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RHS Malvern Spring Festival

RHS Malvern Spring Festival

9 May 2024 – 12 May 2024 –

Pension Expert
RHS Malvern Spring Festival

Special Guests 2024

Discover some of the famous faces and special guests from the worlds of horticultureupcycling and food who will be treating audiences to lively talks and informative demonstrations in theatres across RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2024.

Click here to view the Festival of Houseplants with Green Rooms Market special guest list.

Adam Frost

Festival Theatre and Kitchen Garden Theatre - Sat & Sun

Adam Frost is an award-winning British garden designer, television presenter and motivational speaker.

Best known for his successes at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, he is passionate about inspiring adults and children alike to create their own gardens and watch hedgerows spring to life appreciating each one of our distinct seasons as they unfold. Adam is a presenter on BBC’s Gardeners’ World (BBC Two) and also appears regularly on the BBC’s coverage of RHS Flower Show.

He has also featured on The One Show and DIY SOS (BBC One) as well as The Alan Titchmarsh Show (ITV). In 2016 he won ‘Best New Talent’ at the RTS West Awards. Since 2007, Adam has amassed seven gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

He regularly lectures on a wide range of horticultural topics, both nationally and internationally and is a regular contributor to Gardeners’ World and other horticultural magazines. Adam’s first book Real Gardens was published in 2015 by Red Planet Publishing. His second book ‘RHS How to Create your Garden: Ideas and Advice for Transforming your Outdoor Space’ is available now, published by DK.

Adam’s love for the great outdoors started from a young age when he helped on his grandparent’s allotment. His fascination with watching plants and vegetables grown and the wildlife it attracted has stayed with him and he remains passionate about passing this on to future generations. He is trained in horticulture and landscape design and began his professional career in the mid1980’s with an apprenticeship at the North Devon Parks Department.

Adam later moved to Rutland where he began working with Geoff Hamilton at Barnsdale Gardens where he helped design and create many of the 38 small gardens which are still on show to the public today.

In 2014 Adam set up The Homebase Garden Academy with the specific aim of helping Britain’s next generation of horticulture students to kick-start their careers, by teaching them about garden design and landscaping.

As well as running his own garden design and landscape business he also sits on the board for the Horticulture Trades Association; is an RHS Ambassador and runs The Adam Frost Garden School where he hosts masterclasses on design and other gardening courses. Adam and his wife Sulina live in Lincolnshire with their four children, one horse, two ponies, two dogs and an ancient cat.

Adam is a natural speaker who credits his love of horticulture from his earliest childhood memories, to working with Geoff Hamilton at Barnsdale Gardens, before going solo in 1996 for the rollercoaster ride of designing multiple award-winning show gardens! He enjoys passing on his knowledge and travels all over the world speaking to people about his ‘journey so far.’ From a lifetime in the garden, Adam’s talks are always full of amusing stories, as well as advice and inspiration for anyone hoping to have a career in horticulture.

Birmingham born and bred; Adam’s garden is full to the brim with bulbs, corms, tubers and salvias – Adam has always had a love for all things green, but things have got serious over the last few years!

Adam Kirtland

Tips & Tricks Theatre - Sun

Talk Topics: ‘Make do & Mend in the Garden’ and ‘Garden DIY Made Easy’

Adam Kirtland is a writer, podcaster, and gardener with an unbridled obsession with all things DIY and how to create unique garden projects with a few simple materials. 

Arthur Parkinson

Festival Theatre - Fri

Arthur Parkinson trained at Kew Gardens. After graduating, he pursued an interest in growing cut flowers by working for renowned gardener Sarah Raven. He continued to work for her as a florist and together they recorded the much-praised podcast Grow, Cook, Eat, Arrange. Arthur designed a garden for the Emma Bridgewater factory in Staffordshire, which received wide acclaim, as did the accompanying book, The Pottery Gardener. His second book, The Flower Yard, was one of The Times Best Gardening Books of 2021. A guest presenter on BBC Gardeners’ World, he has also written about gardening and keeping poultry for several newspapers and magazines and his memoir a  celebration of keeping chickens, Chicken Boy, was published in 2023.  His new book Planting a Paradise, an inspirational guide to growing flamboyant flowers for ourselves and bees alike, publishes in October. He regularly shares his photography and illustrations on his renowned Instagram account.

