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Sunday, 15 May 2011

Final Day at Malvern

a very simple group of cottage garden flowers in the 'Garden in Harmony Theatre'
The sun has shone, my feet are weary, there have been problems with 'Blogger' and yet I'm on the last lap my my self-imposed Blogathon. It's all been so enjoyable; and I've had the privilege of being here for all four days. Exceptional here this year has been the Garden in Harmony Theatre programme of talks and discussions, with an emphasis on bio-diversity. My WiFi time has almost elapsed, and I still have another post to write, but the pic that follows demonstrates how popular these talks were.

many of the talks were interactive; with aspects from the show appearing on screen

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Exhausted !

Who's been on a plant-buying spree?

Friday at Malvern was equally frenetic, forever dashing from one end of the Showground to another, to interview various people, chat to others, and endeavour to be in more than one place simultaneously. I was VERY GOOD and only succumbed to one plant – a pure white Ragged Robin. Others had clearly come plant hunting; Malvern has always been a plant-lovers Show, a paradise for searching out the unusual. My garden of recent years has of necessity become vegetable-orientated (because that is where my writing commissions lie). But I miss the massed flourish of my flowers and managed to sneak one mixed bed into my ‘eco-garden’, on the basis that you need flowers to attract beneficial insects. So the shrub rose scents the evening air, and the foxglove co-habits – at last I really do have foxgloves actually in flower, taking me back to childhood when we fitted the bells like gloves over our fingers.

We've all been spending, so ... shall we phone  for a taxi?
P.S. Other Malvern posts on each of my other blogs - please click as you wish (see the list on the right)

Friday, 13 May 2011

Learning Something New

meeting other garden bloggers - writers and publishers

Press Day (Thursday) at the Show and a question of trying to double-book myself – there is so much to do here, so much to see, so much to photograph. And people to talk too – blogging friends and acquaintances, other journalists, book publishers. All here on their own trail of  enjoyment and experience.

I listened to a fascinating talk by Jekka McVicar on herbs that were once wildlings (my term not hers): she as trying to encourage her audience to grow more native species, saying that there are “a plethora of native wild flowers which are edible and beneficial to our native insects” – bees and hoverflies etc. If they grow well in the wild in your area, they should flourish in the garden. From her truncated list (the theatre programme was cut short), there are only two that I do not grow (sea fennel and seakale) for the simple reason that we do not live near the sea!). She explained that you can allow a herb to grow that you consider to be a weed, simply by clearing space around it.

herbs in Jekka's circular display bed at the Show - there's still time to visit and purchase
Here is her list – you’ll have to purchase a copy of  her new book to read about how to use them: thyme, oregano, fennel, comfrey, wild garlic, hedge garlic, cleavers (goosegrass), meadowsweet, salad burnet, caraway, yarrow, chamomile, feverfew, marsh mallow, musk mallow, angelica, field poppy, flax, chicory, dandelion, sea fenel, sea kale, red valerian, ground ivy, ivy-leaved toadflax, horseradish.

Blogger was offline on Thursday evening, hence this late post; written but not published immediately.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Three down and one to go

Malvern again: the 2011 'RHS Spring Gardening Show' - the point last year that 'Grandma's Garden' came into being. With this blog updated in name, I am back here, even though the Show does not open until tomorrow. And what a Show it will be: so many new features; such show gardens, and this year spread all around the Showground - no single focus. It's a 'green' show; more so than ever. And even though we (Raymond and I) will be here for all four days, I do not know how I can possibly cover or report on it all. Today is just a taster.

So what I plan to do is to blog every day of the Show - on all four of my blogs: quite a 'blogathon' in fact. (I've already posted on three of them this evening, hence this post's title). I only hope the showground WiFi is cooperative; it was a bit tricky earlier on. Each blog post (there should be sixteen in all) will be different, no duplication; my blogs all interact, so if you want to follow my 'Malvern Trail', please click from one blog to another. Until tomorrow ...

Photos: Above left - quirky bird-feeders along the pathway leading to the rustic stage within the 'Garden in Harmony' theatre. There are two paths, both garden borders are different, though each with flowers, herbs, vegetables and trees. Above right - the 'Shepherd's Garden' in the Eco-Living area: a shepherd's hut in the background, a wild-garden adjacent, and in front an enclosed vegetable patch (the enclosure a living wall, clad in fleece of many colours.