When I saw that the RHS Malvern Spring Festival was on I knew Monty Don would be featuring it on last week's Gardeners' World. I've never been to a garden show before as the dates and location have never worked out for me. As an alternative to the big RHS shows there's a vast selection of plant fairs happening each weekend round the country.On Sunday it was the turn of Renishaw Hall and Gardens to host a Rare and Unusual Fair. It's an event they have been hosting for many years now but it's over 10 years since we last went to one. You might not get the wow factor of a big show but it is a great way to source something different.
One of the advantages of these plant fairs is that being small scale they don't cost much to go. This one was £2 per person each with children free. As we have a season ticket to Renishaw Hall and Gardens it didn't cost us anything.
With the sun beating down the show was packed with visitors. It didn't stop us from being able to look at the stalls easily. With so many stalls there was something different at each one. It's also a great way to to get specialist advice from the growers.
Did we buy anything? Of course we did! I spotted these two pots. One is full of cauliflower seedlings and the other contains the lettuce Webbs Wonderful. They were priced at just 50p and the stallholder told us they were left over from a charity sale he had done the day before. At 50p you couldn't buy a packet of seeds for that and just shows that there are real bargains to be found.
I also bought a pot of lemon thyme as my one from last year is looking rather woody now. I didn't find the lemon balm or lemon verbena I was after so the search continues...
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