What a fabulous way to spend a day strolling around The Royal Horticultural Society’s spectacular Spring Show on the Three Counties Showground set against the stunning backdrop of the undulating and tree-covered Malvern Hills.

After weeks of April rain, mist and drizzle the organizers had struck lucky with the most perfect long weekend of blue skies and sunshine.

The annual Malvern Spring Show always opens the door to the UKs 2024 show season casting a wide all-encompassing beam of sunlight over all there is to do with the growing of flowers and vegetables and the creation of rural and urban gardens large and small in every corner of the land.

Flower, produce and agricultural shows have been deeply rooted in our country’s rural scene over many generations and indeed as a young reporter back in the 1960s, I had to cover many of them all over my rural patch.

So when my wife and keen gardener Jenny and I entered the giant and completely packed, floral marquee where dozens of nursery exhibitors from near and far were showcasing a myriad of colourful flowers and plants, it was just a bit like experiencing deja vu on steroids!

While Jenny dived straight into plant-buying mode to fill the few remaining spaces in our hillside cottage garden in neighbouring Monmouthshire, I did my best not to lose sight of her through a virtual sea of straw and other multi-coloured sun hats.

There can be no doubt that the popularity of gardens and gardening has exploded like proverbial seed pods in recent years given strong sprays of organic fertilizers by popular programmes like Gardener’s World and BBC Radio Four’s Gardeners’ Question Time.

It has also produced a host of popular gardening presenters who have become household names and indeed Gardener’s World’s presenters past and present Alan Titchmarsh, Adam Frost and Frances Tophill were all in attendance at RHS Malvern to share their knowledge and expertise with the thousands of visitors.

Before stepping back out into the sunshine I spotted a stand that seemed just a little out of place in the floral marquee because it was devoted to promoting the growing of vegetables, and here I met Bob and Ruth Bleasdale pictured left and their friend Lesley Stone who are all keen members of The National Vegetable Society.

Formed back in the 1960s, the society had branches in England, Scotland and Wales and covered the whole of Ireland with district associations holding monthly meetings, talks and events they told me.

A little later, we came across a cluster of pocket-sized gardens designed and planted out by local school children from around the three counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire and this year inspired by their favourite song or musical.

I was particularly impressed by The Circle of Life wicker lion entry by children aged four to eleven years from Monmouthshire’s St Briavels and Redbrook C of E Primary Schools and based on the musical The Lion King.

The children from St Briavels began work on their contribution to the entry just after Christmas with after-school workshops and planting out projects and then joined the Redbrook pupils for some hands-on construction several weeks before the show with their exhibit winning the prize for the best use of recycled materials.

RHS Malvern was helping to inspire the gardeners of the future, according to Chris Collins, a former Blue Peter presenter who has been the Malvern show’s School Garden Challenge Champion since 2012.

“How about a Pimm’s?” I asked Jenny as soon as I spotted a small marquee, conveniently close to a half-moon of deckchairs surrounding a small covered stage, whereby the odd sounds drifting from it, a lunchtime concert was poised to start.

We spent a delightful thirty minutes listening to a young woman taking us back along a musical memory lane with popular hits from yesteryear before, making our way, map-in-hand, towards the show’s traditional display of specially designed and created show gardens.

Here we met young garden designer Michael Lote from Litchfield who had just been awarded a gold medal for his first show garden titled It Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth and based on the theme of re-establishing wildlife habitats following the construction of new housing estates around the UK.

It was around 2 pm before we eventually stopped for lunch at one of the strategically placed venues around the showground while listening to a folk guitarist playing close by and his rendition of the Eva Cassidy classic Fields of Barley seemed particularly in keeping with the moment.

I was keeping an eye open for something a little out of the ordinary while Jenny and I were spending a most enjoyable afternoon wandering around the showground and then we came across a stand promoting portable garden cinema packages.

We’ve all heard of open-air drive-in movie-watching venues, but being able to watch a Netflix or other channel movie or catch up with the latest sports news in your garden when it was too dark to enjoy the flora and fauna did seem a bit unusual so I went to investigate.

All was revealed when Claire explained that the enterprise was launched five years ago when she and her husband Andy from Chipping Sodbury had a light bulb moment while watching a film in their camper van while on holiday in France.

By 4 pm we felt it was time to call it the end of a most enjoyable and memorable day and to return home to our cottage near Monmouth now with some planting out of our own to do.