at Three Counties Showground, Worcestershire.
Specialist nurseries from all over the UK are heading for the event’s Gardening Village with a variety of impressive displays and hands-on advice, offering inspiration for seasoned growers and newbies alike.
The stunning RHS Flower Show in the Floral Marquee, the Plant Arcade and the Bulb Market all contribute to what promises to be a plant lovers paradise. Autumn is a great time to plan ahead for the seasons to come, and the floral marquee will host plenty of nurseries offering rare and unusual plants.
Autumn colour will abound with the return of Old Court Nurseries and The Picton Garden, which is based in Malvern. This Michaelmas daisy specialist will be displaying a variety of Symphyotrichum species and cultivars, and a selection of tender succulents.
Nerines and amarines are favourites at this time of the year and there will be plenty to admire among those showcased by South Yorkshire-based Hoyland Plant Centre. Steve Hickman and his team will also be showing off their collection of agapanthus.
HW Hyde from West Sussex is hoping to exhibit ‘Barbarry Aloha’, a new dahlia with unusual smoky red flowers bred in the UK by Barry Davies. They’ll also have several new tulips, including ‘Hot Chocolate’, the pure black ‘Nightmare’ and the lilac-hued ‘Fringed Beauty’.
Other nurseries providing outstanding autumn additions include Staddon Farm Nurseries from Devon, with ferns and hakonechloa grasses, and toad lilies, Tricyrtis hirta, which produces funnel-shaped flowers from late summer. More ferns and tree ferns can be found at Alchemy Ferns, based in York; Wiltshire’s The Botanic Nursery will be showing off rough-leaved hydrangea H. aspera and late-flowering salvias, and Hardy’s Cottage Plants will be coming from Hampshire with a wealth of seasonal flowering herbaceous perennials.
Get ready for a summer of roses by visiting the stand of Cheshire’s C&K Jones, and select colourful climbers from the ranges brought along by Priorswood Clematis from Hertfordshire and Wiltshire’s Floyd’s Climbers and Clematis. Marcel Floyd is looking forward to sharing advice on how to get the most from plants, with tips on pruning, feeding and growing conditions, and he’ll be bringing along the popular tangutica-type clematis ‘Black Tibet’, which blooms from late summer.
Be inspired by the display of vegetables grown by Preston-based family firm W Robinson & Son and make the most of the opportunity to stock up on seeds. Susan Robinson and her colleagues will have a range of unusual vegetables, including the bitter gourd known as ‘karella’, the kiwano horned melon, trichoscanthes pointed gourd, cucamelona and luffa (loofah). Their range of chillies extends from mild to very hot and they stock many types of tomatoes and onions.
Susan Robinson commented: “The trend at the moment is to grow something which is easy and useful. Many vegetables can be grown in a small space. As always, the-cut-and-come-again veg such as spinach, chard and kale are very popular, and salad leaves are popular and quicker to grow than the webs and cos types.
“Due to the current problem with the onion leaf miner, the autumn-planting onions are gaining popularity. At the moment many customers are planting vegetables for use over the winter months, such as purple sprouting broccoli, leeks and Brussels sprouts.”
For bonsai lovers there will be a wealth of tiny trees to marvel over, with stands from Derbyshire Bonsai and Driftwood Bonsai from Yorkshire, while people looking to extend their collection of indoor plants will find plenty of cacti and succulents on the stands of West Bromwich-based Craig House Cacti and Fosters Exotic and Unusual Plants from Scunthorpe. Stan and Vicky from Craig House will be highlighting a selection of the genus Conophytum, which came from the collection of the late Terry Smale, a renowned grower of these plants.
The autumn season is the time to stock up on spring-flowering bulbs, and there will be daffodils, tulips and lilies a-plenty in the bulb market, along with inspiring displays of colourful dahlias.
Special guests handing out advice, tips and tricks across the long weekend include Gardener’s World favourites Arit Anderson, Adam Frost and Frances Tophill, award-winning food writer Mark Diacono, floristry extraordinaire Jonathan Moseley and archeologist and TV presenter Jules Hudson.
The Malvern Autumn Show is a gardening haven and so much more, including the mouth-watering Food & Drink Village, entertainment for all ages on the Family Green, plus the ever-popular CANNA UK Giant Vegetables Championship, promising an unforgettable day out. Advance tickets are £18.85 per person, £17.85 for members and free of charge for children under 16. For further information about the Malvern Autumn Show, including full programme details, or to book tickets in advance, see www.malvernautumn.co.uk or call 01684 584900.