What’s on at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2024

One of the first major shows of the year, the RHS Malvern Spring Festival opens the doors to the gardening season, set amongst the picturesque Malvern Hills.

RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2023
credit: Ludlow Photography

Taking place on the 9th-12 of May, the RHS Malvern Spring Festival provides visitors with a variety of show gardens, gardening know-how in the talks theatres, access to specialist nurseries and growers, artisan food producers, live entertainment and the promise of the very best of lifestyle, garden and homeware shopping.

Highlights of the 2024 show programme include:

  • Floral Marquee: The 190m Floral Marquee will host over 60, carefully selected exhibitors. The floral marquees are the backbone of all the flowers shows, which not only provide access to a range of independent nurseries and their plants, but also an opportunity to share in their infinite plant wisdom. The effort and sacrifice involved for nurseries in exhibiting, for a coveted RHS Medal, is too often underestimated. Keen plant purchasers can take advantage of the free porter and plant creche service to be hands-free throughout the show and purchases can be transported to visitor cars when ready.
  • Show and feature gardens: There are eight RHS Judged show gardens at the show this year, promising an eclectic mix of designs reflecting traditional and contemporary concepts. The 2024 feature garden, The Secret Escape, designed by Jamie Langlands – Lead Designer at Oxford Garden Design. He returns to the show after winning the 2023 Best Show Garden, Best Construction Award and the People’s Choice Best Show Garden Award. Langlands hidden garden will feature an unconventional dance floor surrounded by the sights of nature and the sound of music, and a horse box converted into a bar. Access to this one-of-a-kind garden is through a ‘disco polytunnel’ filled with greenery, mirror ball casting kaleidoscopic reflections, surrounded by wild and unkempt planting to act as a disguise for this hidden treasure.
  • New Festival of Houseplants: In collaboration with Green Rooms Market, the festival is located in the new Kildare Hall, providing an indoor oasis of top-quality independent house plant shops and expert growers to offer guidance and advice. As well as the chance to shop, there will be a series of experiences, workshops and demonstrations from special guests, including Sarah Gerrard-Jones, Ben Newell, Joe Bagley and Jonny Balchandani.
  • Horticultural expert talks: Highlights of this year’s special guest line-up include Alan Titchmarsh MBE, Adam Frost and Frances Tophill, Ellen Mary, James Alexander-Sinclair, Jekka McVicar, and chefs Marcus Bean and Joe Woodhouse.
  • Plastic pot swap: This year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival theme is ‘Gardening for Change’, so it’s apt that the plastic pot swap will make a return to this year’s festival in a bid to help visitors reduce their single use plastic and garden in a more environmentally considerate way. Two pot-swapping stations, located next to the Floral Marquee’s Plant Crèche and within the Plant Village, will offer shoppers the opportunity to exchange plastic containers for biodegradable POSIpot transportation sleeves, which can be planted straight into the ground. All the plastic pots collected during the festival will be recycled after the long weekend.
  • Tips & Tricks Theatre: Hosted by Leigh Johnstone and a range of experts sharing their top tips for growing your own edible produce, clever ways to save costs and handy tips for upcycling, reusing and mending. Jason Williams will share advice on ways to transform grey spaces into green ones, with actionable ideas to try at home for those living in apartments and flats with limited outdoor space.
  • Food: The new ‘Garden Shed’ provides a dining experience, looking out over the Malvern Hills. These new, luxury dining sheds can accommodate between 2 – 6 people with set menus featuring freshly prepared dishes. The Bluebell Bistro will return for 2024 and will be offering guests new breakfast and afternoon tea options, in addition to its popular lunch menu. Visitors will be well-catered for, with gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan options available throughout the showground. Located between the Kildare Hall and Avon Hall, the Digbeth Dining Club debuts for 2024, having gained a stellar reputation for curating popular street food events by bringing together the best independent local food traders with DJs, live music and unique venues to create a one-of-a-kind dining experience.