Malvern Autumn Show raises the bar

Royal Horticultural Society judges awarded a total of 24 Gold medals in the Flower Show - 6 more than in 2009, and the best tally since 1996. In spite of a turbulent climate this year, the Gold medal blooms were described as 'blemish-free' and of the highest quality possible.

The Show's popular Harvest Pavilion was in the spotlight again, thanks to the sterling efforts of the Fortey family from Cwmbran, Torfaen.

Brothers Kevin and Gareth smashed the current UK record for the Heaviest Marrow with a monster specimen weighing in at a staggering 77.4 kg (171 lbs), while Kevin's son, Jamie Courtney Fortey set a new record with his enormous sunflower head measuring 64" in circumference.

The Show's Good Life Pavilion featured five edible gardens this year, with the highest accolade - a Silver Gilt medal - and 'Best In Show' going to HMP Hewell's 'Pathway to Progression' garden which was inspired by the Restorative Justice Programme, and highlighted the Prisoner's journey to rehabilitation.

Peter Biggs from Wiltshire, won a Silver Medal for 'The Rabbit Keeper's Garden', Stephen Dennis of Loughborough won a Bronze for his modern market kitchen garden, 'Cucina', and Rhian Thompson and Reg Perkins of Worcestershire's Sight Concern secured a Very Highly Commended award for 'Vegetables for Vision'.

 Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship (CBMS) 2010 winner, Maria Luisa Medina from Bromley in Kent, was awarded a Bronze medal for the Bradstone Fusion Garden.

Highlight of the Good Life Pavilion this year was a beautiful kitchen garden stage designed by Mark Diacono of Otter Farm in Devon. Complementing the Stage was an authentic working coppice garden designed by CBMS Scholar 2009, Paul Hervey-Brookes and Chris Greenwood from Poultry Park.

Mark joined BBC Gardeners' World presenter, Joe Swift, on stage over the weekend to talk about growing exotic vegetables alongside standard allotment produce.

The duo were joined by forager, John Wright, silk producer, William Hyett and homeopath, Delny Britton, who gave a series of informative and highly entertaining talks and demonstrations.

In the Commercial Apples & Pears competition, Mr. Colin Broomfield of Worcester and Clive's Fruit Farm of Upton upon Severn, were first prize winners. Clive's Fruit Farm also won the Fruit Juice Blend class, joining  other winners, Hilters Fruit Farm of Newent, which scooped first prize for its Cox & Bramley, and Court Farm, Tillington - awarded first prize for its Discovery.

Severn Cider won the People's Choice Award in the Perry competition, with Westons taking second place and Oliver's Cider & Perry coming in third.

In the Floral Art Competition, Mrs Alexander of Caerphilly and the Gloucester Flower Arrangement Society, Cheltenham, won Gold medals.

The Giant Vegetable classes in the Harvest Pavilion attracted entries from around the country; Wales, Nottinghamshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.

Mr. Mark Raymont, who had travelled all the way from Padstow in Cornwall, won the Heaviest Pumpkin which weighed in at a massive 362 kg!

Visitor numbers, which reached 63,000 in 2009, were down this year, to 58,000, but Chief Executive, Nick Vincent, said he wasn't surprised.

He said: "The cold weather coupled with uncertainty in the economy almost certainly contributed to a downturn in our final footfall this year, but in terms of quality, the event was first-class. We have received many letters of thanks and congratulations, and feedback from traders, exhibitors and visitors has been excellent. All in all it was a very successful Show."

For all the Malvern Autumn Show results, please visit the web site:


Article posted on 27 Sep 2010.

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