I visited the the RHS Malvern Spring Festival on the 12th May. Then I crashed really hard, and brane not do werdz, so time to catch up! The festival has show gardens, sculptures, art and crafts, clothes, plant stalls, and food and drink stands (including a gin truck). This year it also featured the amazing woolly Work of Heart garden.
I met the lovely Clare Young, who created the knitted garden. She was very sweet and generous and humoured me by enthusiastically posing with my own travelling monster, Mr. Bobbles. Clare started knitting after her husband Ken died, as part of her treatment for depression and PTSD. She created the Work Of Heart garden to raise money for the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice that cared for her husband. You can read more about her story and how the garden came to be at the Work Of Heart website. There is also a twitter feed, FB page and instagram account.
I also spotted a few of the hearts I made for the project hanging from the memorial trees. It’s nice to feel like I helped, even a tiny bit!
The show has displays of garden art. These huge steel and glass flower sculptures are by Jenny Pickford
. I loooooove them.
You can feel like a fairy standing under these giant bluebells! Love the fact that they are the wild British ones too (not the invasive Spanish bluebell).
A detail from one of Jenny Pickford’s more abstract sculptures.
You’d need a lot of puff to blow away this dandelion fluff!
Loved this design of fire bowl by P F Metal Art
. Firebowls seem to be a big thing this year, and there were lots of gorgeous designs by different companies. Also, it’s really hard to take a pic without anybody in the way.
Loved the colours, textures and planting detail in The Urban Oasis garden by Mark Draper
Love Calla lilies, but am terrible at keeping them alive. Perhaps I should just use them as inspiration for a basket shape?
The label said Echium Webbii. To me, they look like they’re going off like fireworks.
This clever sculpture made from all sorts of scrap parts is also a water feature. The sculptor, Paul Thomas
, told me started with the umbrella frame, which he found discarded in the street, and worked from there.
Yay! Found it at last! The amazing Work Of Heart garden.
The knitted doggo on the bed is a likeness of Chica
, a Pets as Therapy dog.
A superb and instantly recognisable clematis. Love the attention to detail.
Couldn’t let this ingenious picture frame go to waste!
A closer view of some of the knitted flowers.
The little rug is full of very fine detail
, and mushrooms! The artist, Shilohah, took over 200 hours making it, with a broken wrist. Now that’s hardcore.
This life size green woodpecker was crocheted by John Pickles. He is perched in the avenue of trees hung with memorial hearts.
The gold coloured ruffle heart in the middle is one of mine. People bought hearts and hung them up on trees in the avenue here in memory of loved ones.
One of the gnomes, looking after a tree of hearts.
The rest of the gnomes getting in on the party. The pattern for these cuties was created by Alan Dart
. I think they’re brilliant.
Another view of the avenue of hearts.
A close up of more hearts.
The one in the middle with the peach centre is one of mine.
Another one of mine. The fuffy yarn around the outside is from Aldi.
This little bee caught my eye. So cute!
Clare posing in the garden with Mr. Bobbles. Her expression looks a little dismayed as I was pulling faces at her to try and make her laugh. Also, some random weirdo had just come up to her muttering about Mr. Bobbles and travelling monsters. Ahem.
Fair’s fair. Yours truly attempting to disguise herself as a normal human being, and failing desperately with the facial expression.
Seeing the great art and crafts, stunning gardens, and the Work of Heart garden in real life gave my brain a jump start. I always love to see what other people are making. And a few plants may have come home with me too…
A huge thank you and giant hugs to Clare Young. What she achieved here was amazing. Can’t wait to see what she does next, although I hope at least some of it involves some R & R.