Alan Titchmarsh MBE

Festival Theatre - Fri

Alan Titchmarsh will be joining us on the Friday of RHS Malvern Spring Festival in the Festival Theatre.

After working as a gardener in a nursery in his native Yorkshire, Alan Titchmarsh trained and subsequently taught at Kew Gardens before becoming a journalist – first as a gardening books editor and then on gardening magazines.  He began broadcasting on BBC Radio 4 in 1977 and has not been off the airwaves ever since.  Alan went freelance in the late 1970s, earning his living by writing for newspapers and magazines and by broadcasting. He became a regular on You and Yours and The Today Programme on Radio 4 and subsequently on Radio 2 with a ten-minute Saturday morning slot called Down to Earth.  His first television appearance was on BBC Nationwide in 1979 when he was called in to advise on what to do about a plague of greenfly which had invaded Margate.  The following year Nationwide asked him back to offer advice on preventing a roof garden from crashing into the flat below, as had happened to one luckless tenant.  From then on he appeared on Nationwide every week until moving to BBC Breakfast Time in 1984 where his brief was expanded to cover the British countryside as well as gardening.

In 1986, with the advent of daytime television, he was asked to diversify even further by presenting Open Air from BBC Manchester – a live one-and-a-half-hour feedback programme, and the following year he began a ten-year stint at Pebble Mill in Birmingham where he hosted a magazine programme which eventually became a chat show.  Journalism continued, and has done ever since, with Alan writing for such diverse publications as Amateur Gardening, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, Homes and Gardens, Country Life, The Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph.

Over the last forty years Alan has written more than fifty gardening books, several books on the countryside and other subjects as varied as The Queen’s houses and a Christmas anthology. He has also penned three volumes of memoirs. In 1998 he wrote his first novel – Mr MacGregor.  Another eleven novels followed and ten have made the Sunday Times Bestseller List.

Television programmes such as Songs of Praise, Gardeners’ World and the record-breaking Ground Force (12 million viewers) have established Alan as a household name, and on the last-named programme he was instrumental in designing and making a garden in South Africa for Nelson Mandela.

Cara Thompson

Tips & Tricks - Sun

Talk Topic/Demo: ‘Planters for Pollinators’

Founder of ‘Make it Flourish’, TV Art Director turned Flower Grower and designer of a ‘Gold’ award garden, Cara shares her joy for growing flowers & planting design through the eyes of an Art Director. 

Carolyn Dunster

Kitchen Garden Theatre - Thurs

Talk Topics: ‘A Floral Feast: A Guide to Growing & Cooking with edible Flowers, Foliage, Herbs & Seeds’

Carolyn is the author of Urban Flowers (2017), Cut & Dry (2021) and A Floral Feast (March 2024). She also works as a planting designer and botanical stylist. 

Chris Collins

Potting Shed Theatre, Tips & Tricks Theatre & Festival Theatre - Thurs & Fri

Talk Topics: ‘Small Space, Big Ideas’ and ‘Plants for Free – Propagation with Chris Collins’

Brighton Parks Apprentice. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh diploma. Limbe botanic garden Camroon. Blue Peter Gardener. Former head Gardener Westminster Abbey. Head of Horticulture Garden Organic. 

Ellen Mary

Festival Theatre (Host Thurs & Fri) and Tips & Tricks Theatre - Sat & Sun

Talk Topics:Indoor and Outdoor Edible Plants’ and ‘Endless possibilities; Things you can do with plants’

Ellen Mary splits her time between Norwich, Norfolk UK and Charlotte, North Carolina USA. She grows in both environments from a hot, humid huge balcony in NC to a sandy allotment and shady garden in Norwich, and feels extremely privileged to be able to spread the love of gardening working across the two countries.
Ellen has gardened ever since she was a child, from her parents kitchen garden to her uncles cabbage patch and everywhere in between! It wasn’t until after a career in HR she decided to to study with the RHS and work in gardening full time which has taken her around the world to write and talk about the joy of gardening.
Ellen Mary has two published books ‘The Joy of Gardening; the every day zen of mowing the lawn’ and ‘How to Grow a Garden’ both aimed mostly at beginner gardeners with wellbeing in mind. Ellen has been featured in many publications in various countries including The Telegraph, Times and Independent, and appeared in TV in the UK and the USA including on the BBC and WCNC US.

