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Godfather of gardening returns to festival

Where: Three Counties Showground, Malvern

When: Thursday, May 10, to Sunday, May 13

The excitement is growing with less than a week to go until one of the UK's largest flower shows throws open its gates.

More than 100,000 people are expected to flock to the four-day Malvern Spring Festival at the Three Counties Showground.

Making a welcome return to RHS Malvern Spring Festival is the godfather of gardening, Alan Titchmarsh, with other leading horticultural experts alongside fab foodies in the shape of Masterchef Judge, John Torode and TV chef Valentine Warner.

Diana Walton, head of RHS Malvern Spring Festival, said: "We can't wait to welcome our visitors to what promises to be one of our very best shows yet. We have packed in lots of exciting new features alongside our hugely popular regular line-up.

"It's going to be unforgettable with something for everyone to enjoy - gardeners of all levels of enthusiasm, food fans and families too."

Visitors can expect to see a host of magnificent displays from giant seven metre tall terrariums, to flying Morgan cars festooned with flowers in the new Great Pavilion of Art and Flowers.

Guests will be spoilt for choice with more than 100 specialist nurseries on site, offering old favourites and brand new varieties being launched at the show.

A world first will be proudly displayed in the form of a special knitted garden. Crafted by widow Clare Young and a team of knitters from across the globe, the heartfelt Work of Heart garden, will stand in memory of her late husband Ken and raise money for Sue Ryder Leckhampton hospice.

Visitors can look out for the special 'Celebrating Blue Peter' garden, marking 60 years of the popular children's show. There's also 12 creative school gardens from youngsters showcasing the theme of what they think makes Britain so Great.

Renowned food writer Mark Diacono plays host to a bustling programme of demonstrations and Q&A sessions from culinary and gardening experts alike in the Festival Theatre.

Food fans will be able to pick up top tips from Valentine Warner and join John Torode previewing exclusive recipes from his new book and showing off his finely honed skills and words of cookery wisdom.

BBC Gardeners' World presenters Carol Klein, Alys Fowler and Joe Swift will also be sharing their expertise in a series of talks in the Festival Theatre supported by Great Little Breaks on heart of the Festival Green.

Ten stunning show gardens, including some of the largest the event has ever seen, will surprise and delight visitors with their atmospheric, inspirational and beautiful designs.

A brand new category is introduced this year: Green Living Spaces offers new designers a springboard into the world of show gardens and the 2018 gardens seek to demonstrate innovative ideas for small space growing and inspire #GenerationRent to get gardening.

The new Grow and Know section centres around an Eco Marquee with talks on sustainable gardening, demonstrations and interactive art on the theme of community and growing food. It sits next to the new Grow to Show pavilion showcasing gardeners' best flowers, bulbs, alpines, vegetables, pot plants, succulents and photography.

There is free entry to the festival for children under the age of 16. For more information on ticket prices, please call 0844 811 0050 or visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk 

Picture caption: Alan Titchmarsh is returning to the Malvern Spring Festival

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