Why the Chelsea Flower Show and Mallow Home & Garden Festival mean summer is here

I know it’s summer as soon as the hanging baskets are up and the Chelsea Flower Show is on.

I won’t be in London this year but have the TV to record from today 24th May to 28th May when the world’s best flower show unfolds once again in London’s SW3.

Monty Don at the BBC studios Our Green Planet and RHS Bee Garden during the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Image: Paige Young

The Chelsea Flower Show is to gardening what London Fashion Week is to fashion: sophisticated, innovative designs and products to be shown, admired and even critiqued to the world.

There’s always so much to take away from a show in terms of ideas and inspiration, but it tends to be just that — ambitious.

And at the end of this week we have our very own Mallow Home & Garden Festival.

One of the highlights of the summer gardening calendar in this part of the world, Mallow is less about design dreams and unimaginable budgets and more about actual gardens you can visualize in your own space.

Over 20 landscaped gardens will be on display and of course what makes this show different and special is that the gardens are on permanent display and the maturity this has brought to the grounds and show gardens is something that cannot be imitated.

Peter Dowdall at a previous Mallow Home & Garden Party.
Peter Dowdall at a previous Mallow Home & Garden Festival.

From Friday to Sunday 27th to 29th May, all roads, wheelbarrows and garden buggies will make their way to North Cork Racecourse as the grounds transform for one of the biggest home and garden festivals of the year.

Cork Builders Products is once again the main sponsor of the festival this year.

The CBP team worked closely with the festival organizers to create five stunning landscaped gardens designed and built by Cork-based JPK landscapers.

Working in partnership with Irish companies and supporting local businesses are key factors in CBP’s success, according to Commercial Director David Heaven.

“This year we have included some of the latest ranges from our key suppliers to showcase our garden and outdoor living range.

“All of our show gardens feature the latest landscaping materials including Ultra-Shield composite decks, Cedral wall cladding, Elite smartfence, Halo Italian porcelain exterior tiles, Kilsaran landscaping and Finbarr O’Neill aggregates.”

The festival gardens have also been completely transformed by Dulux, whose own color consultant, Cora Collins, will be the guest speaker on Sunday with great advice and tips on how you too can add some color to your outdoor space.

Queen Elizabeth II sits in a buggy during a visit from members of the Royal Family at the 2022 RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London on Monday.
Queen Elizabeth II sits in a buggy during a visit from members of the Royal Family at the 2022 RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London on Monday.

If you are seriously thinking of getting your garden ready or doing it yourself, then I strongly recommend that you come to the festival early in the morning.

Take a stroll through the permanent gardens and then take another tour and a third and fourth because you will discover something new each time.

You might see a specific plant or combination of plants, a type of pavement, an idea for a small, shady corner, or perhaps a novel way to hide an eyesore. You can take this inspiration home with you.

Billy Alexander, Kells Bay Gardens, won his second gold medal from the Royal Horticultural Society last year after being invited to display his spectacular fern display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Billy Alexander, Kells Bay Gardens, won his second gold medal from the Royal Horticultural Society last year after being invited to display his spectacular fern display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

There’s also a chance to chat with the landscapers who created the gardens and you can brainstorm what to do with your own space, an opportunity you just don’t get at the larger shows.

As you begin your design journey, it’s always good to have an idea of ​​what garden style you want to achieve. If you don’t know what your garden design preferences are and you are unsure whether you want traditional or contemporary, formal or informal and you are yet to decide on hard landscaping features and materials and their positioning, then this Malvenfest is priceless. You will receive guidance and ideas from the designers and from the gardens on display.

The age of many plants helps you see what certain things will look like as they get older. The show is now over 20 years on the road and many of the hedges and trees between the gardens have been there for so long giving the show a real sense of maturity.

Peter Dowdall, gardening columnist for the Irish Examiner.  Image: John Allen
Peter Dowdall, gardening columnist for the Irish Examiner. Image: John Allen

Festivals like this are dangerous for me as I see all the specialized nurseries in one place again fueling my plant foraging addiction.

Many of the specialist growers who have recently attended the Rare and Special Plant Fair and other plant fairs in Ireland and the UK will be in attendance
Mallow and not only have their ear, but are also happy to share their expert knowledge to help you get the most out of your new acquisition.

The great thing about buying from local and specialist nurseries is that all of their plants are grown in Ireland, an important factor as many plants now available have traveled across an entire continent in temperature controlled shipments and have hit supermarket shelves for the first time ever Outdoor Experience is in your garden.

Because they have been grown locally, you can be assured that they will not only tolerate but also thrive in your garden.

Paraic Horkan and everyone’s favorite, Charlie Wilkins, will be speaking and answering questions in the seminar room throughout the weekend and I’ll be there on Fridays and Saturdays at 2pm speaking on the topic of Gardening Delights, so drop by if you Have a question or just want to say hello.

Summer is here, we can finally travel and mingle freely again, so get out there and enjoy the Malvenfest this weekend.

.

Leave a Comment