Frances Tophill

Festival Theatre (Host) and Kitchen Garden Theatre - Thurs - Sun

Festival Theatre Host (Sat & Sun)

Talk Topics: ‘A fresh approach to growing your own’ and ‘A year in a Small Garden’

Frances is a gardener, presenter and author, passionate about the environment, conservation and sustainability as well as crafting. She presents for BBC’s Gardeners’ World as well as Love Your Garden on ITV.

Frances designed her first show garden in 2022 winning Best Show Garden for her design, showcasing her love of upcycle gardening and sustainability.

Frances is a popular choice for gardening talks and has appeared at Malvern, Blenheim Palace, Hampton Court and Gardners’ World Live to name a few.
Frances’ books include The First-Time Gardener, The Container Gardener and The Modern Gardener.

James Alexander-Sinclair

Festival Theatre (Host) - Thurs & Fri

James Alexander-Sinclair MSGD is one of the foremost garden designers in the United Kingdom. He has designed gardens from Cornwall to the Western Isles and from London to Moscow. He is a full member of the Society of Garden Designers. He is also an award winning writer, a compelling speaker, frequent broadcaster and served ten years as a member of the Council of the Royal Horticultural Society. He is an RHS Vice-President and was awarded the Veitch Memorial Medal for outstanding contribution to horticulture in 2022. He is the RHS Ambassador for Garden Design. 

He has had a regular column in Gardeners World magazine for the past fifteen years. He has also written features for  The English Garden, The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, The Garden, Countryfile, House and Garden, The Garden Design Journal, Gardens Illustrated, and many others. His blog has been going since 2006 and he has contributed to many other blogs both in this country and abroad. He won Garden Media Guild Journalist of the Year 2019 and Blog of the Year in 2009 and 2013. 

He is one part of the legendary (that may be quite a strong word but it is always good to be positive) Three Men Went to Mow. James, along with Joe Swift and Cleve West, has made several films for YouTube covering many aspects of gardens and gardening. They are not terribly serious. 

He is occasionally let loose on television: highlights include presenting series three of Small Town Gardens, contributing to Gardeners World, the BBC coverage of all the RHS Flower Shows and as a judge in the BBC2 series, The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge. Most recently he helped judge the (very flamboyant) Netflix series, The Big Flower Fight. 

James is also a well known figure on the shows circuit. He comperes awards ceremonies (including the Society of Garden Designers, the Garden Media Guild, the RHS and the Association of Professional Landscapers) and conferences, has run quizzes and auctions for the Garden Museum and hosted talks theatres at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival (every year since 2004), BBC Gardeners’ World Live, Hampton Court and the Chelsea Flower Show. 

He has given talks in Russia, China, Canada, Europe and the USA as well as at garden societies the length and breadth of this country. 

He served a decade (2011-2021) as a trustee of the Royal Horticultural Society. James is an accredited RHS Gardens judge and is a member of the RHS Gardens Committee, the Community Action Group and the Shows Advisory Group. 

Internationally, James helped to set up the Moscow Flower Show in 2012 and has also judged gardens in the USA and China. 

James Greig

Tips & Tricks Theatre - Thurs

Talk Topic: ‘From TV to Flower Farming: Creating a Hand tie Bouquet from the Garden’

James Greig is a flower farmer and former TV producer and director. After 15 years working in primetime television, he now runs a 2-acre cut flower farm in rural Hampshire.

Jason Williams (Cloud Gardener)

Tips & Tricks Theatre - Fri

Talk Topics: ‘Small Space Container Gardening’ and ‘How to Create a Container Pond’

During lockdown Jason Williams (AKA The Cloud Gardener) turned his 18th floor balcony into an urban oasis. After creating show gardens at RHS Chelsea & Tatton, he now teaches others how to create their very own small space sanctuaries. 

Jekka McVicar

Kitchen Garden Theatre - Thurs

Talk Topic: Herb Growing Masterclass

Jekka has been awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour in Horticulture, 62 RHS Gold Medals, is an RHS Vice President and has written 9 books, including her new book, 100 Herbs to Grow (March 2024). 

Joe Woodhouse

Kitchen Garden Theatre - Fri

Talk Topic: ‘More Daily Veg’

Joe Woodhouse has been vegetarian since the age of 10, teaching himself how to cook. He later trained as a chef and spent years working in kitchens such as Vanilla Black and the Towpath Café, as well as working events and festivals with restaurants such as the Social Pantry and The Quality Chop House. Alongside being a chef, he is also a photographer, shooting with clients such as Petersham Nurseries, Soho Farmhouse, Luca Restaurant, Four Seasons, Laurent Perrier, Delicious Magazine, Ocado, Belazu, Marmite, Hakkasan, and Coleman’s. He is lauded amongst colleagues – including Anna Jones and Nigella Lawson – for being one of the best vegetarian chefs in the business. Joe’s work has featured in publications such as The New Yorker, Bon Appétit, Guardian, Observer, Metro, Evening Standard and Life & Thyme. His new book More Daily Veg, a celebration of everyday, seasonal vegetables, publishes in September.

Jonathan Moseley

All Theatres - Thurs - Sun

Talk Topics: ‘Making the Most of Your Cut Flowers’ and ‘Beautiful Blooms in Magical May’

Jonathan Moseley is a Yorkshire boy now living in beautiful Derbyshire 

He’s always loved growing and arranging flowers from a very early age. His Grandfather was a huge inspiration and encouraged him to enter the flower shows and to be creative. Jonathan’s now worked as a florist for over 30 years and never tires of passing on his passion and  sharing his creativity with members of the public who attend the flower shows. 

Jonathan was the floral judge on the  BBC’s Big Allotment Challenge, has appeared on BBC coverage of Chelsea, Tatton, Hampton Court and Chatsworth Flower Shows and appears regularly on Alan Titchmarsh’s “Love your Weekend “. He regularly contributes articles to all the top floristry and floral design magazines. 

At the Festival, Jonathan will be demonstrating lots of inspiration with seasonal Spring flowers, celebrating the versatility of  flowers like Tulips, Alliums and Peonies. He likes to demystify the rules of floristry and enable everyone to feel empowered to have a go through his demonstrations. Jonathan will share all his top tips for what to be growing for cutting and arranging throughout the year and how to maximise the vase life of your flowers. 



Jon Wheatley

Festival Theatre - Thurs - Sun

Talk Topics: Gardeners’ Question Time

A multi award-winning landscape designer and garden maintenance service provider based in the beautiful surroundings of the Chew Valley near Bristol.

Jon has been involved in building over 20 RHS Gold Medal features for various clients, including:
  • The National Dahlia Collection
  • Winchester Growers’ President’s Award, Chelsea 2009
  • Bulldog Tools 2011 Gold
  • Blackdown Garden Centre
  • National Chrysanthemum Society (10 consecutive Gold Medals)
  • Winners of Best In Show Garden, Poppy Scotland, 2011
  • Hampton Court Tudor Rose for Winchester Growers, 2009
  • RHS Edible Garden 2011 and Home Grown 2010

Kate Humble

Festival Theatre - Sun

Kate Humble is a broadcaster and author of five books, including Thinking On My Feet, A Year of Living Simply and Home Cooked. A champion of the environment, nature conservation and rural affairs, she is president of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and founded Humble by Nature, a rural skills centre on her farm in Wales. She lives with her husband and other assorted animals on a smallholding in the Wye Valley.

Photo credit: Andrew Montgomery

Leigh Johnstone (The Beardy Gardener)

Tips & Tricks Theatre Host - Thurs - Sun

Leigh Johnstone aka ‘The Beardy Gardener’ is a writer, mental health campaigner, broadcaster and award-winning garden designer. 

Liz Knight

Kitchen Garden Theatre - Sun

Talk Topic: Foraging

Liz Knight spent her childhood face down amongst the grass looking for bugs, making concoctions from petals, weeds and of course mud; when she was at school she constantly dreamt of being outside eating. As a result, her ability to turn a handful of weeds into a delight to eat is outstanding!

With a lifetime’s passion for cooking with the less obvious ingredients, Liz established Forage Fine Foods & creates a unique range of flavourings from ingredients that grow in our back gardens & the wild.

Lorraine Caley (Caley Bros Mushrooms)

Tips & Tricks Theatre - Thurs

Talk Topic: ‘How to Start Growing Mushrooms’

Caley Brothers Mushrooms connect people to the world of fungi and growing mushrooms in an easy and accessible way. Demystifying the uncertainties behind mushrooms and getting people growing at home.

Marcus Bean

Kitchen Garden Theatre - Fri & Sat

Talk Topic: ‘Dishes to Celebrate Spring’

Marcus Bean is a chef, author, and presenter, who learned to cook by taking charge of the kitchen in his Shropshire pub. He got straight in the kitchen and taught himself to cook and then went on to win Iron chef UK on channel 4. 

Since then, Marcus has been a regular chef on ITV’s “This Morning”, wrote a cookery book all about Chicken.  And has become a popular host at the BBC Good Food shows around the country. 

Marcus and his wife Jenny currently own & run “Brompton Cookery School” in Shropshire. 

At the cookery school Marcus teaches everything from Bread making to baking, foraging to butchery.  Marcus specialises in using local and seasonal produce from Shropshire and surrounding areas, and over the years has built up a great relationship with his suppliers which he showcases in the school & for demonstrations around the country. 

Marcus also works as a hospitality consultant, helping create and manage new and existing businesses around the country. 

Marcus is a keen Runner, completing London marathon 7 times.  He’s also an advocate of helping and supporting local charities like The Shrewsbury Ark, a Shelter for the homeless & vulnerable, alongside helping reduce food waste with Local charities like the Shrewsbury Food Hub. 

Mark Diacono

Kitchen Garden Theatre (Host) - Thurs - Sun

Talk Topic: ‘Seasonal Delights’

Mark is an award winning food and garden writer and photographer, lucky enough to spend most of his time growing, eating, writing and talking about food. His refreshing approach to growing and eating has done much to inspire a new generation to grow some of what they eat and to make the most of it in the kitchen.

Mark has written and photographed 13 books, winning Food Book of the Year twice, and Garden Book of the Year twice. He was involved with River Cottage in the early days, appearing in the TV series and writing three of the River Cottage Handbook series.

Mark also runs courses, hosts and demos at food and garden shows, and runs events at venues such as Limewood and The Pig Hotels.

Martin Fish

Potting Shed Theatre - Thurs - Sun

Martin Fish has a wealth of practical gardening experience gained over 40 years as a professional horticulturist.

For many years he has been a gardening expert on BBC Radio York & BBC Leeds and has presented gardening programmes for the BBC and ITV.

He currently writes for Garden News, Kitchen Garden and the Dalesman magazine

A regular at flower shows, Martin hosts gardening theatres, giving talks, demonstrations and answering gardening questions.

Martin is a senior RHS judge and judges at RHS and independent flower shows including Chelsea, Hampton Court, Tatton Park and the Malvern Flower Shows.

He is chairman of the RHS Tender Ornamental Plant Committee and a Garden Advisor at RHS Harlow Carr.

Martin & his wife Jill have co-written ‘Gardening on the Menu’, packed full of gardening hints and advice and a wealth of recipes and quick cook tips using freshly grown fruit and veg from the kitchen garden.

Niall McCauley

Tips & Tricks Theatre - Sat

Talk Topic: ‘Plants for Free: How to Take Root Cuttings Successfully’

Niall is an Irish gardening content creator, TV, radio, and magazine contributor, and winner of the Garden Media Guild’s Alan Titchmarsh New Talent of the Year 2022.

Si King (Hairy Bikers)

Festival Theatre and Kitchen Garden Theatre - Sat

Hailing from Newcastle in North East England, Si King is a large-hearted, down-to-earth cook with a passion for great food.  His infectious laugh, charm and sense of humour is a skeleton key when it comes to getting into people’s hearts and homes.

This easy congeniality and warmth served him well during his work as a First Assistant Director and Locations Manager for film and television including the Harry Potter series of films. At this time, he met his best mate Dave Myers who was working as Head of Prosthetics, Hair and Make-up. Their mutual interests in food, motorbikes and travel saw their friendship blossom to become ‘The Hairy Bikers’ which has since led them to take every opportunity they could to pack their panniers and head off in search of authentic culinary and cultural experiences in all corners of the world.  For the past 20years, Si and Dave have become national treasures as ‘The Hairy Bikers’ creating dishes all over the world with Michelin starred chefs to local villagers alike.  They always passionately embrace the pursuit of great food and ingredients creating their own fresh takes on cooking classics to achieve award winning TV programmes, live events and best-selling cookery books.

Toby Buckland

Festival Theatre - Thurs

Toby Buckland is a landscape designer, gardener and broadcaster known for his hand-on and practical approach to gardening. He’s a BBC Radio host and a regular face on BBC2’s Gardeners’ World. 

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